The New York Yankees are the odds-on favorites to acquire Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, but it’s a trade they shouldn’t make.
According to BetOnline, the New York Yankees are the odds-on favorite at +300 to land Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado by the first week of the 2020 season. This, of course, puts Yankees fans in a state of excitement.
Arenado can do it all. He’s a power-hitter who also hits for average and bats in an incredible amount of runs every year. Not to mention, he’s one of the best defensive players in the game. Any team would be lucky to have him.
He probably will not be dealt. At least, not anytime soon. Nonetheless, the Yankees are the favorite to land him if a trade does happen.
But, if Yankees fans can possibly allow objectivity in their world, they’d come to one tough conclusion: they shouldn’t acquire Arenado.
Arenado will be 29 in mid-April. The only possible complaint about his abilities is the question of whether or not he can do what he’s done at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly ballpark in the league — anywhere else. But the issue with the Yankees acquiring him lies in the trade package they would have to present, and, of course, the money.
Let’s take a look at the events that have led to discussions of Arenado being moved.
The Rockies selected Arenado in the 2009 MLB Draft and made his major league debut in 2013. He quickly became the face of the Rockies franchise and the best third baseman in the game.
In seven years, Arenado has a career slash line of .295/.351/.546. He has won a Gold Glove every year since he was called up and is a four-time Silver Slugger. Arenado has additionally finished top-ten in NL MVP voting every year since 2015. He led the National League in doubles in 2017 (43), in home runs in 2015 (42), 2016 (41), and 2018 (38), and in RBI in 2015 (130) and 2016 (133).
In 2015, he led MLB in sacrifice flies with 11 and in total bases with 354. In 2016, he led the NL in total bases with 352. Arenado also plays jaw-dropping defense at the hot corner. He has a career DRS of 117 and UZR of 47.9.
During last year’s offseason, the Rockies extended Arenado to an eight-year, $260 million deal. The contract included an opt-out after three years and a full no-trade clause. The Rockies have listened to offers for Arenado during this offseason, though. Discussions have been with teams like the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, and Texas Rangers, to name a few.
In a statement made in January, Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said, “We have listened to teams regarding Nolan, and nothing has come of it. We are going to move forward pretty much as we expected — with Nolan in the purple and black and as our third baseman.”
In response, Arenado said, “There’s a lot of disrespect from people there that I don’t want to be a part of… you can quote that.”
Arenado clearly felt disrespected that the Rockies were listening to offers for him and would potentially ask him to waive his NTC. If he’s that unhappy, there’s a chance he would agree to waive his NTC and move to another team.
If the Yankees were to acquire him, they would have to give up at least one of their youngsters like Miguel Andujar and Clint Frazier, along with a high-end prospect like Deivi Garcia and some other established players such as Aaron Hicks. They would have to depart with players who have proven themselves and have become important to the team. They’d also probably part ways with players with promising futures like Garcia, whom many believe can be a superstar pitcher.
The bigger problem is money. The Rockies would likely have to eat some of Arenado’s salary but even so, his salary would be a big one on the Yankees’ payroll. Giancarlo Stanton already has a monster contract and now they have to pay Gerrit Cole, who just signed the biggest contract of any pitcher in MLB history.
One must not forget that the Yankees also have yet to pay the Baby Bombers. Most notably, Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres among others have not been paid and are arbitration-eligible for the time being. Others, like DJ LeMahieu and James Paxton, do not have many years left on their deals.
Granted, there’s a chance that several Yankees who are due to be paid will not be in the coming years, but the Yankees are still going to have to sign some big-time players to big-time deals. As things stand, New York is already going to have payroll problems. Paying Arenado will greatly exacerbate that situation.
As much as fans love Nolan Arenado and want him to be on this win-now team, trading for him is unrealistic. It could additionally cause issues for the organization sooner rather than later.