Los Angeles Angels 3B Anthony Rendon: '[Baseball]'s never been a top priority for me.'

Anthony Rendon has played 200 games in four seasons with the Angels.
Anthony Rendon has played 200 games in four seasons with the Angels.

Getting paid hundreds of millions of dollars to play a sport as a career might be a dream for children everywhere, but that may not be the case for Los Angeles Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon.

During a Monday media availability session at the Angels' spring training facilities, Rendon told reporters that baseball has "never been a top priority for me."

"This is a job," he said Monday. "I do this to make a living. My faith, my family come first before this job."

Asked whether his baseball career is still a priority for him, Rendon said, "Oh it's a priority for sure. Because it's my job. I'm here, aren't I?"

The exchange began when a reporter asked about his mindset entering this season, a year after he said he was considering retirement. Rendon shared how his thoughts on his baseball career have shifted since the Washington Nationals drafted him in 2011. Since then, he's gotten married and has four kids, he said, and his priorities have changed.

"My perspective on baseball has been more skewed," he said.

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Mike Trout's comments differ in sentiment from Rendon's

Rendon's comments are a sharp contrast from those of teammate Mike Trout, the Angels' three-time American League MVP outfielder, who spoke to members of the media earlier on Monday.

Trout told reporters that he's been "pushing" team owner Arte Moreno and president John Carpino to pursue free agents all offseason. He also said despite the departure of former teammate Shohei Ohtani in free agency, he's not looking to be traded from the Angels just yet.

"I think the easy way out is to ask for a trade," Trout said. "When I signed that contract (in 2019), I'm loyal. I want to win a championship here. The overall picture of winning a championship or getting to the playoffs here is the bigger satisfaction than bailing out or taking the easy way out."

Anthony Rendon contract

Rendon hit free agency right after winning the 2019 World Series with the Nationals. He signed a seven-year, $245 million contract in December of that year at the age of 29, and he's set to make $38 million this season.

Anthony Rendon stats

In seven seasons with Washington, Rendon was an All-Star, won two Silver Slugger awards and finished as high as third place in National League MVP voting. He slashed .290/.369/.490 there while playing an average of 131 games per year.

In four seasons so far with Los Angeles, Rendon has played exactly 200 out of a possible 648 games (about 31%, or an average of 50 games per season) due to various injuries. When he's been healthy, he's slashed .249/.359/.399 for the Angels.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Anthony Rendon comments: Angels star says baseball isn't top priority