Nolan Arenado grew up a Dodgers fan. Could he be headed to LA in a tumultuous offseason?
The Rockies might finally be ready to embrace a rebuild, and by doing so they’d be willing to give up their best trade piece in exchange for top prospect capital. The Dodgers are an ideal fit for what the Rockies want, the only issue being that they reside in the same division in the NL West.
However, Arenado has long been linked to a trade further west, and if the Rockies don’t move him there on their own accord, there’s a good chance he might try a more forceful tactic. Arenado’s eight-year, $260 million contract has an opt out after the 2021 season, and there’s high speculation he could head to Los Angeles anyway if the Dodgers are unable to trade for him in the interim.
So, how do the Rockies play this? For now, there’s still enough indecision from Arenado to play that card to their advantage. A middle infield prospect, preferably one nearly ready to play in the majors, would be ideal, as well as some pitching help. Coors Field is notoriously tough to pitch in given the high altitude, but it’s not impossible.
The Dodgers can satisfy both these needs and then some, given the prospect base.
What would a Rockies-Dodgers trade for Nolan Arenado look like?
Thanks to FanSided’s handy-dandy trade tool graphic, I can show you just that:
3B, Nolan Arenado
2B, Gavin Lux
3B, Tony Goese
RHP, Bobby Miller
RHP, Landon Knack
In exchange for Arenado, the Rockies could score an MLB-ready Lux, a potential third-base replacement in Dodgers No. 3 prospect Tony Goese, and future pitching help in Dodgers pitching prospects Bobby Miller (No. 7) and Landon Knack (No. 15). That’s four top-15 prospects in exchange for one of the top third basemen in all of baseball. Arenado’s OPS took a dip last season, but some of that was based on an under-the-radar shoulder injury he had taken care of this past offseason. Safe to say he looks fine now.
Arenado’s best trait is his defense. The hot corner is not an easy position to play, but Arenado’s mastered it to the tune of eight gold gloves…as in every year he’s played in the major leagues. That type of consistent production at a premium position cannot be taught.
Why would the Rockies trade such a talent? Well, Arenado made his demands relatively clear last offseason, when he became upset with the Rockies direction and general manager Jeff Bridich. There’s no clear path towards success for the Rockies next season — this is a project, and one Arenado might not be around to see the end of.
By the sounds of it, Bridich and the Rockies want to reset their timeline, and the pressure of delivering for a superstar talent shouldn’t be on their radar if that’s the end game. A trade to the Dodgers fixes everything.