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Can the LA Angels no longer trust disappointing Anthony Rendon?

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Anthony Rendon, LA Angels
Anthony Rendon, LA Angels / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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Anthony Rendon signed a seven-year, $245 million deal with the LA Angels after the 2019 season. It happened because his last three years in Washington were sensational. Rendon combined plus-defense with an elite .310/.397/.556 (.953 OPS) slash line with 318 RBIs. A durable player, he averaged 143 games played per season.

With the Halos, however, he's been nowhere near the same player. On the defensive side of the game, he's been very good this year and posts 2 Defensive Runs Saved, but his offense has been terrible both this year and last.

It's led to Rendon posting a .252/.359/.421 (.780 OPS) slash line in Anaheim, and he's only played in 155 games out of the possible 288 outings he could have had in these past three seasons. In the offseason, Rendon blamed injuries and said he has nothing to prove to Angel fans as far as his lucrative contract goes.

Even if he's right, that's become too much of a problem for the Angels. Availability is arguably the most important quality in an athlete, and Rendon has gone from him claiming that he's been playing through injury to now being in and out of the lineup constantly.

His wrist injury flared up again in Tuesday night's game, and now he's being considered day-to-day.

Anthony Rendon needs to be durable if he wants to prove he was worth the contract the LA Angels gave him.

The only two position players in all of baseball who are making more money on a per-year average basis than Anthony Rendon is LA Angels' franchise player Mike Trout and ex-Angels rival Carlos Correa. He has been nowhere near the third-best position player in the league, and has been nowhere near even the third-best position player on the Angels.

When he's available, he's been disappointing. This year he's been just above league-average with a 104 OPS+, and he's slashing .228/.324/.383 (.707 OPS). While his defense has been excellent this season, he's also battling durability issues.

In fact, according to him this past offseason, even when he plays he's still been hurt. Remember, he said he was hurt throughout 2020 too. While Rendon has been a tremendous player in the past and has 98 games left to turn it around, he's been objectively overpaid quite a bit through his first two-plus seasons so far.

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Now, it's going to come down to if he can come back and play consistently. If he's not staying durable, then his chances of turning into the $35 million man he was paid to be are even lower. Mike Trout is having another great year. Shohei Ohtani is having another great year. It's time for Rendon to return to form.

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