Star third baseman Nolan Arenado and the Colorado Rockies agreed to an eight-year contract extension worth $260 million last Tuesday that could keep him in the team through 2026.
“At the end of the day my heart was here,” Arenado said Wednesday, a day after agreeing to the deal.
Nolan Arenado’s contract has a $32.5 million average annual value, which is second behind the $34.42 million for pitcher Zack Greinke in a $206.5 million contract with the Diamondbacks that began in 2016.
Arenado has a full no-trade provision and he can terminate the contract after three seasons. Long-term deals like the ones Manny Machado, Bryce Harper and Arenado signed carry risk, but the Rockies and their star third baseman are a perfect fit. The Rockies are in win-now mode and committing to a player cashing in at the right time is a smart move.
The Future Is Bright in Colorado
Nolan Arenado’s decision to not test the market makes sense, the Rockies are finally putting together a strong, young pitching staff, led by Kyle Freeland and they’re coming off consecutive postseason appearances for the first time ever.
The Rockies appear to be committed to their homegrown talent, hoping to extend their postseason window. Last April, center fielder Charlie Blackmon agreed to an extension that runs through at least 2021 and established free agents like Daniel Murphy and Ian Desmond are coming to Coors Field. The team also fortified their bullpen before the start of the 2018 season by signing Wade Davis, Jake McGee and Bryan Shaw.
Even though Davis, McGee and Shaw struggled in their first season in Colorado, the Rockies reached the National League Division Series They’re still looking for their first postseason win since 2009 though but it won’t be long before they make a deep run.
Arenado is obviously their franchise player, he’s won the Gold Glove in each of his first six seasons, he’s a four-time All-Star and he finished in the top 10 of MVP voting every season from 2015 to 2018.
Nolan Arenado Is Worthy of This Long-Term Extension
The 27-year-old third baseman hit .297 (175-for-590) with 104 runs, 38 doubles, two triples, a National League-leading 38 home runs, 110 RBI, 73 walks and two stolen bases across 156 games last season.
The six consecutive Gold Gloves he’s captured surpassed Larry Walker’s previous franchise record of five and he also won his second consecutive Platinum Glove after leading National League third basemen in total chances (430), putouts (104), assists (312), double plays (44), defensive runs above average (8.1) and total zone fielding runs above average (16).
Arenado has led the majors in RBI twice (130 in 2015, 133 in 2016), has tied for the National League lead in home runs twice (42 in 2015, 41 in 2016) and as mentioned above, led the league in home runs in 2018 with 38.
Rather than take the risk of being outbid for Arenado’s services by teams like the Yankees and Dodgers, who were rumored to go after him, the Rockies secured the face of their franchise at an age when a long-term extension ages well. Now the Rockies front office can focus on adding players around Arenado to keep the team competitive for a long time to come.
Drafted by the Rockies in the second round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Arenado has batted .291 (975-for-3,348) with 524 runs, 222 doubles, 25 triples, 186 home runs, 616 RBI, 285 walks and 13 stolen bases in 876 career games across parts of six seasons.