Scott Boras, Rendon’s agent, was at Nationals Park today and was seen coming out of an elevator at the clubhouse level following the Nats’ 6-0 win over the Royals with founding principal owner Ted Lerner and other members of the Lerner family. A source familiar with the meeting confirmed they are discussing a Rendon contract extension.
It’s not the first time the Nationals and Rendon, eligible for free agency at season’s end, have talked about a new contract this season. But the presence of both Boras and Lerner, the 93-year-old patriarch of the family, side by side on the eve of an All-Star break in which Rendon plans to stay in Washington to get treatment on his ailing left hamstring and quadriceps is a notable development and evidence of how serious the talks have become.
Rendon and the club have been negotiating on and off since spring training, but to date both sides have suggested they aren’t close in competing offers.
“We’ve had discussions throughout the year, and we’ve traded proposals back and forth,” general manager Mike Rizzo said last week in Miami. “We haven’t had a deal yet. We certainly would embrace if we can get a deal done. We certainly continue to talk, and we’ll see where it leads us down the road.”
The fact Rendon has enjoyed the best first half of his career - he’s batting .304 with 20 homers, 61 RBIs and a 1.000 OPS and last week was named an All-Star for the first time - has only bolstered his case for a massive contract.
Rendon announced Friday evening he will not travel to Cleveland for Tuesday’s All-Star Game, citing a tight hamstring and quadriceps that has bothered him since the first week of June. He said he would be staying in Washington instead of flying home to Houston, so that does provide more of an opportunity to hold serious contract talks without anything getting in the way of his game preparation.