Sources: With Harper gone, Anthony Rendon more likely to re-sign with Nats

Anthony Rendon is still with the Nationals, while Bryce Harper left to join the rival Phillies. But does the latter's decision directly affect the former's ongoing extension talks with the Nats?
From what team sources have told Grant Paulsen, the answer is yes.

"I have always been told by people around the Nationals — I've been told this not by players, but by higher-ranking people up — Rendon was more likely to re-sign here if Harper was not here," Paulsen said on Grant & Danny Wednesday.

"I've always heard that, I've always been told that, and the moment that Bryce Harper left, I really did believe (Rendon would re-sign)."

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo confirmed on The Junkies Wednesday he and managing principal owner Mark Lerner met with Rendon Tuesday. And with Harper off the roster, not only do the Nats have more money to offer Rendon, but Rendon has more room to shine. 

The Nationals have re-opened their negotiations with Anthony Rendon. They have to get a deal done with him. A Rendon departure would be more crippling than Harper's exit, especially now, and the team knows that.

— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) April 17, 2019

"Part of it I think is he could get more money if Bryce wasn't here. Part of it I think is you don't have to live in a guy's shadow," said Paulsen. "Part of it is you get to be the face of the franchise, it's hard to make the All-Star team when there's already one guy who gets to go from Washington every year, whether he deserves it or not. You're not gonna win an MVP award if you're playing in the same lineup probably as Bryce Harper." 

"I think that they got along fine, but I think Harper — and he didn't always necessarily do anything to warrant this, but it's just how it works when you attract that much attention — I do think his presence occasionally wore on guys and grated on guys."

"I believe that Bryce Harper's departure makes Anthony Rendon's future existence (with the Nats) way more likely. I've heard that way too many times to not believe it."

Bryce Harper at the start of camp: Don't ask me about free agency or I'll walk away from media sessions.Anthony Rendon: I'm willing to negotiate before free agency. Met with the Lerner and Rizzo yesterday.Very different tone. Feels more Stras than Harp. Good sign for #Nats

— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) April 17, 2019

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