All of these frequent Nolan Arenado trade rumors sure have stirred the Colorado Rockies’ fan base up to a fevered pitch.
The latest report that the likelihood of Colorado Rockies trading Arenado is now as high as “50/50” has made fans all the the more worked up.
Yet, here I am as cool as a cucumber. I have zero doubt in my mind that come Opening Day, the once-in-a-generation player will be in a Rockies uniform. This belief has led me to receive threats of unspeakable bodily harm by friends if I happen to be wrong (direct message me on Twitter @FlatlandRockies if you want to know what is so unspeakable). Recently, I wrote that the Rockies wouldn’t move him because of the fear of fan backlash and the inevitability that the attendance at Coors Field would plummet.
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If that is not reason enough to keep Arenado, here is one more and likely even bigger reason: The window of opportunity to make a serious playoff run might be as open as it has even been if they hang on to him for the 2021 season.
A lot has been written about the moves, or lack thereof, made by general manager Jeff Bridich this offseason to improve a 71-win team. This is all due to the lack of room to expand on a franchise-record $156.6 million payroll in 2019.
That all could change next offseason. As long as the Rockies don’t make a huge mistake and allow some of the horrible big contracts to become vested for 2021, Wade Davis, Jake McGee, Bryan Shaw, and Daniel Murphy all will come off the books. Include Ian Desmond‘s pay decreasing from $15 million to $8 million in 2021 and that means the Rockies will have in excess of $50 million of payroll to make some serious moves.
The Rockies could use 2020 as another season of maturation for some of the younger players such as Ryan McMahon, David Dahl, Sam Hilliard, Raimel Tapia, and Peter Lambert. Then the Rockies can evaluate what they have on the roster and go on a spending spree to fill in the gaps next winter.
As long as Bridich stays patient and doesn’t press the panic button by moving Arenado, 2021 could be a special season for the Rockies.
Or I could just be in denial over these rumors and, in that case, I will have some explaining to do to my doctor.