If the Dodgers want Nolan Arenado, they’ll probably have to pay up.
Trade rumors are fun, but one simply has to proceed with caution. So far this offseason, we’ve heard the Los Angeles Dodgers linked to Francisco Lindor and Nolan Arenado, both of whom will fill needs in some capacity for the World Series champs.
However, we’re not sure why Arenado is being as floated as liberally as he is. The All-Star plays for the division-rival Colorado Rockies and is among one of the best all-around players in the game. On what planet would the Rox just go ahead and move him to the Dodgers, who have continually owned them in the NL West?
We’re not here to rule out any potential trade, but Dodgers fans should know that LA will have to pay more than any other team if the Rockies were willing to make this happen.
These rumors span back to last offseason when Arenado’s relationship with the Rockies came to a head and he publicly called out the organization, leading many to believe general manager Jeff Bridich would capitalize at that moment and trade the slugger to get maximum value because Arenado has an opt-out clause after the 2021 season.
That never happened, but we did learn the Rockies reportedly wanted a combination of major and minor league talent, as well as a catcher. The Dodgers have a surplus of ALL of that with one of the deepest rosters and farm systems in baseball, as well as a beneficial backstop situation featuring Will Smith, Austin Barnes and No. 2 prospect Keibert Ruiz.
But the Rockies won’t be handing off Arenado to the World Series champs. There’s no doubt they’d make sure to get value above the stated maximum elsewhere.
There’s another reason this will cost extra, too. Given the financial restrictions MLB owners are soon to impose on themselves, there’s almost no reason for Arenado to exercise his opt-out clause because he’ll be leaving five years and $164 million on the table, which will take him through his age-35 season. He won’t be getting more money than that in free agency next offseason if he were to hit the open market.
So now that the Dodgers have won the World Series and Arenado’s commitment will more than likely be for six years, the Rockies will be demanding a hefty package from their division rivals if Andrew Friedman comes calling. Don’t expect this to be anywhere like the Mookie Betts deal. There will be top prospects and legitimate MLB talent going to Colorado in return.