What Are the Odds Nolan Arenado Gets Traded?

By  //  September 8, 2020

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Arenado signed an eight-year, $260M extension

Less than a year after Arenado signed an eight-year, $260 million extension, he was upset with the state of the team. Arenado didn’t like that the Rockies weren’t actively trying to improve the team after a 71-91 season, leading to speculation that he could be traded.

Over the winter, there was some serious tension between the Colorado Rockies and third baseman Nolan Arenado.

Less than a year after Arenado signed an eight-year, $260 million extension, he was upset with the state of the team.

Arenado didn’t like that the Rockies weren’t actively trying to improve the team after a 71-91 season, leading to speculation that he could be traded.

While trade talk cooled, before the season started MLB odds had Arenado gone, with -250 odds to be traded and +170 to stay with the Rockies by the end of the 2020 season. So where do things stand now with Arenado and the Rockies?

Not Right Now

As far as Arenado being traded before the trade deadline, a move seems highly unlikely. For starters, the Rockies are more likely to be buyers than sellers at the deadline.

After a hot start to the season, Colorado has cooled down during the latter part of August. Nevertheless, they are hovering around .500, which is more than enough to get a team to the postseason with eight teams from each league qualifying.

For now, the Rockies are a safe bet to make the playoffs, which should make both Arenado and the club happy.

Moreover, Arenado’s trade value right now isn’t particularly high.

The eight-year, $260 million extension he signed before the 2019 season limits the number of teams that can afford his contract.

It also lowers the value the Rockies can expect to receive in a deal for him with regard to prospects. Moreover, Arenado has not been at his best in 2020.

Given the unusual circumstances of the season, there’s no need to overreact to a subpar season. Nevertheless, Arenado’s OPS this year is .776, which is more than 100 points below his career OPS of .894.

Long-Term, Anything Can Happen

While a trade involving Arenado is unlikely in the short-term, anything can happen once we reach the offseason.

Arenado could easily become disgruntled with team management again. With the third baseman taking up a significant chunk of Colorado’s payroll, the Rockies have less flexibility to pursue other free agents who can improve the team.

If Arenado feels the club isn’t doing enough to put a competitive team on the field, he might express his desire to play elsewhere.

While the Rockies won’t be in a rush to trade away one of their core players, finding a taker for Arenado would help their payroll flexibility.

Arenado is set to make $35 million per year every season through 2024 and remains under contract through 2026. While that contract is on their books, the Rockies aren’t likely to pursue any free agents that will command long-term deals.

At the same time, there will surely be suitors if Arenado is made available on the trade market, as his sluggish 2020 campaign will be seen as an aberration.

The Bottom Line

While it’s a safe bet that Arenado will spend the rest of 2020 with the Rockies, anything is possible beyond that.

If the Rockies make the playoffs this season, Arenado won’t have much reason to complain.

However, if Colorado falters in September and misses the postseason, look for the MLB public trade rumors involving Arenado to resurface. Even if it doesn’t happen right now, it’s not out of the question for Arenado to be traded within the next year or two.

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