By: Noah Wright
It’s no secret that Nolan Arenado is one of the most exciting players in baseball right now. He’s got a great bat, and one of the best gloves at third base, and will be one of the many big name free agents during next off season. No doubt he’ll get a large amount, but even though we’re over a year away from next free agent class, there’s no reason we can’t speculate what team would give Nolan the big contract.
Nolan Arenado has a career .291/.346/.561 batting line. That also comes with a .248 ISO, and career 33.1 bWAR (25.3 fWAR). Arenado came onto the scene in 2013, but 2015 was the year he broke out to become a 4 tool player. Since then, Arenado’s home run total has yet to dip below 37, has had a .297/.358/.573 batting line, and has finished in within the top 10 of MVP voting in that time frame as well. That’s highlighted by a third place finish in this year’s voting season. His bat is very good, but his glove is the real highlight. He’s won the gold glove every season he’s played in The MLB. In his career, Arenado has had 109 DRS, 37.6 UZR, and 13.3 dWAR.
The first team that would probably want to try to reach an agreement with Arenado is his current team: The Colorado Rockies. He’s spent his entire career with the team, but while The Rockies aren’t necessarily a large spending team, they do have one piece of leverage on Nolan. The Coors effect is definitely helping Arenado to some degree.The stats show. In Coors, Arenado has a .320/.374/.609 batting line, but outside of Coors, Arenado is only a .263/.318/.496 hitter. That may be a bit of a deterrent to other teams, however I do think he will adjust eventually. Another team that could look into Nolan Arenado is The Boston Red Sox. They have Pablo Sandoval’s contract coming off the books next off season, and Hanley’s coming off this season, so as long as The Sox don’t give a player a ridiculously massive contract, they could be one team under Arenado’s suitors. Fenway is a bit of a hitter friendly park too. Even with the Green Monster, Arenado would still reach 25+ home runs, and be a doubles machine after eventually adjusting to the new atmosphere and ballpark. He may even reach the upwards of a 40 home run total once he masters The Green Monster. However, The Sox decision to go after Nolan is still up in the air. If Rafael Devers doesn’t bounce back, then they will likely pursue Arenado more. Devers, struggled very much in 2018, but he did have a solid rookie season. There’s no reason yet to think that he couldn’t bounce back at only 22 years old. The Red Sox also have a few other players that they may want to direct resources too instead next off season. Ace Chris Sale, and 2018 World Series MVP Steve Pearce will both be free agents at the same time as Nolan. Another one of Arenado’s suitors could be one of The Rockies inter division competitors: The San Francisco Giants. The Giants could have the money to sign the third baseman. Though the team does have former all-star Evan Longoria under contract until 2023, his performance has gone downhill significantly. Arenado could bring in an impact bat the team is missing. Even if he isn’t the same batter he is in Colorado, he’d eventually adjust to the new climate. The one landing spot that could definitely be an interesting one is The San Diego Padres. The Padres currently don’t have a good answer at third base. They could use Christian Villanueva, but he’s strictly a platoon option against left handed pitchers. This season, they plan on trying out Wil Myers at third. However it’s undecided whether or not he’ll stick there. If he doesn’t perform well there defensively, The Padres could move him back to the outfield, and sign Arenado. The last team that (looking at it now) could be a home for Arenado is The Phillies. The Phillies best option at the hot corner is Maikel Franco. While Franco isn’t necessarily bad, Nolan would more than be just an upgrade. The Phillies this off season have been linked to Manny Machado. So if The Phils sign Manny to a large deal, they may be a bit on the weary side to sign another elite player for big money, for it would clog up some payroll money for only two players.
Arenado will round out yet another deep, and very strong free agent class in the 2019-2020 off season. Plus with his fantastic bat, and glove/fielding ability, Arenado will probably be looking for a payday next off season.