What will the 2019 Colorado Rockies possibly look like?

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DENVER, CO - JULY 25: A general view of the stadium as the Colorado Rockies take on the Houston Astros during interleague play at Coors Field on July 25, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Astros 3-2. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JULY 25: A general view of the stadium as the Colorado Rockies take on the Houston Astros during interleague play at Coors Field on July 25, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Astros 3-2. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /
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Colorado Rockies celebrate
PHOENIX, AZ – JULY 20: Raimel Tapia #15 of the Colorado Rockies (R) is congratulated by teammate Nolan Arenado #28 after Tapia hit a grand slam home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning of an MLB game at Chase Field on July 20, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

Arenado (and his agents, the Wasserman Group), however, may not even be willing to talk about an extension, choosing instead to invite the feeding frenzy that his free agency would bring. If a long-term contract can’t be worked out this winter, then the team’s best option may be to trade Arenado before the season starts.

As hard as it was to write that sentence, as painful as the thought of Arenado in another uniform is to contemplate, it would also be devastating to lose an asset of his value for nothing.

The most obvious point of comparison here is the Manny Machado saga that played out over the last year or two. The Orioles had one of the top assets in baseball last off season, however against all logic they decided to keep a player that they knew they could not re-sign and ultimately had to sell him mid-season for a package of second-tier prospects – pennies on the dollar compared to what they were being offered in the offseason.

Losing Nolan would be a devastating emotional blow to the fanbase and could only hurt the product on the field in the short run. It may damage the team’s ability to put together what could be four straight winning seasons – something that has never been done in club history.

On the other hand, if he’s traded during the offseason then the package of prospects that an asset like Arenado could return may be enough to fuel a new generation of core Rockies. It is a brutally hard decision for General Manager Jeff Bridich and the team’s ownership and one that will decide how his tenure in Denver is remembered.

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