Anthony Rendon likely doesn’t put the Los Angeles Angels in the playoffs. Their starting pitching remains suspect, and the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics, their American League West rivals, are deeper and more proven than the Angels. But the All-Star third baseman’s arrival in Anaheim gives new manager Joe Maddon the best star duo in Major League Baseball: Rendon and Mike Trout.
Last week general manager Billy Eppler made the biggest free agent signing of his career, agreeing to a seven-year, $245 million deal with Rendon; he’s worth every penny of the deal.
The number six selection in the 2011 MLB Draft, Rendon shined and only improved through his seven-year tenure with the Washington Nationals. He began as a secondary source of offense in a lineup that was headlined by Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche, Ian Desmond, and Denard Span. Their presence, as well as an injury-riddled 2015 campaign, hindered Rendon’s growth in the early stages of his career.
Then some of those veterans left via free agency, and Rendon got healthy and moved up in the order; he grew into a star.
From there on out, Rendon was a force to be reckoned with in the…