The Colorado Rockies have agreed to terms with third baseman Nolan Arenado, avoiding arbitration, according to Jon Heyman. The deal is reportedly for two years and worth $29.5 million. Arenado will earn $11.75 million this year, which is a substantial raise on his $5 million salary last season. He was projected to receive a $13.1 million contract through the arbitration process this offseason after finishing fifth in the National League Most Valuable Player vote. Next season he will earn $17.75 million instead of going to arbitration for a third time. Becuase of his super-two status, Arenado will have a fourth year of arbitration in 2019 before becoming a free agent.
Arenado has long been considered by those across the industry as one of the players most deserving of a long term extension. However, when he was asked recently about the possibility of a long term extension for Nolan, general manager Jeff Bridich deflected the question, saying, “We will work on trying to get a one-year deal done and if things come up, just like anything else, we are going to keep an open mind to anything.”
With this two-year deal, the Rockies and Arenado won’t have to worry about arbitration next season, and it could position the team to work out a longer term deal with the star third baseman.
In 2016 Nolan Arenado proved once again why he is considered one of the premier talents in all of baseball. For the second year in a row led the National League in home runs and RBI, was named to the NL All-Star team, and received a Silver Slugger. He also added a second consecutive top 10 finish in MVP voting on the strength of his .294/.362/.570 line with 43 home runs in 160 games played. Oh, and he was awarded his fourth consecutive Gold Glove and second straight Fielding Bible Award. He remains under contract through the 2019 season.
Friday’s announcement means the Rockies have agreed to contracts with three of the five players eligible for arbitration this offseason. Jordan Lyles agreed to a one-year contract worth $3.175 million on November 30 and Jake McGee signed for $5.9 million on December 2, just before the non-tender deadline.
Outfielder Charlie Blackmon and starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood remain unsigned, but that could change very quickly.