Could the Yankees Make an Offer for Arenado?
Colorado Rockies’ star third baseman Nolan Arenado has not been shy this offseason about his desire to play elsewhere. This time last year, Arenado had just signed an eight year $260 Million extension and the Rockies were coming off back-to-back playoff appearances. This year, the circumstances aren’t nearly as happy for both sides. The Rockies had a disappointing 71-win season and are projected to be one of the worst teams in the league again. This prompted Arenado to request a trade this offseason, with the leverage of an opt-out clause following the 2021 season.
|Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images|
The Rockies would be scrutinized mightily if their star were to walk out after next season and they lose him for nothing but compensatory picks. This makes a possible trade much more likely, and a trade this offseason would net the team the most assets, as any team trading for Arenado would have him for at least two full seasons. So that begs the question: will the Yankees make a run for Nolan Arenado?
The short answer: No, Arenado’s contract is just too big for the Yanks to add to their already top of the league payroll. But we know that Brian Cashman works in mysterious ways. We know that he is always lurking and is looking at any potential deal that the Yankees could make to improve. Arenado is a seven-time Gold Glove winner and a five time All Star; having hit at least 37 homeruns and 110 RBIs in each of the last five seasons, making him an improvement over basically any other third baseman in the game. Right now, the hot corner is manned by both 2019 breakout star Gio Urshela, as well as 2018 AL ROY runner-up Miguel Andujar who are making about $3 Million this year combined.
So, knowing that Cash is always looking to make a deal, even when one isn’t necessarily likely, here are a couple of offers that the Yankees could send the Rockies’ way (if they haven’t already).
Miguel Andujar, Gio Urshela, Clint Frazier and JA Happ
|Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images|
Trading for Arenado would make both Andujar and Urshela expendable pieces. They are both capable MLB players and Gio’s glove in the field makes him a versatile player. Andujar played his whole rookie season at third, but has put in work across the diamond, playing first base, and could be a potential DH for the Rockies when the spot is brought to the National League. Frazier would finally get his chance for consistent MLB at-bats in Colorado, and Happ, who was shopped all offseason by Cashman, could be used to fill in some salary in the deal for the Yankees.
Giancarlo Stanton and Gio Urshela
|Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images|
This deal would only be able to go through should Stanton forego his No Trade Clause, which has a slim chance of happening, so I won’t waste much time on it. However, trading Stanton would free up the DH spot for Andujar, and left field could be occupied by Mike Tauchman who filled in nicely for Stanton much of 2019. Tauchman could then move to the forth outfield spot when Aaron Hicks returns, which will move Brett Gardner back to left field from center.
Now, does this mean that the Yankees are going to trade for Arenado? No. It’s much more likely that the Yankees don’t even make a formal offer for the star third baseman, especially with Spring Training already well underway for both teams. The money is really what turns the Yankees off of any potential deal for Arenado, with $220 Million already committed to the roster for 2020, and nobody expendable who could level out the money in a potential deal. Arenado was quoted recently, saying “I don’t hold grudges. That's not really me. I'm also here and also have to be who I am and stand up for what I believe in... I'm committed. I'm committed here. I'm here and ready to go out there and play hard. I'm not going to be a negative presence in that locker room.”
In the end, while extremely unlikely, it would not be the biggest surprise to hear at some point in the season that Brian Cashman has, at least, kicked the tires on a potential trade for Arenado, because that is what Cashman does. This could be especially true if Urshela and Andujar show a dip in their production from the last time we got to see them each play, respectively.
By Nick SimonelliFollow @nicksims14