Mike Rizzo: Boras knows the Nats respect Anthony Rendon

Chris Lingebach
July 03, 2019 - 12:59 pm

The Nationals' exclusive bargaining window to negotiate a contract extension with Anthony Rendon is down to 78 games, after which their All-Star third baseman will enter free agency. 

Just as Bryce Harper walked into free agency last offseason, never to return again. And just as with Harper, Rendon is represented by Scott Boras.

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo was asked about their negotiation efforts with Rendon during his weekly appearance with The Sports Junkies, presented by Burke & Herbert Bank.

"Can you go to (Boras) and believe his answer if you say, 'Are you just gonna take this ultimately to free agency?'" Rizzo was asked.

"Yeah, I think you have to take him for his word," he answered. "I've done a lot of business with him over the years and we've done a lot of deals together. The important thing to know is that agents, they don't speak on their own behalf. They're speaking on the behalf of their client. So you assume that offers and discussions are taken to the player, and the player ultimately makes the final decision."

"Now, agents and representatives can kind of guide him and give their opinions on if it's a good deal or not," he said. "I think that these deals, like all deals, have to be player driven.

"I know that in the Stephen Strasburg extension, when we signed him, that was a player-driven deal. He wanted to be here and told his agent to get the best deal you can for me here and get it done now, and we ultimately came up with an extension contract."

"To answer your question, yes, when the agents say stuff to me, I certainly take them at their word, because there's repeat business that we have to do and we have to coincide with each other for years, and we've done it for about 25 years and signed a lot of good players together," he said. "And Anthony would just be another of the long line of great players that we've signed from that company."

The Nationals presume to be actively working on an a Rendon extension, although there's only public comments from either side of the negotiating table to go off of in terms of gleaning how those talks might be going. It behooves neither side at this point to come right out and say, 'This is exactly how negotiations are going.'

"I'm not going to be the one going out and trying to pursue it," Rendon told The Post last week. "At this point, if they present something and both sides are happy, then cool. If not, and it doesn't happen, then no hard feelings."

"If Anthony Rendon and Scott Boras don't know that we respect him by now," Rizzo told NBC's The Racing Presidents podcast Tuesday, "then they'll never know." 

"I took that as you guys have made some serious offers, and they haven't accepted, but they should know where you're coming from," Junkies host JP Flaim told Rizzo Wednesday.

"That respect thing is something that kind of gets under my skin," Rizzo said. "Yeah, we respect him greatly. We drafted him, we signed him, we developed him, we brought him to the big leagues. We watched him become an All-Star caliber player for our team and we've treated him and every other player that walks into that clubhouse with great respect and great admiration, and this is no different.

"Yeah. Anthony Rendon, I can guarantee you, knows that Mike Rizzo and the Nationals respect him, love him and want him to sign an extension and be back with the Nationals for the long term. If his agent doesn't know that, then he's not paying attention. But he knows. And we've got a good rapport. Anthony and I have a great relationship. Always have and always will."

Every week, all baseball season, if any Washington player hits for the cycle during a Wednesday game, one lucky fan wins a cool $100K. Click here to enter the Burke & Herbert "Bank On The Cycle" contest!