Time for Dodgers to Make the Big Trade for Nolan Arenado

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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.

 

35 thoughts on “Time for Dodgers to Make the Big Trade for Nolan Arenado

  1. Timely post Andy. We’ve obviously run out of baseball subjects to discuss and have migrated to guns, politics and off-color jokes. Now we can each come up with a suggested trade for Arenado, assuming that the Rox would actually be willing to send him to us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s the off season. You got something to say Jefe feel free.

    “Now we can each come up with a suggested trade for Arenado”

    Ok. Where’s yours? Guess I’ll start it.

    Rockies apparently looking for catching. We’ve got it. We’ve also got young third basemen we could include. And I think Joc Pederson could hit 40 home runs for the Rockies. I also think it’s possible, even likely, Arenado would want to remain a Dodger. Currently he could revoke trades to every team that might be interested or he may decide to spend two years somewhere else then test FA. The question remains – what does HE want? If he tells Colorado to make it happen with LA we have the pieces to do it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t think there’s any doubt he would like to come here, but I’m not sure we’re the ONLY team he would go to. Apparently he likes the Cards and has a very good relationship with Goldschmidt. The Rox are supposedly looking for major league ready pieces so they can compete this year. Pieces like Maeda, Joc/Pollock, Kike/CT3 are already in the majors but aren’t exciting enough to be the entire deal. Pieces like Ruiz, Vargas/Hoese, Gray/Gonsolin are almost major league ready. Maybe some combination of the above would satisfy everyone, including the Rockies fans.

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      1. First of all, thanks for the kind words.

        Here’s the thing. I really don’t know much. I don’t know how much Arendado would be worth without a no-trade list, much less WITH a no-trade and an opt-out AND being unhappy too.

        I have no clue at all. From what I’ve read, the guys behind that web-app do.

        I can only use what I have.

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      1. From your previous comments here plus what I’ve seen on another site, I know you that know your baseball Jesus, so I’m wondering if you’re just trying to show us how flawed the Baseball Trade Values site is. Do you really think the Rox would trade one of the very best third basemen in all of baseball and wind up with nothing but a decent reliever? Their fans would burn down the stadium. And we only have to give up one (arguably very good) prospect for Arenado and we get a pitching prospect thrown in on top of that?

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  3. I agree Arenado would be a HUGE addition, and the Dodgers could send the Rockies a very good package in return. A better package than St Louis who’s farm system is not that great. But living in Colorado as I do, I also know the backlash of trading him to the team the Rocks fans despise the most would be enormous. He would solve one huge problem that is for sure. I do not see him breaking the 40 homer plateau with LA though playing half of his games at Dodger Stadium. And we need to see how much the ball changes this year. We can all hope and that is about it. It is up to the Rocks to decide what is best. Arenado could force their hand. But he said yesterday that his focus is on baseball.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Considering the contract, his away splits and the fact he has that opt out, I think the packages offered will be reduced. His career away slash line is .265/.323/.476 compared to .324/.380/.615 at Coors. $35 million for a .799 OPS? A strong argument for “screw that” could be made here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I definitely don’t claim to be an expert on this, but just as visiting players have said it takes a couple of games to get used to playing at Coors, I have also heard Rockies players say that works in reverse as well. It takes them for example, a couple of games to get used to pitches which break more at lower elevations, etc. I’d like to see some stats of players who have played a few years with the Rox and then a few years with other teams and compare those seasons, assuming that the comparative seasons are all within the player’s prime years.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I am glad you are into the numbers Scoop. Did you happen to check his Dodger Stadium stats? .263 hitter with 16 HR’s and 32 RBI’s over 245 at bats. About 60 points lower than he hits at Coors.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes. I did. But I kinda figured he would hit better in LA if he wasn’t facing superior Dodger pitching. I could be wrong. There have been a lot of bats come to Chavez Ravine and die.

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      4. agreed, Arenado definitely has inflated stats due to the water up there (according to Coors Banquet Beer)

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  4. You want to see how Coors affects stats, just go look at Larry Walkers lifetime stats. He was way better at Coors than either of his stints with the Expos or Cardinals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can’t talk about his years with the Cards. They were at the end of his career when he was in his late 30’s. On the other hand, the Montreal comparison is fair. On the third hand, his 1997 OPS (arguably one of the two best years of his career) was a few points better in his road games than at Coors. I’m sure we could find lots of other stats that would show Coors helped him. I guess what I meant to say was that we shouldn’t draw any major conclusions as to what Arenado’s numbers would look like at Dodger Stadium without his actually playing half his games here for a few years.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is hard to compare stats period. I guess one way to really gauge how Coors affects hitters is to maybe look at Todd Helton’s career stats. He was a career Rockie. He hit .345 at home, and .287 one the road. 4841 at bats at Coors, 4612 on the road. 85 more HR’s at home than on the road. His lifetime totals definitely boosted by playing there. Career .316 hitter. Probably one reason his HOF votes have not been that strong.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s certainly hard to deny that most players’ homer totals are helped by Coors. Having said that, take a look at LeMahieu’s stats. Seven years at Coors. Highest full season homer total (home and away combined) – 15. Last year with the Yanks – 26. Other than 2016 when he won the Bat Avg title, last year when he didn’t play at Coors was his second highest Bat Avg of his career.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. He is the horse of a different color we have all heard about. But you look at most who play there, and the Coors stats are usually better.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s one way he would come to us – he tells Bridich he is vetoing trades to anyone but the Dodgers and the Dodgers offer is one that Colorado can live with. Just FYI, Pederson OPS’s over .800 in every NL West ballpark, including .829 at Coors. He and Ruiz plus one of our middle infield or 3rd base prospects would be a good return for Arenado

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      1. So your suggested trade is more or less in agreement with what I suggested earlier. Or…………………….Bridich could say “I’m not sending you to L.A. under any circumstances. We have no problem keeping you or you can agree to let us trade you to St. Louis or Texas.” The one thing to keep in mind is that they made the playoffs in ’17 and ’18. It could be that the 2020 Rockies get back to what they were and suddenly NA isn’t so unhappy anymore.

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      2. Yep. As I said, this happens ONLY if Arenado says make it happen. What is far more likely is he quiets down and leaves after ‘21.

        I don’t see them as a playoff team. .500, maybe a couple games over. Cardinals, Nationals, Mets, Phillies, Brewers, Cubs, Braves all have better records than do the Rockies.

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      3. It’s not going to be an easy task to make the playoffs if you’re a team in the NL East or Central. Three or four strong teams in each of those divisions. The West is easier as a Wild Card since you’ll play a bunch of games against the three week West teams while the teams in the other divisions are beating each other to a pulp.

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      4. You’re right. And even with that being the case, I believe all those teams I mentioned will have better records than will the Rockies.

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  5. We were 30-22 vs LHP last year. That translates to 93 wins over 162 games, meaning that if we faced nothing but lefties all year we will still win the West.

    That’s all I got this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Let’s face it guys AF is a trade deadline dealer. Nothing happening till then, at least nothing major. And we’ll have a better picture of where our weaknesses lie. Still think the biggest need is an October #2 starter. Any position player we bring basically will replace the Joc and Pollock platoon in left which puts up pretty good numbers, an .850 plus OPS. And Joc has been a post season stud. Does Arrenado improve upon that outside of Coors? Machado hasn’t outside of Baltimore. Give me post season pitching!

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    1. It’s the slowest part of the off-season and I would like to vehemently disagree with you Rich so we could have some major back and forth about how wrong you are. Only one problem. You are 100% correct. The major need is a #2 starter and that will only come (if at all) at the deadline. Who knows, maybe Wood will rediscover the form that made him an All Star pitcher and the problem will be solved.

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      1. I’m interested to see if all the people and training from Driveline will make a big difference with those guys

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      2. Wood is one of those guys Andy. The video I saw sure looked like his fastball was hopping.

        I still believe limiting innings is important for all of our starters. Limited innings, extra recovery hours and our staff will be better fit for cooler October games. It’s a theory but it’s based soundly on suspect opinion.

        Liked by 1 person

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