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.