It’s not often that a player signs a lengthy contract, five plus years, and then within two years gets traded. What’s even more uncommon is that when one of the best players in the sport gets traded. So what is all this foreshadowing about? It’s not like I would be telling you all this and it would happen, right? Well, you caught me. It did happen and it’s something of this magnitude that sent seismic like waves through the baseball community. The Colorado Rockies traded their superstar and best third baseman in baseball, Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals for five players. Here’s the full trade:
- LHP Austin Gomber
- 3B Elehuris Montero
- SS Mateo Gil
- RHP Tony Locey
- RHP Jake Sommers
- Nolan Arenado
- Around $50 million cash
That’s it. Arenado had $199 million and six years left on his deal he signed two years ago in January 2019. During the Rockies press conference to which CEO Richard Monfort and General Manager Jeff Bridich were both in attendence answering questions, Monfort reported that Arenado requested a trade within nine (9)!! months of signing his deal. Pathetic. Not on Arenado’s part, but the front office of the Rockies. Clearly there was some disconnect as Arenado in February 2020 was quoted by saying “there’s alot of disrespect around there” and “there is no relationship anymore” speaking of the relationship between he and Bridich.
If you ever have heard of the phrase “in hot water” you can surely add the whole Rockies front office in hot water. The return the Rockies got for Arenado was pathetic. The Rockies obtained ONE Major League player in Austin Gomber who is a former 4th round pick out of FAU in Florida and had a very good 2020 season producing a 1.86 ERA and a 1.172 WHIP through 29 innings including four starts. The other four players involved in the trade, Elehuris Montero has been to Double-A and hit .188 through 59 games, Mateo Gil has played two total games in High-A ball and went hitless, Tony Locey has been to A Ball and had an ERA of 7.20 through 10 games, and Jake Sommers has pitched in Rookie Ball and held a 4.18 ERA through 12 games. Of course, it is always hard to predict the futures of young players like this with such a small sample size. However, in a situation like, one would think they could maybe grab a young player with a solid track record, like Nolan Gorman or Matthew Liberatore. To look at things from another angle, Elehuris Montero was the only prospect, according to MLB.com, to put in the top 10. Montero was eight at the time of the trade.
To say this trade was inevitable was an understatement. Look at Arenado’s accolades within his first eight seasons in the bigs:
- Eight (8) straight Gold Gloves
- Four (4) Platinum Gloves
- Four (4) Sliver Sluggers
- Five (5) All-Star Appearances
- Five (5) straight seasons with 100+ RBI (2015-2019)
- 235 home runs through his first eight seasons
You think after giving a guy that amount a money, with THOSE accolades, you would do anything in the world to help build a winning squad around him. Yes, the Rockies have Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story (who is most likely on his way out as well), a few up and comers but management has not shown they want to win. I imagine their conversation went something like Arenado: “Hey, we have no pitching and, uh, you know, it’s kind of important in this league. I don’t care if the ball flies out here, we need pitching.” Bridich: “Yeah, sure. We’ll get right on that.” *Proceeds to sign Daniel Bard*
Nothing against Bard as I am a supporter of him overcoming the “yips” and winning comeback player of the year. I wrote a blog on in. You should check it out. But seriously. If you sign player to his caliber to a contract the size that he did, you would expect a little bit of urgency as the window to win was the length of his contract. I’m not expect yet, if any teams are reading this, shoot me an email and I’ll send you my resume, but that’s not how you run a successful franchise.
With Arenado leaving the Rockies, that makes him the THIRD superstar to leave the Rockies joining former outfielder Matt Holliday and former superstar shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. This is a startling trend which will most likely fall onto Trevor Story next as he seems to be the next domino to fall.
So how will Arenado perform away from baseball best hitting park? Here are his home and away splits throughout his career:
I’m sure almost every player that has only been with the Rockies in their career would have similar splits being in the confines of baseball’s most friendly hitter’s park. Since Arenado came into the league, his average in away parks looks like this:
- 2013- .238
- 2014- .269
- 2015- .258
- 2016- .277
- 2017- .283
- 2018- .248
- 2019- .277
- 2020- .227
Ignore the 2020 season but Arenado is the type of hitter where being away from Colorado will most likely not effect him. His overall numbers might take a hit, but it’s nothing to get too concerned about if you are a Cardinal fan. With Arenado and Goldschmidt batting 3-4 for the foreseeable future, it is something to be excited about.
As for the Rockies, they’re down one of baseball’s best players, $50 million and in desperate need of a franchise identity. Blackmon’s career might be forgotten in Colorado, Story might be traded here soon if they look to get the most out of his current value, and are still in need of improving a depleted pitching staff. Being a Rockies fan must be extremely tough at this point. All I have left to say is maybe it’s time to sell the team. Have a great day.