The Nolan Arenado trade rumors have been on the back burner a bit in the last 48 hours or so because plenty of other news items in baseball but MLB.com did publish an article last night on three possible trade proposals for Nolan Arenado.
For the article, Mike Petriello of MLB.com acted as Colorado Rockies General manager Jeff Bridich and he had the opportunity to choose between three trade proposals: one from the Texas Rangers, one from the Atlanta Braves, and one from the St. Louis Cardinals.
For each team, a MLB.com beat writer that covers the team came up with the best proposal that they thought each team would offer the best proposal that they thought would get them the services of Nolan Arenado and Petriello decided the winner of the three and, therefore and the team that he would trade Arenado to if he was the Rockies GM.
Here’s a look at each of the proposals and who would be in the deal.
Texas Rangers: Arenado for Nick Solak, Samuel Huff, Jonathan Hernandez, Leody Taveras, Kolby Allard, Ronald Guzman.
Of the three deals, this is the deal that would have the most quantity of players in it. Solak is an infield prospect that would likely play second base for the Rockies sometime in 2020. With the trade of Arenado, Ryan McMahon would move over to third base and Brendon Rodgers. Huff is a catching prospect that the Rockies may look forward to using in the future and the Rangers #2 prospect and #73 overall.
Hernandez and Allard are both pitchers (with Allard already making his MLB debut) and Taveras is an outfield in Double-A who is the Rangers #5 prospect. Guzman is a first baseman who has yet to develop offensively in the majors.
So it has the quantity of players at the Rockies will be looking for but not necessarily the quality.
Cardinals: Andrew Knizner, Harrison Bader, Dakota Hudson, Matthew Liberatore
Hudson and Bader would be MLB-ready pieces for the Rockies but, Hudson’s peripheral pitching numbers are cause for concern. Plus, he has some major control issues. Rox Pile’s Kevin Larson discussed Hudson in depth here a few days ago. Bader is excellent defensively but not offensively, at least yet so he would at least be good patrolling center field at Coors Field. Knizner has also made his MLB debut and could very well be the Rockies starting catcher on Opening Day if they did acquire him.
Liberatore is a MiLB pitcher that the Cardinals just acquired from Tampa but he is a top prospect. Larson also discussed Liberatore in his article about a Cardinals trade proposal a few days ago that is linked above.
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Braves: Drew Waters, Ian Anderson, Ender Inciarte, Jasseel De La Cruz
Waters is the Braves #2 prospect and the #23 overall prospect, per MLB.com. He just made it to the Triple-A level and he’s only 21. With the exception of power, Waters is ranked above average in all categories on a 20-80 scouting scale.
We discussed Anderson a bit in this article yesterday and he’s the Braves #3 prospect and the #31 prospect in all of baseball as well as the #9 right-handed pitching prospect in baseball.
Inciarte would be the only guaranteed MLB piece as he has been in the majors for six years. Last year, he was injured so he only played in 65 MLB games. Overall, though, he would provide the Rockies with a center fielder that is slightly below average offensively (95 OPS+ career) but an excellent defender (84 bDRS career and 3 Gold Gloves).
De La Cruz, 22, is the Braves #14 prospect and he’s only made it to the Double-A level so far. His biggest issue is control (as is with most young pitchers). Mark Bowman described De La Cruz in his article as a “diamond in the rough” so take that as you will.
Petriello decided to go with the Braves offer because the quality of the return. Two prospects of the top 31 in baseball plus Inciarte and De La Cruz.
This is about what I think a fair offer. In this article from yesterday, I discussed what a trade would look like if Arenado’s opt out is considered or not and this trade proposal is about in the middle.
The small proposal (the one the Braves would like/two years of control) would have one MLB.com #100 prospect along with one just outside of the top 100 and a mid-level prospect. The large one (the one the Rockies would love to get for Arenado because they are thinking of seven years of control) would have four MLB.com Top 100 prospects and another mid-to-high level prospect.
Of the three deals, I would also go with the Braves hypothetical package because of Inciarte and the two prospects in MLB.com’s top 100.