The Los Angeles Angels made a mistake when they signed Anthony Rendon to a seven-year $245 million dollar deal in the 2019 offseason. That's definitely easy to say in hindsight. He was coming off of a year where he was the best position player on the World Series-winning Nationals. He had blossomed into one of the best players in the National League.
Rendon joined an Angels team that had Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani already. He was expected to be another superstar to carry this team back to the postseason. That has not happened.
Rendon has spent most of his time in Anaheim injured, and when he's played, he's underperformed. Still, you shouldn't give up on him.
Anthony Rendon is not going to be traded or released. That's something Angels fans must accept.
As much as Angels fans want to see Rendon traded or DFA'd, it's just not going to happen. He's making $38 million dollars annually over the next four seasons. There is not a single team that will be willing to take on that contract unless the Angels either throw in prospects to entice them or take back an even worse contract in return.
Releasing Rendon doesn't exactly solve their problems either. They still have to pay him. Why pay him to play against you?
Rendon has to stay on the field. The Angels traded for Gio Urshela to in part, give Rendon days off while serving as an insurance policy if he does get hurt.
Could a position change be in store? Maybe. Rendon could possibly play first base at some point with Urshela or someone else in the future playing third. Maybe that can help preserve him.
If Shohei Ohtani is traded or walks it's possible we see Rendon take a lot of the DH at bats.
The key really is health, though. Rendon was mostly healthy in 2020 when he played in 52 of the 60 games and he had a 150 OPS+. Since then, he's appeared in just 105 out of a possible 324 games and has a 97 OPS+ in that span.
Rendon was supposed to miss the rest of the 2022 season after he underwent wrist surgery but he returned for the final series of the year and had four at-bats in Oakland. He's healthy now and should have the full offseason to recover.
Anthony Rendon won't be the player he was in Washington, I think that's fair to say. However, he's better than someone like Matt Duffy playing third base every day. He still can be a very productive player for this team, he just has to stay on the field.
This situation is unfortunate for all parties involved. The Angels have gotten virtually nothing from their handsomely paid third baseman. Rendon I'm sure is not too happy having to sit out with injury watching his team falter. The Angels were winning games when he was on the field.
The Angels made a mistake signing him, but that doesn't mean they have to make another mistake and release or trade him. See if he can stay healthy. See what you can get out of him offensively. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.