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Dodgers: Will They Sign Nolan Arenado After The 2019 Season

MILWAUKEE, WI - AUGUST 05: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies at bat during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on August 5, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Rockies defeated the Brewers 5-4 in eleven innings. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Like any team, the Dodgers would be an improved team if they signed Nolan Arenado after the 2019 season. He’s an excellent player, even with some unbalanced home and road splits. The Rockies are on the record as wanting to sign him to an extension after they agreed to an arbitration compromise at $26M.

There has been some speculation that the reason the Dodgers haven’t signed Bryce Harper was that they might want to sign Arenado after the 2019 season. David Vassegh was on the MLB Network talking about this topic. The relevant conversation starts a little after the 3:00 mark.

Nolan Arenado Breakdown

2018 Splits AVG OBP SLG wRC+
vs LHP .368 .451 .747 197
vs RHP .267 .339 .483 103
Home .347 .424 .681 161
Away .248 .325 .447 104

 

Nolan Arenado is a local boy who grew up as a Dodgers fan, who many, including Vin Scully, adore. He is a “gamer” who hits lefties both in Colorado and away. The splits he has in Denver versus the road are pretty extreme and these numbers would be a concern on the surface. Some say that players on the Rockies have an extra burden on them by having to adjust to normal altitude then to the mile-high altitude.

There are a lot of reasons to want Nolan Arenado on the Dodgers after 2019. Going into the 2020 season Arenado would be starting his age 29 season. For a comparison, both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are entering the 2019 season as 26 year olds. After the 2018 season he has accumulated at 33.1 WAR according to baseball reference. His defense at third base is outstanding as many Dodger fans have witnessed. If it wasn’t for Arenado then Juan Uribe may have captured one or two Gold Gloves.

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Why The Rockies Will Sign Him Before He Reaches Free Agency

Despite possible service time manipulation by the Rockies at the beginning of the 2013 season, Arenado seems to have a great relationship with them. Before the 2018 season, the Rockies overpaid Charlie Blackmon with a 6 year/$108M contract going into his year 31/32 season so I fully expect the them to go all out to sign Arenado as soon as possible.

The Rockies know Arenado better than any club, with their emotional attachment to him dating to when they selected him in the second round of the 2009 draft. They know his character, his work ethic, the positive impact he has on their culture. Their mere willingness to engage in long-term discussions indicates how much they trust him. Arenado has been on the disabled list only once in his six-year career, for a fractured left middle finger in the first half of 2014. – Ken Rosenthal, The Athletic

Given how slow the market is right now with both Harper and Machado not signed as of February 4, just a few days before spring training, there must be some fear on the Arenado side. He used to be with Scott Boras as his agent but has moved on to the Wasserman Agency. They don’t work like Boras as he prefers to take players into free agency and get every last penny for his players (and himself).

Would The Dodgers Sign Arenado

If Arenado somehow doesn’t sign with the Rockies and becomes a free agent, much of Dodger fandom will get to repeat this off-season, replacing Harper for Arenado. As Vassegh speaks about above, he would be an excellent fit for the Dodgers. However, just like we’ve seen this off-season, the Dodgers are not going to spend just to spend. Despite having quite a bit of room under the luxury tax threshold in 2020, players such as Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger will be eligible for arbitration. Other than Clayton Kershaw, no Dodger makes more than $16M per season as they look to have a deep team not just a few highly paid players. It is also clear that they don’t want to exceed the luxury tax threshold if they can avoid it.

Final Thoughts

Given the history of the Andrew Friedman regime, do you see Arenado being given an 8 year/$250M contract? Personally, I’m all for signing Arenado but I believe he plays if safe and signs with the Rockies before he hits free agency. Even if he reaches free agency, would the Dodgers get into a bidding war for him? If Miguel Andujar continues to be an awful defensive player for the Yankees, then you have a bidding war. The Dodgers will try for the shorter term contracts with players such as Arenado and Anthony Rendon. They didn’t want to pay Harper into his year 35 season so why would they pay Arenado into his year 36 or 37 season? I’m going to temper my hopes right now about Arenado and, given the evidence and past history, assume he will not be signed by the Dodgers after the 2019 season.

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Written by Tim Rogers

A fan of the Dodgers since 1973 since I got my first baseball cards while living in Long Beach. I came to San Diego for college and never left nor did I ever switch my Dodgers' allegiance. Some know me as the "sweater guy". #ProspectHugger

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  1. Giving players 7-10 year contracts averaging over $25 million per year is fiscal insanity for a baseball club and rarely ends well for the club. Also players statistics playing in Colorado, as everyone is aware, need to be especially examined as that is a huge park with thin air.
    This team is getting younger I would suggest we see how the inclusion of Verdugo, Toles and later Smith go this year to see if there is a “need”. Also remember with the articles you published of top 5 pitchers and as you mentioned Hill and Ryu leaving after 2019 this team will have significant money under the Luxury threshold.
    It will be interesting to see if Arenado is motivated by getting to the playoffs and competing for a WS ring or is it the money? It is possible that the Rockies record this year might dictate if Arenado signs with Colorado. After you make a certain amount does it become more about winning or accumulating more money…I think each individual player has to make that decision depending on their wants and needs.

    • Mike, that’s a valid concern. What would you do? Keep Turner and let Arenado go elsewhere? or sign Arenado and let Turner walk? or get Arenado and keep Turner and move him to 1st?

      • Daniel, on MLBN’s Hot Stove this AM they talked about how this Dodger team really lacks any kind of real super star position player. I would try to sign Arenado a Turner has played some good 1st base when asked to, so I don’t see too much of an issue there. Arenado IS A RHB and that would be key for a team as it stands now that even with Pollock on board are still very vulnerable to LHP and most likely will be throughout 2019 unless something changes.

  2. Fellows,my only thought on this matter is that we should worry more about the 2019 season, and less on acquiring Arenado. We still need to acquire a right handed bat as Paul stated above. The front office needs to worry about today, not 10 months from now. Go Blue!!!!

    • Spot on! BLUE LOU! And I need to be honest..I cannot see at this time how this year’s 2019 team as it stands now is even close to the teams in 2017 and 2018. And I will say this again too…if Verdugo is part of a package that will land Realmuto then I say get it done.

  3. Total disrespect to Justin Turner, like he doesn’t even exist. Next to Kershaw, he’s the team leader.

  4. Any concern about Arenado’s splits about hitting away from Coors Field aka “the Coors Field” effect?? I would love for him to be on the Dodgers but this FO i.e. Friedman and whomever makes the decision doesn’t sign ginormous contracts. I know Kershaw and Jansen.

  5. I would sign Arenado. Move Red anywhere or any place. We really dont have a 3rd baseman in the minors, with SERIOUS potential.

  6. First of all I totally agree with Paul, and Lou, Blue fans, we need to worry about 2019. I think their are only a hand full of teams, that have the loyalty of their fans regardless of record, still to many to name, but lets just say Dodgers, and Yankees? Not only are we loyal as hell, but some of the smartest fans are Dodger fans. I think most of you would agree that when we traded Puig, and Kemp, and others I think most people thought well they will sign Harper? Well we have not…..so we basically give are right fielder away, I was not happy, Puig was getting better every year? He is arguably in the top five defensive right fielders in the game today. I do not like Friedman, or Kasten, what idiot goes after his own fan base?? If your going to trade that kind of offensive talent you better be making the right trade, they could of done so much better, Puig is worth a A-list starting pitcher, and now we have Pollack, WE DOWN GRADED? What Paul said is right this team is not as good as ’17 or ’18. hey does anyone remember those 100+ homers or extra base hits we had sitting on the bench, well they are gone, or will be. I think Harper is finally realizing that know team wants to pay that kind of money, and years for a player, that’s what is sad about having Scott Boras for your agent, he cares more about what goes in his pocket, and Harper who I truly believe wanted to, and still might have a chance at being a Dodger, but he needs to be realistic, I think they need to come down to 4-5 years at a doable price for both sides, Harper needs to think for himself, and I think he would sign with Dodgers, if he is realistic with the numbers? Arenado is totally something that is not just a dream, he grew up in Los Angeles loving this team, so if he is available next year then I think the Dodgers are first in line, but I do not want to let Turner go, he is important to this team, for so many different reasons, and he has proved he could be a great first baseman? Jackson, Turner would be the first one to say if we can get Arenado, we should do everything to sign him. He knows this is a business, and of all the players on this team no one player with maybe the exception of Kershaw, most players want to do what is best to upgrade their ball club, and that would be a nice infield? New catcher, Turner at first, Chris Taylor or possible Kike or a prospect at second, Seager at short, and Arenado at 3rd, that sounds great to me?

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