Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado is on track to become a free agent after the 2019 season and yesterday, in a live chat with fans, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post discussed Arenado’s potential future with the Rockies.
Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado is, without a doubt, the best player that the Rockies have currently and, arguably, the best player they have had in their franchise history. However, he may not be a Rockie for the entirety of his career.
Yesterday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post held a live chat with fans and he fielded numerous questions. One question that was asked was if Saunders thought that Arenado would sign with the Rockies long term and here is what he had to say:
"The Nolan Arenado question is a a [sic] huge one.I’ve talked to Nolan about this a bit and it’s clear to me that his main concern is playing for a consistent winner. He knows the money will take care of itself and he’s [sic] doesn’t care that much about the big bucks. He wants to win, play in the World Series[,] and play in front of big crowds.If the Rockies look like they will be contenders for, say, five more years, then I think he would want to stick around.Then again, the market might command a $300-$400 [million] contract and I don’t know if Colorado can give that to one player.It’s a tough call."
Arenado’s current contract
He is signed for $17.75 million for the 2018 season. After that, he has one year of arbitration eligibility left before being able to become a free agent after the 2019 season. However, it should be noted that the Rockies signed a two-year deal for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Arenado made $11.75 million in 2017.
The Rockies did not have to do that for Arenado, though.
Through arbitration, the Rockies could have low balled him (he only made $5 million in 2016) so, through the arbitration process, he could have conceivably made a lot less in 2017 and in 2018.
So, Arenado and his agency, the Wasserman Media Group, could take that into consideration if the two sides express interest in a long term deal and be more willing to take a little bit offer from the Rockies because:
a) he is used to Denver and likes it in Denver; and
b) they were willing to pay him much more than they had to in 2017, 2018, and presumably 2019.
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What a contract for Arenado could look like
As Saunders alluded to in his reply, the market could determine that Arenado is $300-$400 million on the open market. However, you have to take a grain of salt with that. In 2016, then-Blue Jays first baseman and designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion turned down a 4-year, $80 million contract extension because he thought he could get 5 years and $110 million. He ended up signing with the Cleveland Indians for 3 years and $60 million.
This offseason, J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer are each living on Fantasy Island because they think that they will get $200 million contracts. In 2018 and 2019, players like Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, Charlie Blackmon, Craig Kimbrel, and Andrew McCutchen are all free agents plus players with options or opt-outs, like Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner, Chris Sale, David Price, Jason Heyward. They all think that they are going to have the Brinks truck backing up to their home but it may not happen.
People are already speculating that the Yankees will sign Bryce Harper to a $400-$500 million contract. I’ve been surprised before as well as wrong before but I highly doubt that he will get that much money especially considering that in six seasons in the majors, he has played more than 150 games once.
In other words, don’t be shocked if the market goes really high for Arenado…but, also, don’t be surprised if it falls into territory that the Rockies would be much comfortable with.