I then proceeded to write an article saying why the Dodgers should go “all-in” on Anthony Rendon. Later that night, he signed with the Angels.
So, for the sake of this article, I’m not going to say the Dodgers should try and be “all-in” on Nolan Arenado. Or, maybe I should say the Cardinals need to be, that way he ends up a Dodger? Who knows. However, what I do know is the Dodgers should try their absolute best to make Arenado a Dodger.
Last offseason, myself and I’m sure many others were shocked when Arenado agreed to an eight-year deal worth $260 million with the Rockies. A lot of people thought he would test the free-agent market, and a lot of people, including me, thought that he would eventually wind up a Dodger. Though it looked like Dodgers fans’ dreams of Arenado playing third in a Dodgers uniform were shattered, it appears that there is hope it can become a reality.
Earlier in the offseason, the Rockies surprisingly came out and publicly said that they would consider the idea of trading their star third-baseman. After a disappointing 2019 season, and with things not looking bright in Colorado, it made some sense to potentially see what the market is. Oh, not to mention, you still owe him around $230 million or so.
Rumors came and went, and it appeared as if nothing was going to happen. The Cardinals said they were interested, but that essentially went nowhere.
On Monday, Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich came out and said that Arenado was going to be on the Opening Day roster. “We have listened to teams regarding Nolan and really nothing has come of it,” he said. “We are going to move forward pretty much as we expected — with Nolan in the purple and black and as our third baseman. So we can put this to bed.” All appeared well, and it looked as if the five-time All-Star wouldn’t be going anywhere.
Fast forward a few hours.
Arenado heard the trade rumors all offseason, loud and clear. In a text to MLB.com, he said, “There’s a lot of disrespect from people there that I don’t want to be a part of. You can quote that. You ask what I thought of Jeff’s quotes and I say I don’t care what people say around there. There is a lot of disrespect.”
On Wednesday, Arenado issued an apology of sorts, but reflected on how he’s feeling about the situation. It was a little vague, and you can still see the frustration behind the words.
Alright, so what exactly does this mean? Time to speculate!
Obviously, this upset him, and understandably so. He bought into the team for the long-term, as opposed to testing the waters and taking his career elsewhere. Now granted, I don’t know how anyone could possibly turn down $260 million, but he agreed to stay in Colorado essentially for the remainder of his career. It’s easy to see as to why he feels betrayed.
Arenado’s contract is an interesting one. He has an opt-out after the 2021 season, so there’s a high possibility the Rockies can see him walk in two years. He also has a full no-trade clause, so regardless of if Colorado can swing a deal for him, he’ll have to approve it first. This really puts the Rockies in a tough situation. Do you try and fix the relationship with your star player, taking a chance he won’t opt out in two years, or do you try and trade him now, and get probably the best possible value you can for him?
Well, if they are having any thoughts of trading him, could there be a better fit than the Dodgers?
To start things off, Arenado was born in Newport Beach. He went to high school at El Toro in Lake Forest, which is about 50 miles away from Dodger Stadium. He’s a local kid. He grew up a Dodgers fan. Needless to say, I’m fairly certain that Arenado would love to come home and play in front of friends and family.
The Dodgers could offer arguably one of the best potential packages to the Rockies in a deal. According to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the Rockies are looking for big-league talent, along with minor-league prospects as well. Additionally, they’d like a No. 1 option at catcher in a deal too.
Well, not only do the Dodgers have prospects and big-league talent that could get a job done, they have a number of young talented catchers that could help sweeten the deal.
Arenado is a top 10 player in baseball, maybe even top five. Meaning, he’ll likely cost a hefty price. However, if you want to compare this to the Giancarlo Stanton situation, there’s a chance that the price won’t be as steep as one would think.
Coming off an MVP season with the Marlins in 2017, Stanton was traded to the Yankees for Starlin Castro, who was an All-Star shortstop, and two prospects. One of those prospects was rated as the No. 9 prospect in the Yankees’ system, the other was unranked. Again, this is coming off an MVP season, and he was going to be going into his age-28 season.
Now, granted, Stanton was owed nearly $300 million, but if that’s something to compare it to, the Dodgers could potentially still hold on to some pretty good prospects.
As I mentioned earlier, Arenado is owed roughly $230 million, and can opt out in two seasons. Teams could be hesitant to lose him, or to pay him that much money for the next seven years.
With that being said, what could a potential fair package look like?
Right off the bat, you would have to assume Keibert Ruiz would be included. Ruiz, the No. 3 prospect for LA, is also the No. 33 prospect in all of baseball. Additionally, he’s the No. 3 catcher in baseball as well. He split time between double-A and triple-A last season, hitting .261 with six home runs and 34 RBI. At the young age of 21, Ruiz could be the long-term answer at catcher the Rockies want.
If the Dodgers are going to part with their No. 3 overall prospect, I strongly think there is a possibility they can pull this trade off while holding onto Gavin Lux and Dustin May. Again, who knows what a trade could look like, but I’m on the believing side that it won’t cost as much as one would think.
Assuming LA could pull that off, there are a plethora of names the Rockies could choose from. Tony Gonsolin, Jeter Downs, Josiah Gray, Dennis Santana, DJ Peters and Mitchell White are some names that could be on the move. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rockies were interested in Kody Hoese, LA’s No. 6 rated prospect and 2019 first round draft pick. He could fill in for Arenado in a few years, and would make sense in a return. The Dodgers have a deep farm system, and can offer Colorado a number of different guys to choose from.
Moving on to big-league talent, some names to take a look at could be Alex Verdugo, Joc Pederson, Edwin Rios and Ross Stripling. Getting a young outfielder like Verdugo, or a power-hitting outfielder like Rios or Pederson could be a great pick-up, especially having them hit at Coors Field.
Again, this is just me throwing it out, so a trade might look something completely different from this. But, should the Dodgers offer a package of Keibert Ruiz, Josiah Gray, Joc Pederson and Edwin Rios, could the Rockies potentially get something better? They are getting a young catcher for the future, a young starting pitcher who is climbing up prospect ranking boards, along with two big-league bats who have proven they can hit at the major-league level.
Maybe other teams can offer more, and if they can, hopefully the Rockies can get a return of exactly what they’re hoping for.
Again, this is just all fun speculation while we wait for the season to start. Maybe the Dodgers haven’t even called to ask about Arenado, and maybe they never will. If that’s the case, then that’s fine. The Dodgers are likely going to win the division again in 2020, and they are likely going to be the favorites in the NL to reach the World Series. Theoretically, they don’t need Arenado.
However, they have the firepower to make it happen. Arenado will instantly make the Dodgers a better team next year and the foreseeable future.
Again, I’m not asking for the Dodgers to go “all-in” on Arenado. I’m just asking, you know, they strongly consider the possibility of trading for him.
Should the Dodgers try and acquire Nolan Arenado?
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