San Diego — Third baseman Anthony Rendon and the Los Angeles Angels agreed to a $245 million, seven-year contract Wednesday, a person with direct knowledge of the deal told the Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not been announced and was subject to a successful physical.
Rendon is the third prized free agent to strike a big-money deal at this week’s baseball winter meetings. He’ll join three-time MVPs Mike Trout and Albert Pujols on a team that’s made just one postseason appearance in the past decade.
The Angels had missed out on free agent right-hander Gerrit Cole, who agreed to a record $324 million, nine-year contract with the New York Yankees on Tuesday night, a person familiar with the deal told the AP.
“With our flexibility, if we miss a big player, there’s still very talented players that are accessible in the free agent and trade market right now,” Angels general manager Billy Eppler said earlier Wednesday.
Rendon, who has played all seven of his major league seasons with Washington, drove in a career-best 126 runs while helping the Nationals capture the franchise’s first World Series championship this year. His 19.9 Wins Above Replacement, per FanGraphs, over the past four seasons trails only Trout, Boston’s Mookie Betts and Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich among position players.
Rendon is the latest big signing by owner Arte Moreno, following Pujols, Shohei Ohtani, Josh Hamilton and C.J. Wilson.
“We’re within some structure of a budget and a payroll forecast that you relatively want to be near and then we just take those opportunities to Arte and see if he’ll grant us the permission to do those things,” Eppler said. “There’s good players out there and players that warrant some sizeable contracts. I know the players that he likes.”
Phillies sign Gregorius
Free-agent shortstop Didi Gregorius is reuniting with manager Joe Girardi in Philadelphia, agreeing with the Phillies on a $14 million, one-year contract, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the agreement, first reported by the New York Post, had not been announced.
Gregorius spent the last five years with the New York Yankees, the first three playing for Girardi as Derek Jeter’s successor at shortstop.
Girardi replaced Gabe Kapler as the Phillies’ manager following a disappointing season in which Philadelphia faded to fourth place in the NL East.
The team went 81-81 despite signing slugger Bryce Harper to a $330 million, 13-year contract last year.
Astros probe widens
Major League Baseball has interviewed almost 60 people and obtained tens of thousands of electronic messages in its investigation into allegations the Houston Astros broke rules by using a television camera to steal signs.
Former Tigers and Astros pitcher Mike Fiers sparked the investigation when he told The Athletic last month the Astros had used the camera to steal signs in 2017 during the team’s run to its first World Series title.
Harrelson wins Frick award
Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, a former player who called Chicago White Sox games for 34 years, won the Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick award for excellence in broadcasting.
“It’s just such an honor,” Harrelson said. “I’ve always considered myself to be probably as lucky, if not the luckiest, human being who ever stepped two feet on the face of the earth.”
Before starting his 43-season broadcast career, the 78-year-old was an outfielder and first baseman from 1963-71 for the Kansas City Athletics, Boston, Cleveland and Washington.