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Nolan Arenado, the NL East, and the word ‘rumor’

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Rockies news and links for December 22, 2019

The word “rumor” does some heavy lifting this time of year. For all the scuttlebutt about whether the Colorado Rockies might trade Nolan Arenado, scarce are the articles and tweets that actually qualify as rumors.

Start with the fact that the Rockies “are willing to listen” or whatever. That’s not a rumor, and I’m sure every team “listens” to trade offers for their stars every offseason. Because that’s their job. Unfortunately Jeff Bridich has the PR skills of a guy who went to Harvard who always thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room, so he has done little to clarify the situation.

So maybe there are some trade rumors, and maybe we should actually worry. But it mostly just seems like trade talk or speculation, with a lot of writers saying a team would want to trade for Arenado if he was available. Which, no kidding?

Nolan Arenado standing out as Mets blockbuster trade candidate | New York Post

Not a rumor. But noted here, and relevant in all of these discussions, is that opt-out clause after 2021 that both makes this trade chatter feel reasonable from Colorado’s perspective and makes a deal more complicated for potential trading partners.

The Mets, as a big market team looking to make a splash, might need to turn to attempting a blockbuster like luring Arenado away from the Rockies. At least that’s the argument from Joel Sherman in a column that is largely about all the players the Mets won’t be trading for.

“Major League Baseball team would benefit from adding star player.” That point is made with details specific to the Mets here. But it is fair to note that if this ball started rolling down hill, a big market franchise like the Mets would have the resources to be a dancing partner for the Rockies.

Braves still hope to sign Josh Donaldson, but a trade is a possibility if they don’t | The Athletic ($)

Not a rumor. The Braves would probably be considered a nice fit for a trade from the Rockies’ perspective in terms of a potential return, although I would be a bit nervous about how our side might get worked in dealing with a franchise that is seemingly much smarter these days. But there would probably need to be some philosophical changes from Atlanta’s side before trade talks became a thing.

David O’Brien notes that it would be out of character for Atlanta to want a longer term deal with big dollars even if they could buy Arenado out of that opt-out clause. It would probably take that front office deciding it needs to go all in now instead of staying the course, and that assumes the Rockies are actually willing to engage in serious trade talks.

Because let’s remember what so much of this is based on - as cited here by O’Brien, a report from Ken Rosenthal that the Rockies “might consider trading” Arenado (headline: an Arenado trade is “no longer a preposterous idea”). That’s some wobbly wording to take too seriously, and while Rosenthal’s explanation of why a deal might make sense is thorough and helpful, it still hasn’t been followed by much in the way of actual rumors.