WASHINGTON — Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon more than doubled his salary going into 2018, reaching agreement on a $12.3 million contract Friday to avoid salary arbitration.
Rendon made $5.8 million last season, his first year of arbitration eligibility. He finished sixth in NL MVP voting last season and ranked seventh in WAR among the league’s position players, helping carry an injury-depleted Washington team to a second consecutive NL East title by batting .301 with 25 homers, 100 RBIs, 41 doubles, a .403 on-base percentage and .533 slugging percentage.
At third base, he made seven errors and had a .979 fielding percentage. Asked at the Nationals’ fan festival in December whether he would be open to staying with the team for the long term under a multiyear contract, he replied: “Yeah, for sure. Why not stay with one organization?”
As for whether he expects his agents, Scott Boras & Co., to negotiate this offseason with the Nationals about a long-term contract, Rendon joked: “Maybe. I don’t know. That’s up to them. That’s why I hired them. I dropped out of school.”
Also Friday, outfielder Michael Taylor received a hefty increase from $557,900 to $2,525,000. He batted .271 with 19 homers, 53 RBIs and 17 steals, but also 137 strikeouts and only 29 walks in 118 games as a part-time starter. He had a breakthrough NL Division Series against the Chicago Cubs, hitting .333 with 2 homers — including a grand slam — and 8 RBIs.
Right-hander Tanner Roark avoided arbitration as well with a one-year deal.