The Angels are still bad.
The news going around the baseball world today is of the Angels releasing six players in attempt to save cap space. This includes deadline acquisitions Lucas Giolito, and Randal Grichuk, along with Hunter Renfroe and several key bullpen arms. The Angels’ front office has reasonably been the focus of a lot of scrutiny over this catastrophic mismanagement. But some people have gotten off easy for their role in this collapse.
I’m talking about Anthony Rendon of course. Anthony Rendon is in the fourth season of a seven year, 245-million-dollar contract. He’s also yet to play sixty games in a season for them. After playing a crucial role in the Nationals’ World Series victory over the Astros, Rendon cashed in to take the pressure off of Mike Trout. Since then, he’s hit .249 while playing in 200 out of 517 possible games.
There have been a lot of players to famously underperform to giant contracts. Albert Haynesworth might be the most famous bad contract in NFL history. He played like Ndamukong Suh before the contract, and Derek Beavers after it. Then, Chris Davis was paid 25 million a year to lead the league in strikeouts. Finally, Nnamdi Asomugha turned to acting after his lucrative deal with the Eagles led to an early retirement. Anthony Rendon’s problem is that he accepted way more responsibility than any of these people.
When Anthony Rendon went to the Angels, they were a middle of the road team with elite high-end talent. Mike Trout was the best player in baseball, and no one knew what to make of a rookie who hit twenty-two homeruns to go along with a 3.31 ERA. They were on the cusp of something special, but needed to fill out their team. Rendon could’ve been this piece. He led the league in doubles and RBIs the season before destroying the Angels hopes and dreams.
I’m not saying the Angels’ front office is blameless here. They accidentally put two generational talents on their roster in the middle of their primes. In that time, they have failed to surround them with quality players. With that being said, they made a good choice signing Rendon. He was one of the best players in the league before going to the Angels. Instead of lengthening their lineup, even a little bit, he has handicapped them and forced the Angels to punt the remainder of this era.
Also, he threw a punch at an Angels fan who chirped him at the beginning of the year. I don’t know what was said to Rendon, but I know it wasn’t over the line. He gets paid more than twenty million dollars a year. If he isn’t going to hit homeruns, he should earn his pay by dealing with fans.
Also, I would say this to Rendon’s face. He’d hit me in the face, and I’d claim the rest of his horrible contract through a talented lawyer.