Nolan Arenado, Rockies reportedly agree to record-breaking contract
If there are any teams that chose to pass on Manny Machado in hopes of landing Nolan Arenado next winter, those teams will now be missing out on both players.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that Arenado and the Colorado Rockies have agreed to an eight-year, $255 million contract. That will make the third baseman the highest-paid position player in MLB history in terms of average annual salary.
BREAKING: Third baseman Nolan Arenado and the Colorado Rockies are finalizing an eight-year, contract extension worth more than $255M, league sources tell ESPN. Deal includes an opt-out after three years, would give Arenado the largest per-year salary of any position player.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 26, 2019
As Passan notes, the deal includes an opt-out clause after three years. Arenado is only 27, so that means he has the option of hitting free agency again when he is still in his prime at age 30. The contract is technically not an extension, as it begins in 2019 and overrides the record $26 million salary Arenado and the Rockies had previously agreed on for the upcoming year.
The deal also includes a full no-trade clause.
There had been talks earlier in the offseason that the Rockies were considering trading Arenado, but those were apparently overblown. The four-time All-Star has averaged 39.5 home runs, 126 RBI and an OPS of .931 over the past four seasons. He’s one of the best players in baseball, so the Rockies made a wise decision by locking him up before he hits the open market.