Anthony Rendon is having season-ending wrist surgery, putting a stop to this third season with the Los Angeles Angels after only 45 games. Given that he's never played more than 58 games in a season for the Halos, the seven-year, $245 million contract Rendon signed in December of 2019 is looking like an enormous bust and one of the worst deals in MLB history.
Fresh off helping the Washington Nationals win the 2019 World Series, Rendon inked a his huge contract with the Angels. While was set to turn 30 years old, he had also just posted a career-best 6.8 fWAR season, which followed back-to-back excellent seasons (6.0 fWAR in 2018, 5.9 in 2017). He looked like a safe bet to at least stay productive until his mid-30s. Unfortunately for the Angels, things have gone sideways.
Rendon played 52 games of the 60-game COVID-shortened season in 2020 and posted a .915 OPS, a .286 batting average and an on-base percentage of .418. He had a decent year, though it wasn't great by his All-Star standards. His fWAR for the 2020 campaign was 2.5. He followed that by only playing 58 games in 2021 and missing the rest of the season after undergoing surgery to correct a right hip impingement. He slashed .240/.329/.382 and posted an fWAR of 0.2 in 2021, far below where it should have been. Frankly, the contract looked like a bust at that point.
This season Rendon had once again been playing below his potential. At the time of his injury he was slashing .228/.324/.383. That's an OPS of .707, well below his career average of .848. His fWAR was 0.9, again far below where it should be.
In three seasons with the Angels, Rendon will now have missed 229 games and has only played in 155. He'll turn 33 next season and will get a pay bump from $36.571 million in 2022 to $38.571 million in 2023. Oh you read that right, the contract is about to get a whole lot worse. Rendon still has four years and $154.28 million left on his deal.
Unless Redon comes back and plays like an MVP for the next few seasons, the Angels are going to regret ever signing him. Hell, they might regret this deal even if he does play at that level. The contract can now officially be labeled as a massive bust.