Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Nolan Arenado and the Rockies are currently $6 million apart in arbitration figures. Arenado asked for $30 million, while the club countered with $24 million. Rosenthal adds that even if Arenado is awarded the lower number, he’ll eclipse Josh Donaldson‘s record-breaking $23 million deal with the highest single-season salary figure to be awarded in arbitration.
Arenado, 27, certainly has the skillset to back up such a big ask. The 2018 season marked his fourth consecutive All-Star campaign, and he took home a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger after batting a robust .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, 110 RBI, a .935 OPS, and career-best 5.7 fWAR through 673 PA. On defense, he finished third among all qualified major-league third baseman, outpaced only by the Athletics’ fellow Gold Glover Matt Chapman and the Mariners’ Kyle Seager.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan cites sources that say the two sides are likely to resolve matters in advance of any mandatory arbitration hearing. Of course, there’s more to consider here than Arenado’s immediate value to the Rockies. Thomas Harding of MLB.com points out that a “multi-year contract is the goal,” though Colorado could be waiting on free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado to sign elsewhere so that they have a more definite valuation for their slugger. It’s also possible, of course, that Arenado will eschew a long-term deal in order to test the open market when he enters free agency in 2020.