If Nolan Arenado is unlikely to be traded, the Dodgers should visit the Reds’ sell-off.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are caught between a rock and a hard place in terms of extending franchise cornerstone Justin Turner.
The team has invited Turner to move on if he finds a preferable offer, but that recommendation was likely a little cheeky — after all, there are very few teams who can outspend the Dodgers on the aging third baseman.
But the apparent inevitability of a Turner extension has not stopped the Dodgers from being connected to the biggest possible third base prize this offseason in Rockies star Nolan Arenado, who may or may not be going anywhere at all.
Jeff Passan addressed the Dodgers and many other hungry teams in his Monday morning notes column, stating the obvious (they still need a third baseman) before delving into both the Arenado market and what should be the No. 1 story on every fan’s radar, the impending Cincinnati Reds sell-off.
Coupled with Arenado’s likely inactivity, should the Dodgers just bite the bullet and contact the Reds about Eugenio Suarez, like everyone else?
Passan stated that Arenado seems more unlikely to be dealt than ever, but that certain teams have considered adding the All-Star third baseman simply to deal him elsewhere, facilitating his movement to a team the Rockies wouldn’t want to steer him to…perhaps, say, their division-rival Dodgers?
"Conventional wisdom inside baseball is that Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado isn’t going anywhere. He’s owed $199 million over the next six seasons, and the Rockies are not the sort of franchise that’s inclined to eat tens of millions of dollars to pay down a contract that’s only two years old. While a straight-up deal might be a stretch, multiple teams, sources said, have considered the possibility of serving as a way station for Arenado in a potential deal. Here’s how it would work: The team would take a player it believes has an onerous contract and deal him to the Rockies for Arenado. The team that acquires Arenado then would flip him — and cash from what it saved by ridding itself of the bad deal — to a third team for prospects."
However, by far the more likely option is Arenado sticking it out in Colorado, which would make a call to the Reds a natural next step, considering they’re dealing every star who isn’t tied down — and are even entertaining some who are.
Suarez would be cheaper than Arenado, wouldn’t be a long-term budgetary lockdown (though he’s under contract through 2024 with a team option for ’25 at just $9.4 million annually), and is coming off the dreaded down year in 2020. Rarely do you come across an Arenado Lite (on the offensive side of the ball) who a team is desperate to get rid of instead of maintain.
The Nationals are certainly chirping at him, apparently done with their years-long pursuit of Kris Bryant.
So would the Dodgers be better served plundering the most willing trade partner in baseball instead of trying to chip away at the Rockies’ facade, especially considering the relative prospect costs of both acquisitions?