I’ll get over you, I know I will. You left a hole in my heart. But I won’t shed a tear for you, ‘cuz I’m the King of Wishful Thinking – Go West
For today’s column, I am hearkening back to the first year of writing for Think Blue Planning Committee, when I would relate the days column to a song lyric. King of Wishful Thinking has been rattling around in my head, so let’s go with it.
There are a lot of different things this could apply to in the Dodger Universe. We wish the Dodgers’ front office would have made a bigger splash this winter. We wish that Dave Roberts had made better bullpen usage choices. We wish the Astros weren’t the big bunch of cheaters that they are.
Big in the baseball world news today is that of Nolan Arenado, and probably what he wishes would have gone differently. The perennial All-Star third baseman for the Colorado Rockies signed a long term contract with his team last season, and now he finds himself wishing maybe he hadn’t done so.
And who could blame him? He re-signed with the Rockies, probably hoping to stay with one team his entire career, which is rare these days, and with the caveat that their front office was going to do everything they could to make the Rockies a competitive team. They tied with Los Angeles in 2018 for the division, before losing to them in the Game 163 to decide the winner. But they took a huge step backwards last season, coming in fourth place in the NL West with a record of 71-91, 35 games out of first.
Rumors of Arenado being available for trade started this winter and understandably angered him. He has a full no-trade clause in his contract, again because I’m sure he didn’t see himself going elsewhere. But after the ‘talks’ with other teams about his trade, the backing off and the uncertainty surrounding the team, there are rumblings that Arenado has told the team to either add big pieces or trade him. It seems that the situation as become untenable, and maybe the two should just part ways.
So this is where Dodgers fans wish that management could just swoop in and make a trade happen. There is not talent of Arenado’s caliber available very often. He is a five-time All-Star, seven-time Gold Glove and three-time Platinum Glove winner, and a four-time Silver Slugger. He’s a right-handed bat that the Dodgers would love to insert into their lineup who hit 41 home runs last season, only half of which were at Coors Field. Los Angeles has been in talks with other third basemen this winter, including Anthony Rendon and Josh Donaldson, both of whom signed elsewhere. I don’t know many fans who would not want to see a player the caliber of Arenado in Dodger Blue. There are quite a few hurdles to run over before that could happen, however.
First is that no-trade clause. This one might not be as difficult, because Arenado would probably only waive it to be on a contending team, and the Dodgers are the best in the NL. He attended El Toro High School in Southern California, and that could be a draw for him to come back home.
Second, the Rockies would not want to trade one of their stars to a team within their own division. But they may have backed themselves into a corner and leave themselves little option. Arenado has six years left on his $270 million contract , and not many teams could absorb that amount into their payroll.
Third, the Dodgers would have to give up quite a few players to get the deal done. But that they have, and the kind of players that could get Colorado to rethink their stance on not trading inter-divisionally. The Rockies are said to be looking for major league ready talent, a catcher, and some prospects. Hey! The Dodgers have all of those! Even if they’re still not willing to include Gavin Lux, they have a Top 10 farm system, a huge catching prospect, and a current pitcher or outfielder or two that might fill the Rockies need very nicely. I’ll leave that part up to the front office, but if anyone could make a deal like that and still keep their best, it’s Friedman and Co.
It is quite the possibility that this will end up being nothing more than wishful thinking on Dodger fans’ part. The way this winter has been going, Arenado could end up on the St. Louis Cardinals and fans will be massively disappointed again. But now is the time for the Dodgers to make the big trade, and for Nolan to Go West, and send the Dodgers on their path to the Cinderella ending.