On Thanksgiving, Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com published an article on five Black Friday deals that he’d like to see and his trade proposal involving Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado and the New York Mets is not one that Rockies fans will like.
The New York Mets are one of just a handful of teams that look like they will spend a lot of money this offseason since they have a brand-new owner, Steve Cohen, and he wants to win ASAP. One player that he could acquire in a trade that would definitely put the Mets in a “win now” mode is Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado.
In fact, a few weeks ago, we discussed the possibility of Arenado being traded to the Mets after Jim Bowden of The Athletic mentioned that the two teams could be a trade match.
Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com, in the same vein, latched on to that possibility. However, the trade proposal, at least from a Rockies perspective, leaves a bit to be desired.
There’s a lot of issues with this trade from a Rockies perspective.
First off, Nolan Arenado has to waive his no-trade clause. That’s the least of the issues here, frankly, as Arenado would likely accept a deal to the Mets since they are contenders. Also, as Castrovince notes, Arenado’s mom was born in Queens, New York so he likely wouldn’t be completely opposed to moving to New York.
Secondly, for that return, the Rockies are not going to include Ben Bowden. The Rockies are already in desperate need of relievers and particularly of the left-handed variety. If they trade Bowden too, they have to get more than that return.
Thirdly, the return is … not great. For the Rockies to trade Arenado, they need to hit it out of the park. Sure, the Mets could completely take the contract off of the Rockies’ hands and that’s $35 million a season that the Rockies have room for and they could extend shortstop Trevor Story long-term but if you are going to need more than one top prospect (Alvarez).
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If it is only one top prospect, it will need to be a prospect a little bit closer to the major leagues. Alvarez, who just turned 19 less than two weeks ago, is MLB.com’s 59th overall prospect (the Mets #2 prospect) but he has played 42 games as a professional and those 42 were in rookie-ball. In other words, he’s not going to be on the Rockies’ 26-man roster any time soon, which is a big problem for them.
Ventura, 20, is the Mets #23 prospect and he has pitched 59 innings as a pro and none of them have been above rookie-ball.
Davis, 28 in April, would likely take over for Arenado at third base as he played third base and left field for the Mets the past few seasons. He only has one full season in the majors (excluding the shortened 2020 season), though. In 2019, he played in 140 games and he hit .307/.369/.527 with 22 home runs, 57 RBI, and he had an OPS+ of 137. He would be a huge step down from Arenado defensively as in 2019, though, he had -20 Defensive Runs Saved (-11 in left field and -9 at third base). You aren’t going to replace Arenado with a defender equal to him (he has won the NL Platinum glove numerous times for a reason) but that is a huge dropoff.
Perhaps the Mets are a fit for Arenado but if the trade looks like that, Rockies fans will be even angrier with ownership and the front office than they are now. They need to get more in return in a trade and/or remove Bowden from it to even be a consideration. If not, the Rockies will either find another suitor or keep him for the 2021 season.