Getty Images

Nolan Arenado, Rockies unlikely to reach extension this spring

3 Comments

The Rockies don’t appear to be in any rush to extend perennial Gold Glove winner Nolan Arenado, the third baseman said Sunday. Arenado told reporters that he doesn’t see any extension talks resuming until the 2018 season concludes, adding, “We have a good team and our focus is on winning — as it should be — and that’s what everyone wants.”

The 26-year-old infielder is slated to remain under team control through 2019, so there’s no pressure to get a deal done right away. Still, it makes sense to lock up a talent like Arenado’s before he hits free agency in 2020. Over five seasons with the club, he’s proven his prowess time and again, netting three All-Star nominations, five Gold Glove awards and consideration for both Rookie of the Year and MVP. He slashed .309/.373/.586 with 37 home runs and an NL-best 27 doubles in 680 plate appearances last year, and FanGraphs ranked his defense at the hot corner as third-best in the league in 2017.

Arenado is currently finishing off the tail end of the two-year, $29.5 million contract he signed with the club last January. He’ll receive a $17.5 million paycheck in 2018 and enter arbitration in advance of the 2019 season. While another season of Arenado’s .300+ average, 5.0+ fWAR ways could give the Rockies more peace of mind as they contemplate an expensive long-term arrangement, it could also give the All-Star third baseman more incentive to test free agency in the years to come.

Bryce Harper will participate in the Home Run Derby if he makes the All-Star team

Getty Images
3 Comments

Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.

Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.

Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.