Reports came out earlier this week that the Rangers reached out to the Colorado Rockies for a trade involving their star third baseman Nolan Arenado. Ten months ago, Nolan and the Rockies agreed to an eight-year, $260 million extension. However, the Rockies are listening to the Rangers’ potential offers for a blockbuster deal.
— Patrick Saunders (@psaundersdp) December 19, 2019
Texas continues their quest for a prime third baseman after missing on Anthony Rendon and likely passing on a four year offer for 34-year-old Josh Donaldson. There was some small noise aiming toward the New York Mets a couple of weeks ago in a potential deal sending Rangers reliever Jose LeClerc to New York for infielder Jed Lowrie (and other pieces). If Texas continues to shop the free-agent market, there isn’t a huge name that pops up. The Rangers could reunite with Asdrubal Cabrera and sign him to a one year deal. Another option is to go in-house and continue the third base carousel and try out Nick Solak or Danny Santana (though with Delino DeShields in Cleveland, Danny’s best option is center field).
The Nolan Arenado possibility comes with a bunch of strings attached. Nolan made it clear over the last few years that he wants to play for a World Series contender. While Texas is nowhere near that category, I’d say debuting in a new stadium is another “once in a lifetime” opportunity any player would covet. Also, the Astros look like they are on a small decline, opening the AL West for the Rangers, Angels, and Athletics.
There are a few “caution flags” on Arenado’s contract before fans jump on the bandwagon for making this move. As mentioned, Nolan has an opt-out after the 2021 season. He could declare free agency after only two years of control. Therefore, if the Rangers acquire Arenado, there’s a chance the Rangers give a boatload of prospects for just two years of Nolan Arenado (unless Texas requires Nolan to waive the opt-out clause as part of the trade). Another factor is that Arenado has a no-trade clause where he can veto any deal he doesn’t like. Therefore, he could hunt towards a broader market with more exposure and a constant winning franchise like the Yankees, Red Sox, or even the Rockies’ NL West rival, the Dodgers.
The question of the day is whether or not the Rangers should pursue this opportunity? Well, of course, they should at least explore it. However, the strings attached could cause messiness in the Rangers developing farm system, and Arenado will NOT come cheap like Corey Kluber did last week. The Rockies are in an interesting spot. Colorado made the postseason in 2017 and 2018 as a Wild Card entry and advanced to the NLDS in 2018. The Rockies regressed to a 71-91 record in 2019; therefore, it’s unclear if Colorado is in a rebuild mode or not.
FOUR HUNDRED AND EIGHTY TWO FRIGGIN FEET FOR NOLAN ARENADO MY GOD pic.twitter.com/OkXLjeXQ8N
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) September 11, 2019
There’s no doubt that if the Rangers acquire Arenado, it’ll be a major triumph for the organization after the Angels’ acquisition of Anthony Rendon. However, the price would end up being significantly more expensive than what the Angels gave up to sign Rendon. There’s also a question if Arenado’s offensive production comes aided with Coors Field. Nolan’s OPS away from Coors is 200 points less than at home. However, in seven games at Globe Life Park, Arenado’s OPS is 1.130 (fourth highest at any MLB ballpark). If Texas continues this pursuit of the third straight Platinum glove winner, Rangers-land could start the new decade off with a bang.