First and foremost, a large ‘if’ hangs in the balance in regards to the possibility of Nolan Arenado becoming a Los Angeles Dodger. Indeed, Arenado is from Huntington Beach. Still – the factor that looms large – is if the Colorado Rockies would make the slugger available in the short-term. Remember, Colorado signed Arenado to $260 million dollar contract that runs through 2026 this past offseason.
However, as Ken Rosenthal writes over at The Athletic MLB; Arenado being made available as preposterous as one might think.
For instance, the Boston Red Sox recently fired president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski just 10 months after winning a title. Now, Boston is believed to be at a crossroads that could see them trade Mookie Betts. This would be done to re-stock their assets and rebuild a little.
While the only thing in baseball from season to season is uncertainty. Equally important – there are factors in play that could make the Los Angeles Dodgers a major player – if there are Nolan Arenado sweepstakes to be had.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) September 11, 2019
The Elephant In The Room: Justin Turner
For there is one foe that no player can win against, and that is Father Time. While Justin Turner remains as solid a presence in the Dodgers’ lineup as ever, the fact is he will be 35 years old in 2020.
At the current time, Turner is battling to stay healthy for one more postseason run. Without question, he’s shown little sign of slowing down in 2019; already tying a career-high with 27 home runs. Still, Turner is approaching an age where an organization begins to think about the incumbent by responsible nature.
For instance, the Dodgers selected a third baseman in the first round of the 2019 MLB Draft (Kody Hoese). At some point, Turner will no longer be the Dodgers’ man at the hot corner. Moreover, the great organizations like Los Angeles move forward with a contingency plan a year early rather than a year late. This is just the sad reality of this conversation – bringing Arenado aboard would likely spell the end of Turner – or at least be the catalyst for such negotiations beginning.
The Package For Arenado
First, let’s look at what Rosenthal says in the article in regards to how the Rockies conduct business.
The Rockies rely heavily on young, inexpensive players. After last season, they did not add a veteran starter to a rotation that lacked pitchers with established track records.
Therefore, who do the Dodgers have that could lure home the prodigal son from Huntington Beach? Let’s take a look at what a potential package could be.
- Gavin Lux (2B/MI)
- Dustin May (SP)
- Josiah Gray (SP)
Certainly, any potential package would likely include two or all three of those names above. While some might scoff at this, let’s review what the Dodgers would be getting in return.
Los Angeles would be getting an elite offensive player in his age-29 season. Furthermore, a player in his prime without any significant injury history on his medical files. On one hand, Arenado has played in 157 games or greater since 2015; a sign of great durability. With that being said, some might also view him as a player who has extensive mileage on him.
While Arenado has carved out close to Hall of Fame offensive numbers with plus-defense throughout he first 1,000-plus games of his career, my concern lies elsewhere. Indeed – I would have concerns that his best years are behind him offensively – and Los Angeles would be paying the price for numbers earned in the past.
Beyond that premise – and the package Colorado may command – there are other concerns.
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Concerns With Bringing Arenado to Los Angeles
While all that I have listed can be hashed out by many of you in the comments section, I would not hesitate to make this deal if Arenado was a 25-year old player (or somewhere in that age range). With that being said, I personally have pause for concern on giving up three cornerstone players or more for a player who will soon be over 30 years of age. All of this with significant dollars remaining over the life of the contract, which could hamper the ability to extend members of the young core.
Of course, much has been made of the ‘Coors Effect’ in regards to Rockies’ offensive players. And Arenado definitely has a boost from playing half of his career in the Mile High City. Undeniably, he’s been a better hitter in Colorado by a landslide.
Just a quick browse of the overall numbers show that outside Coors, Arenado is just a solid offensive player. Furthermore, he has a .258/.324/.493 lifetime slash line at Dodger Stadium in 58 career games played at Chavez; good for an .817 OPS.
While many claim the fit of Arenado returning to California to play out his days and chase a title is undeniable, the fact is that he’s offered only semi-decent production outside of Coors. Equally important, the Dodgers could hang onto their young nucleus of talent and find that type of production at a cheaper dollar amount fairly easily.
Conclusion – With Your Opinion Wanted
If the Colorado Rockies deem that moving Arenado in a trade is necessary for them to move forward as an organization, would you want the Dodgers to make this move? Simply, the key question to ask yourself is do you believe that Arenado is the missing piece to put the current Dodgers’ over the top?
Furthermore, if your answer rhetorically to that question was a resounding ‘yes’; you must determine what you would be willing to part ways with to bring Arenado to Los Angeles through the 2026 season. Let us know your full thoughts in the comments section, no matter which side of this debate you sit.