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A free agent market in disarray has the Rockies and Nolan Arenado in limbo

Rockies news and links for Sunday, January 27, 2019

Saunders: Nolan Arenado’s $30 million bid contract is a line in the sand | Denver Post ($)

It has been an interesting offseason, to say the least. Not because of the (Not) Hot Stove, but because Spring Training is weeks away and over one hundred free agents are still unsigned, including some of the biggest stars in the game. The Rockies are watching intently as guys like Manny Machado and Bryce Harper wait for fair deals, knowing it’ll set the precedent for their superstar entering free agency next year, Nolan Arenado.

In this article, Patrick Saunders discusses the stale free agent market, Nolan’s contract status, and argues the apparent impasse between club and player isn’t just dollars and cents:

Arenado’s contract stance... is about more than money, it’s about the shifting balance of power in baseball. It’s the latest line in the sand, and it hints at troubled times ahead...

In other words, owners and players are in a stare-down, and the future of the game is on the line. Is it collusion, or is it greedy athletes? Saunders believes Nolan is ready to play ball and sign a contract, so it might just be market value that needs to “play out.” That’s fine, but his arbitration hearing is around the corner and arguing with Nolan about his value won’t help the situation. It’s time to commit big money to a long-term extension for Nado if the Rockies want him in purple pinstripes past 2019.

Baseball’s new normal: An offseason in which the strategy is wait, wait, wait |

Jeff Passan, now with ESPN, doesn’t have much better news to offer. As he points out, the Washington Nationals spent more money on one player this offseason (Patrick Corbin) than 13 other teams have spent on free agents combined—and yes, the Rockies are one of those teams. This trend is accentuated this year, but it began last season. Is it the “new normal”?

Another concerning trend Passan brings up is the length of contracts being handed out. Of the 83 players who have signed this offseason, only ten have committed to more than two years, and an incredible 53 of those 83 players are on one-year contracts. As a result, the free agent market will continue to be flooded with veterans who can’t find stable work for the foreseeable future—a “market-clogging cycle,” according to Passan, that’s here to stay.

Despite big changes, Trevor Story confident in Colorado Rockies roster | Rox Pile

So if the Rockies’ roster isn’t changing anytime soon, what can we make of it as it stands? Kevin Henry of Rox Pile had an exclusive chat with Trevor Story this past Friday, and the star shortstop is confident in their lineup’s ability to compete for a championship.

Trevor knows the Rockies were eliminated from contention in disappointing fashion last season. It was one of the worst offensive series of the year and it came at the worst possible time. If the Rockies have any hope of returning to the Postseason for a third straight year, Trevor will have to play a major role and may even need to improve upon his outstanding 2018 campaign.

Sources: Padres in mix for Machado, Realmuto |

Unfortunately, the Rockies path to the Postseason may hit a speed bump from an unexpected source—the San Diego Padres. The Pads are already loaded with young talent, and Thomas Harrigan of reports they are now interested in signing Manny Machado and trading for J.T. Realmuto.

Supposedly, San Diego can toss their hat in the ring now that Machado’s price seems to be sinking, and have some of the very best prospect depth to work out a deal with Miami. A.J. Preller may very well be trying to put an end to the Padres 12-year Postseason drought, and other clubs should be taking note on his willingness to acquire talent.

Colorado Rockies give back and get something in return in hospital visit | Rox Pile

On Friday, Trevor Story, David Dahl, and Kyle Freeland all visited UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital to spread some joy and lift some spirits. Kevin Henry had the opportunity to talk to Story about the trip, a special fan they met there, and what they learned from the experience. The Rockies continue to do a fantastic job staying involved in their community and do their best to make a difference in the lives of their fans when the opportunity arises.

Can Larry Walker make the jump to 2020 enshrinement? | Beyond the Box Score

Lastly, Devan Fink of Beyond the Box Score takes a closer look at Larry Walker’s Hall of Fame chances next year specifically through the lens of Edgar Martinez and Tim Raines’ similarly long path to Cooperstown. There’s good signs and bad signs, but luckily the 2020 ballot won’t be as crowded as it has been recently. Walker is trending upwards, but has many non-public voters to convince he deserves to be enshrined as the first player to represent the Colorado Rockies in the Hall.