Mike Axisa of CBS Sports contends that the MLB shutdown will make it much more difficult for the Colorado Rockies to trade Nolan Arenado.
On Saturday, Mike Axisa of CBS Sports contended if that the shutdown of baseball (which is passing the two-month mark for regular season baseball this week) makes it much more unlikely that the Colorado Rockies will be able to trade third baseman Nolan Arenado.
As he noted, with games not happening right now and games likely not having fans, owners will be taking a hit financially. With the shutdown, there will almost certainly not be a full schedule of games in 2020. Therefore, there will be fewer games for Arenado to play and, likely, MLB owners won’t want to take on a player with a salary of $35 million a season.
Since Arenado has an opt-out clause after the 2021 season, other teams would possibly only have him for one season.
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However, with that opt-out and the state of finances in baseball and the world with the shutdown, Axisa contends that Arenado is less likely to opt-out of his contract as well. If the owners are trying to pass on the financial losses on the players like they attempted to this week, they likely aren’t going to be willing to give Arenado a five-year, $165+ million deal that would be a deal that is better than what he would have with the Rockies.
Obviously, a lot can change between now and the end of the 2021 season, just as we have seen that a lot can change in the world in just a few days or weeks.
But as it currently stands, that is something to be considered. If owners are unwilling to pay the players a pro-rated salary, release dozens of minor league players, and furlough and/or give pay cuts to mid- to lower-level employees, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they wouldn’t give a player in the back half of his career $30-$35 million a season (plus bonuses), even if he is well on his way to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
In other words, the shutdown may give both sides no other choice than to try to work things out at least in the near term. If the fences can’t be mended, one of the sides may have to swallow their pride and either eat money in a trade or take less money to go to another team.