The Los Angeles Angels signed Anthony Rendon at the time where he had established himself as not only one of the best third basemen in the game, but one of the best players in all of baseball. He had finished third in the NL MVP balloting and was the best position player on a Nationals team that just won the World Series.
Rendon was set to join a formidable lineup led of course, by Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani and was going to be the missing piece to get the Angels back to the postseason. While the Angels struggled in 2020, Rendon actually had a good year in the shortened season. Since then, the contract has been an absolute disaster.
Rendon was limited to 58 games in 2021 and 47 games in 2022 which put him on thin ice with impatient Angels fans. The 2023 season really felt like it was Rendon's last chance to get on their good side. Not only did Rendon fail to do that, he might've had his most embarrassing year of all in an Angels uniform.
Anthony Rendon deserves an F grade for his 2023 season
Several Angels players and staff members were hyping Rendon up as a potential AL Comeback Player of the Year candidate. Perry Minasian in particular was saying how Rendon was his pick to win that award and that he was motivated to play and help the Angels win. Of course, none of this went into fruition.
Right away following the Angels Opening Day loss in Oakland, Rendon found himself caught up in more drama. He attempted to slap a fan in the face and was issued a four-game suspension. That wasn't great, but following that suspension, Rendon actually started to hit a bit. Through mid-May Rendon was slashing .301/.415/.369 with one home run and 20 RBI. The power was missing but Rendon was getting on base a ton, and was notably hitting in the clutch.
Of course, after playing just 30 games, Rendon made his first of many appearances on the IL with a groin injury. Following the groin was a wrist injury and then his season-ending shin injury. He played in just 13 games after his first IL stint and had four hits in 45 at-bats in those games. He ended his season slashing .236/.361/.318 with two home runs and 22 RBI in just 43 games. It was another new low for Rendon who keeps outdoing himself.
Not only did Rendon only play in 43 games, but his bad attitude rubbed Angels fans the wrong way. From the ways he decided to deal with the media to his laughing in the dugout when the team was losing, this guy seemed just completely disinterested in what was going on around him. He continues to make more headlines off the field than on it.
The Angels are now four years into his seven-year deal with no way of getting out. Rendon will not be traded or released. The Angels will hope he can somehow find a way to get back to his old self or at the very least, just play in more than 60 games in a season. The Rendon contract continues to be an embarrassment on and off the field for an Angels franchise that has suffered through a lot in recent years.