The Boston Red Sox’s road to glory appears bumpier than ever.
MLB.com’s Will Leitch argued Thursday Anthony Rendon’s reported agreement to join the Los Angeles Angels in free agency will dim Boston’s prospects for success. Leitch’s argument is fairly straightforward: Having left the Washington Nationals, Rendon will make the Angels, who better, and that improvement might add another American League contender for a postseason spot.
“It looks increasingly likely that the Red Sox aren’t going to trade Mookie Betts this offseason, and probably won’t, unless everything collapses before the trade deadline,” Leitch wrote. “But Rendon coming to their league, and the Yankees signing (Gerrit) Cole and looking like the overwhelming favorite in the AL East, the Red Sox’s margin for error (particularly if they trade David Price) just grew real thin. Look at the American League right now. You have the Astros, Yankees and (probably) the Twins as clear favorites in each division. But there are a lot of Wild Card contenders this time around: The Rays, the Indians, the White Sox, the A’s, the Angels, even the Rangers.
“Most of those teams are adding. The Red Sox are subtracting. They’re trying to thread the needle by keeping Betts and trying lowering payroll elsewhere. But if the team gets out to the start it did last year, and the Yankees pull away … well, one wonders if their view on Betts, or anyone, begins to change around that time. The Red Sox are walking a tightrope. Rendon adding another Wild Card contender makes their walk that much more perilous.”
Rendon hit .314 with with 34 home runs and an NL-best 126 RBIs last season and was instrumental in the Nationals’ World Series triumph.
The 29-year-old third baseman reportedly agreed to a seven-year, $245 million contract with the Angels on Wednesday night, and his arrival will make their lineup even more formidable.
"This is gonna be a sexy watch." – @markdero7
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The Angels finished 72-90 last season, and the Red Sox were 84-78. Rendon won’t make Los Angeles better than Boston on his own but he seemingly has boosted expectations on one coast and anxiety on the other.