Nolan Arenado
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There’s ‘roughly a 50-50 chance’ the Rockies trade Nolan Arenado

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The Rockies have reportedly been “listening to trade offers” for Nolan Arenado for a month now. This morning Jon Morosi of MLB Network said that there is “roughly a 50/50 chance” of a trade happening this offseason.

The Dodgers are reportedly interested — and they have the money to take on Arenado’s contract and employ a number of excellent prospects that would do the Rockies well — but Morosi says they probably aren’t a realistic fit because the Rockies prefer not to trade Arenado to a division rival. Which is kind of dumb on the Rockies part in my mind, as by the time those prospects mature and the Rockies compete the Dodgers will likely be a different team and Arenado will likely be on the back end of his career. But that’s the Rockies for ya. If you have some insight into their team-building philosophy, please let me know because I’m lost.

Not that there aren’t other suitors.

The Braves have been mentioned, though they seem unlikely to want to assume Arenado’s salary or part with the amount of talent it would take to get the Rockies to eat a lot of the money. Washington, who just said goodbye to Anthony Rendon, could be interested too. The Rangers, like the Braves, are courting Josh Donaldson and if they can’t get him Arenado would definitely be someone who could make up for it.

All of that said, Arenado is only one year into an eight-year, $260 million deal that will pay him $35 million a year from 2020 through 2024, $32 million in 2025, and $27 million in 2026. He also has a full no-trade clause, limiting potential suitors if Areando doesn’t like them. Oh, and he has an opt-out after the 2021 season that a team would want a bit more certainty on before giving up the farm for him. Though, even with the somewhat better free agent market at the moment, it seems somewhat unlikely that Arenado would exercise the opt-out unless he found some otherworldly new level in his age 29 and age 30 seasons.

Which is to say, there’s a lot swirling around here. Still, he’s Nolan Arenado. A 28-year-old superstar who has averaged a .937 OPS with 40 home runs and 124 RBI per year since 2015 and is the best defensive third baseman in the game. Someone will want him if the Rockies are hellbent on trading him.

Reds sign Nicholas Castellanos to a four-year deal

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The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.

With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.

Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.

Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.