MLB insider’s update on Dodgers-Rockies Nolan Arenado trade is bleak

Thomas Carannante
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 23: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies reacts as he walks back to the dugout after his strikeout at Dodger Stadium on June 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 23: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies reacts as he walks back to the dugout after his strikeout at Dodger Stadium on June 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Don’t get too excited for a Nolan Arenado trade, Dodgers fans.

Though the Nolan Arenado trade buzz seemed like it’d be a top offseason priority for the Los Angeles Dodgers, that notion has come crashing down to earth in recent weeks.

First, we had the Dodgers come out and talk about their financial losses amid the shortened season in addition to the fact they laid off at least 20 employees shortly after the team’s World Series victory. Then came Andrew Friedman’s comments about how the team is encouraging their free agents to explore opportunities elsewhere.

Not entirely encouraging! And if commentary from MLB insiders holds strong for you, this scenario really isn’t trending in the right direction. ESPN’s Buster Olney is the latest to weigh in, and while he makes some obvious points, there are others Dodgers fans perhaps didn’t previously think of.

"“If the Dodgers and Rockies ever seriously engaged in conversations, L.A. would presumably ask Colorado to pick up some of the money owed to Arenado — and maybe a lot of it,” Olney wrote. “How palatable would a scenario like that be for the Rockies, who would basically be handing their best player to their main rival while paying some of his salary?“There would still be risk for the Dodgers, as well. Arenado turns 30 in April, and given how teams evaluate these decisions, the Dodgers (or any other team) would probably assume there would be a decline in the performance, especially given Arenado’s all-out style of play. (To date, Arenado has been incredibly durable, playing in at least 155 games in each of the past five full seasons).“The Dodgers would have to be comfortable with the data underneath Arenado’s home/road splits, the perpetual mitigation that comes up with the performance evaluation of Colorado hitters:Arenado in his career in Coors Field: .322/.376/.609.Arenado in his career on the road: .263/.322/.471.“The Dodgers’ adept front office would dig through that, and also the question of whether the organization would be better off sticking with internal options.”"

OK. Well we knew the risk of inheriting a $200 million contract for a player entering his age-30 season and we don’t really view Arenado’s “all-out” style of play as an issue (that’s what you want, right?). He’s rarely ever injured. Why are we going to worry about that now?

However, the two pertinent points in regards to the Dodgers asking the Rockies to send them money in any trade (why in the heck would Colorado do that?) and his splits outside of Coors Field are eye-opening.

His career stat line at Dodger Stadium? Not bad, but not great.

  • .251/.312/.473 with 32 runs scored, 16 home runs and 35 RBI in 65 games.

Given the Dodgers have an analytics-heavy approach in the front office, one would assume split stats would be a big factor in the decision making, especially when there’s that big of a drop off. Plus, if they’re going to ask for the Rockies to subsidize part of his contract, they better be sending over an incredible haul in the deal because it’s not like Colorado is a spendthrift franchise.

Just more ammo for folks to throw cold water on these trade rumors, and it’s hard to disagree with any of it.

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