Rockies reportedly gauging trade interest in Nolan Arenado
The Colorado Rockies entertained the idea of trading Nolan Arenado last winter before they signed him to a contract extension, but the massive deal does not necessarily mean the team is committing to Arenado for years to come.
The Rockies finished just 71-91 last season after signing Arenado to an eight-year, $260 million extension. If they don’t think they can build a contender around him in the immediate future, it might make sense to start loading up on prospects. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Colorado has at least explored the possibility of doing that this offseason.
Arenado has a full no-trade clause and $234 million remaining on his deal, so trading him would not be easy. Most teams probably don’t want to give up valuable prospects just for the right to pay that amount of money, especially since Arenado can opt out of the contract after the 2021 season. While he says many across MLB are skeptical it will happen this winter, Rosenthal notes that the team that misses out on signing Josh Donaldson — likely either the Atlanta Braves or Washington Nationals — could have interest in Arenado. The Texas Rangers have also reportedly spoken to Colorado about the 28-year-old.
The amount remaining on Arenado’s deal is comparable to the seven years and $245 million Anthony Rendon got from the Los Angeles Angels, but no team wants to pay that much and give up prospects. That’s the biggest reason an Arenado trade is unlikely unless the Rockies agree to eat some of the contract.
Arenado would certainly have gotten a deal comparable to Rendon’s if he hit free agency, as the Colorado infielder batted .315 with 41 home runs, 118 RBI and an OPS of .962 last year. The numbers are inflated a bit by playing half the season in a hitter’s park, but teams would have pursued him the same way they went after Rendon and are going after Donaldson.
Again, we heard similar talk about Arenado less than a year ago, but the Rockies appear to be open to moving him in the right deal. Whether or not that deal comes along may depend upon how much of their investment they are willing to swallow.