It seems we’ll be seeing more rumors connecting Nolan Arenado to the Cubs.
We saw the first rumors tying the Chicago Cubs to Nolan Arenado last year. After some pretty public comments by Arenado regarding what he wants and the continued breakout of Trevor Story, the Colorado Rockies are facing some tough choices regarding the future of the franchise.
Although he won his eighth-straight Gold Glove at the hot corner this year, Arenado didn’t have a good year at the dish and he has an opt-out in his deal at the end of the 2021 campaign. He’s made it clear: all he wants to do is win – and Colorado hasn’t shown any signs of taking that next step. Furthermore, in order to do so, they might have to choose between Arenado and Story long-term.
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Story had a great season, slashing a .289/.355/.519 (wRC+ 122) with 15 stolen bases. Arenado? He had a slash line of .253/.303/.434 (wRC+ 77), his worst showing since he came into the league.
Colorado needs some clarity in a big way. They could lose both guys after next season if they do nothing. Arenado seems likely to jump ship and Story’s current two-year extension only runs through 2021. Unloading the final six years of Arenado’s contract could free up the funds needed to lock up Story for the long haul.
What was once an eight-year, $260 million deal is now a six-year, $199 million one. But six years for $200 million for Arenado? The way he played last year was troubling and you have to wonder if he’ll lose range as he works his way into his 30s.
Last year, we heard all kinds of hypothetical deals surrounding Kris Bryant. This time around, with Bryant entering his final year of control, we’re probably talking Bryant and additional pieces. Again, it all comes down to money. Are the Rockies more focused on return or are they looking solely to shed that contract in its entirety?
It seems pretty likely they’ll eat some money – and reports indicate Colorado is looking for deals that would center around big league talent. Frankly, that bodes well for Chicago given A) the state of its farm system and B) the dire need of a shake-up when it comes to the roster. Seriously, just imagine Arenado in the middle of the lineup next year. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
I’m not going to speculate on what a trade could look like. Again, if the Rockies are all about shedding payroll, a deal would look wildly different than if they take a middle-ground approach that mixes freeing up funds while improving the roster. We’ll have to wait and see.