If you look at the history of the Colorado Rockies, there are plenty of players who have made a huge impact on the franchise. Only one to date, however, has played started his career with the Rockies and retired on Colorado’s roster.
Looking at the 25-man, 25th anniversary roster released by the Colorado Rockies last season, only one retired player spent his entire career with the Rockies. That, of course, is Todd Helton, who has his number 17 retired by the club. Charlie Blackmon, entering his 10th season with the Rockies and a member of the anniversary roster, could very well join Helton in that very exclusive club someday.
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There is, however, one other name on that anniversary list who has never played anywhere other than Colorado. That’s Nolan Arenado, who will enter his eighth season in Colorado in 2020 in pursuit of his eighth Gold Glove at third base.
Sure, there are plenty of rumors floating out there right now about Arenado being dealt to another team. However, with the Rockies believing they can indeed contend in 2020, it’s hard to imagine that Arenado will be traded before Colorado takes the field for the season opener in San Diego on March 26.
Those rumors are going to burn throughout the offseason. However, as Arenado has stated, he’s going to focus on once again being the best all-around third baseman in baseball. That’s Nolan being Nolan, as Rockies fans know so well.
Yes, there’s the much-discussed opt-out clause after the 2021 season as well as a full no-trade provision in Arenado’s contract extension he signed before the 2019 campaign. However, if the Rockies can prove they can be a consistent winner and build a solid nucleus around Arenado, it’s very likely he will stay in Denver through the 2026 season. Arenado will be 35 at that point and certainly the next steps in his career will be up to him then.
Arenado’s glove and bat have already embedded him into some of the most memorable moments in Colorado history. There is no question that there are many more of those moments to come.
Knowing what Arenado’s generational skill set means to the team and his name and likeness means to the Colorado fan base and souvenir sales, it makes every bit of sense for Rockies management to do everything they can to keep Coors Field as Arenado’s home throughout the span of his contract.
Arenado has given everything he can to the franchise for the last seven years. That hard work and dedication needs to be rewarded with a renewed effort to ensure the Rockies get better as the franchise enters into the next phase of Arenado’s prime. It’s something we know Arenado wants as much as the fan base does.
I fully expect to take my grandchildren to Coors Field someday and show them the number 28 hanging over the outfield fence and tell them I was lucky enough to watch Nolan Arenado play. I hope I can also say that I never saw him come to Denver and sit in the visitor’s dugout. I believe that can happen if Colorado management makes the necessary moves to keep Arenado as a Colorado Rockie for life.