Nolan Arenado Trade Rumors: Rockies 'Willing to Listen' to Interested Teams

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2019

DENVER, COLORADO - SEPTEMBER 13: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies circles the bases after hitting a 2 RBI home run in the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field on September 13, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Colorado Rockies are reportedly "willing to listen" to trade offers for third baseman Nolan Arenado ahead of the 2020 season.

Jon Heyman of the MLB Network reported the update Wednesday and noted the Rockies have received "many calls" about Arenado since last season's trade deadline. However, Jon Morosi of the MLB Network reported, "it's unclear if there is any traction in talks."

The five-time All-Star controls his own future with a full no-trade clause in the eight-year, $260 million contract he signed with Colorado in February.

Arenado has emerged as a perennial MVP candidate for the Rockies during a five-year stretch where he's averaged 39.8 home runs. He's won four straight Silver Slugger Awards and has also shined in the field with seven consecutive Gold Glove Awards.

The 28-year-old California native is coming off a 2019 campaign where he posted a .315/.379/.583 triple-slash line with 41 homers across 155 games. His .962 OPS ranked ninth among qualified MLB hitters.

Although his numbers rank among the league's best—he's eighth in WAR (26.9) since the start of 2015, per FanGraphs—his splits could generate concern among interested teams.

Here are his career numbers through 514 home games and 515 road games:

  • Home: .324 average, .995 OPS, 129 homers
  • Road: .265 average, .799 OPS, 98 homers

On a more positive note, he compiled a .867 OPS with 20 longballs away from Coors Field in 2019. That type of offensive production combined with elite defense would make him a substantial upgrade at third base for most teams.

It's a hot-button position this offseason with Anthony Rendon and Josh Donaldson among the most discussed free agents, especially with elite starting pitchers Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg now off the board.

Teams may wait to see where Rendon and Donaldson land before switching focus to trades. But Arenado could become a prime target for the clubs that miss out on those stars and, given the high number of teams looking for an answer at the hot corner, the Rockies should command a sky-high price.

He'd be a perfect fit for a contender like the Atlanta Braves or Philadelphia Phillies depending on how the rest of the offseason plays out.