Thank you, Nolan Arenado, for some of the greatest work in Rockies history.
We’ll always remember the good times. We’ll remember the walk-off homer and a bloodied Arenado celebrating on Father’s Day. We’ll remember insane catches on tarps, Platinum Gloves being distributed on Opening Day and some of the best Rockies action ever (#NolanBeingNolan).
Unfortunately, we will never see what his eight-year extension was meant to accomplish.
The face of the franchise was unable to get what he was looking for in Colorado. We now watch from afar as he works toward baseball immortality in St. Louis. We are left to watch our beloved Arenado suit up in a new uniform, paying a visit to Denver once a year to the tune of thunderous Coors Field applause and a collective reflection by Rockies fans on what could have been. If eight years held true in Colorado like his 2019 extension was designed for, we had every reason to anticipate he would enter Cooperstown with a Rockies cap on his plaque.
If he gets what he looks for in St. Louis, that plaque is now destined to have an ‘STL’ on it.
Bud Black said earlier this winter that he believed the Rockies could still compete with their 2021 roster, stating “a lot of key players that we have had, are still with us.” Without the key player, it is tough to imagine Black has similar optimism as before. It can be excruciating to look ahead with an Arenado-sized hole on the roster, but the future lies in how the Rockies will approach the new landscape.
As painful and dismal as the future may look right now, at least the landscape for the Rockies is... open for a rebuild?
This new landscape will reportedly cost the Rockies $50 million—just for the Cardinals to take him. If a rebuild is to ensue in Colorado, a Wade Davis-sized transaction already lies in the way. Davis signed for three years and $52 million before 2018. If the Rockies retained Arenado through 2021, his opt-out would allow him to walk free, allowing the Rockies to save that $50 million in the process. It would have cost $35 million for one more season of Arenado, and there wouldn’t be a prospect return if the Rockies let him walk, but a $15 million difference is worth something, too.
At least for now, let’s celebrate what was. We have been privileged to watch Arenado for eight seasons, a constant producer for a team that went from final standings hell to the NLDS and back during his tenure. He’s persevered through 90-loss seasons and brief postseason runs alike, giving us nothing short of impeccable performance as documented through All-Star appearances and final MVP voting. We’ll still see him at Coors Field, but his three games per year as a visitor will be savored much more than the 81 we’re accustomed to.
Arenado sets off to further his quest for October excellence and the Hall of Fame. We don’t know where the Rockies are headed, but we can only hope it isn’t in a simple pursuit of saving money. It’s time to savor every moment of Trevor Story before it’s too late.
We at Purple Row say thank you Nolan, and wish you luck on your next adventure!
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This news was clearly overshadowed on Friday, but free agent Daniel Murphy has called it a career after 12 big league seasons. With one month (?) until spring training begins, Murphy picks an interesting time to announce his retirement. He retires a three-time All-Star and with a second-place NL MVP finish to his name.
Thomas Harding writes out a mailbag-style article; topics include who will patrol center field for the Rockies, the “best plan” at first base, and discussion surrounding a team rebuild. “A full rebuild would be truly listening to offers for German Márquez, Kyle Freeland, Jon Gray and Antonio Senzatela, considering the hauls those starters could attract. But there has been no indication the Rockies are dealing their pitching.”
Lower Downtown could be changing, as some buildings in the immediate vicinity of Coors Field have been sold. Donald Stalkfleet, the owner of the Sports Column, has sold his building at 1930 Blake Street to Francois Safieddine, the “restaurateur behind the Viewhouse Eatery, Bar and Rooftop concept.”
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