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.

Max Scherzer: ‘There’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions’

Max Scherzer
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MLBPA player representative Max Scherzer sent out a short statement late Wednesday night regarding the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. On Tuesday, ownership proposed a “sliding scale” salary structure on top of the prorated pay cuts the players already agreed to back in March. The union rejected the proposal, with many worrying that it would drive a wedge in the union’s constituency.

Scherzer is one of eight players on the MLBPA executive subcommittee along with Andrew Miller, Daniel Murphy, Elvis Andrus, Cory Gearrin, Chris Iannetta, James Paxton, and Collin McHugh.

Scherzer’s statement:

After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.

Indeed, aside from the Braves, every other teams’ books are closed, so there has been no way to fact-check any of the owners’ claims. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, for example, recently said that 70 percent of the Cubs’ revenues come from “gameday operations” (ticket sales, concessions, etc.). But it went unsubstantiated because the Cubs’ books are closed. The league has only acknowledged some of the union’s many requests for documentation. Without supporting evidence, Ricketts’ claim, like countless others from team executives, can only be taken as an attempt to manipulate public sentiment.

Early Thursday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA plans to offer a counter-proposal to MLB in which the union would suggest a season of more than 100 games and fully guaranteed prorated salaries. It seems like the two sides are quite far apart, so it may take longer than expected for them to reach an agreement.