Colorado Rockies: Reaction to possibility of Nolan Arenado being traded

DENVER, COLORADO - JUNE 28: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies rounds the bases after hitting a 2 RBI home run in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field on June 28, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - JUNE 28: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies rounds the bases after hitting a 2 RBI home run in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field on June 28, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic published an article today with an in depth look on the Colorado Rockies and the possibility of the Rockies trading their third baseman Nolan Arenado.

It’s a thing that nary a Colorado Rockies fan thought that we’d be talking about heading into the season considering the Rockies just extended him but with the way the season has developed, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic posed a question this morning (subscription required): Should the Rockies trade Nolan Arenado?

On the surface, you might think that is “preposterous” to even consider trading him but if you look from an objective point of view and dive deep into the Rockies problems, it is a thing that you, at bare minimum, would have to consider.

To those that would think that it’s preposterous, Rosenthal says that it’s “no more preposterous than a team firing its president of baseball operations 10 months after winning the World Series…” That, of course, was the Boston Red Sox firing Dave Dombrowski, which has made some Rockies fans want the Rox to bring in Dombrowski in that role for them.

Rosenthal also poses the question: “How else will the Rockies improve?”. That’s a very good question.

There would be plenty of contenders that would need a third baseman next year (the Braves and Nationals are two teams that come to mind, since Josh Donaldson and Anthony Rendon will be free agents at the end of this season).

We all know the woes that the Rockies have had pitching-wise this season as well as depth-wise. Rosenthal also cites issues with Coors Field (in relation to pitching there),

Mark Feinsand of recently looked at some candidates for replacing Dave Dombrowski with the Red Sox and of the 17, there’s a reason why the Rockies GM Jeff Bridich, who is a Harvard graduate so he has ties to the Boston area, isn’t even considered. That’s because the Rockies are perceived by much of the baseball world to be poorly run.

The Rockies are well behind the curve in analytics, player evaluations, and they have one of the worst farm systems in the sport. Their success with free agents also has left a lot to be desired and, in nearly 30 years of a franchise, still not finding a way to figure out pitching at altitude is also a major concern.

According to Rosenthal, all of that coupled with coaching staff that is behind the learning curve, particularly with pitching mechanics, a possibly bad clubhouse culture, an “increasingly negative” Jeff Bridich, a “fun” problem, and the lack of knowledge of these deficiencies makes you scratch your head on how the Rockies are being run.

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Players communicate with each other, including opponents and former teammates, and Rosenthal cites how, even in the Rockies clubhouse, the players know that they are well behind the curve in analytics. He mentions the Yankees since the Yankees have former Rockies Mike Tauchman, Adam Ottavino, and DJ LeMahieu, who all played for the Rockies last season and Joe Harvey and Phillip Diehl who were in the Yankees organization last year.

On top of that, Rosenthal poses the question if Bridich decided to pull the trigger on a big trade before the 2018 trade deadline, even if it involved a top prospect like Brendan Rodgers. Would that have put the Rockies over the top to beat the Dodgers in the NL West? Probably.

After all, the Rockies, despite numerous issues with their free agent signings not panning out, took the Dodgers to Game 163.

Bridich has also made among the least amount of trades in his tenure as Rockies GM.

All of this, plus Nolan Arenado’s opt-out clause after the 2021 season, signals serious signs of trouble on the horizon for the Rockies. Another interesting note is that Arenado also has the same agent as Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who was traded after signing a mammoth 13-year, $325 million deal with the Marlins.

The Rockies would be saving about $234 million if they were to trade Arenado so, the Rockies could put that money back into extending Trevor Story and building the team back up.

After all, if the Rockies are listening (which they should be listening on everyone at any given moment or in any given situation) and a team offers a great deal to the Rockies for Arenado, the Rockies should heavily consider it.

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The Rockies are at a crossroads and this offseason will be the biggest in franchise history to, essentially, determine what the next five to ten years will look like for Rockies fans and, as Rosenthal said, it may be preposterous to consider trading Arenado but is it any more preposterous than the Rockies current situation? In his words, “I’m not so sure.”