Former GM Jim Bowden went on record stating that the Colorado GM Jeff Bridich and the Dodgers have been in trade talks about Nolan Arenado. He goes on to say that a deal gets done by Christmas. Here is why Jim Bowden is correct:
#1 Nolan Arenado plans to opt out after the 2021 season because the Rockies have failed to position themselves as contenders.
#2 The Rockies have no leverage. They must comply. If they wait for him to opt out after 2021, they lose their star player and do nothing to help rebuild their team. They might get a decent draft pick but one pick does not replace the loss of Arenado. Trading him maximizes their potential to get a group of Major League ready controllable talent. This helps speed up the rebuilding process.
#3 The Dodgers can afford his current contract with some possible “salary dumping” via trade with the Rockies or someone else. Dodgers do not want to wait for the end of 2021 where Nolan Arenado might want to sign a new contract into 2030 for more money. Makes more sense for the Dodgers to get him via trade now then to wait for him to opt out because then they risk getting into a bidding war. If the Dodgers are able to dump some salary (AJ or/and Jensen), it makes the move easier.
#4 Arenado grew up a Dodger fan and has seen their dominance during this run of 8 division titles in a row. He wants to be traded to a contender? Arenado solidifies them as World Series contenders for years to come. No brainer. If you think Arenado hurts the Dodgers somehow, then you have not seen him play. Of course, things can happen. A career ending injury. You can’t do anything about injuries other than buy insurance. That is something every team and every player worries about. They are human. Worried about him being a cancer in the clubhouse? He hasn’t been a cancer in Colorado. So why would that be true here? All he has done and all he needs to do is lead by example. I see the Mamba Mentality in Nolan Arenado.
#5 Arenado has a no trade clause and this gives him leverage determining his destination. Arenado can say to the Rockies, “If you do not trade me to the Dodgers, I will not waive a trade anywhere else and I walk after 2021.” Bold statement indeed but this would do 1 of 2 things. He forces the GM’s hand or he enrages the GM who in turn refuses to trade him and forces Arenado to walk after 2021. Weirder things have happened. Totally possible.
#6 The Dodgers need a right-hand hitting bat. Yes, they can sign Turner. But they haven’t yet. This means that perhaps one party is eyeing something else. Perhaps it is Turner who is testing the market. Perhaps it’s the Dodgers looking for a younger option.
#7 The Dodgers need a third baseman. See #6.
#8 The Rockies can get some MLB ready talent from the Dodgers in a trade whether it is ‘Jensen, Pollock, Rios’ as I mentioned in my first trade idea or as MLB writer JP Morosi stated, “a combination of Lux, Graterol, May, Gonslin or Josiah Gray.” Perhaps only one, perhaps 2. No more than 2 youngsters for sure. But I believe it will not be so easy. They will also have to take some salary off our hands. Perhaps only Jensen’s remaining 20Million contract. I had previously said AJ Pollock but now given the leverage the Dodgers have they don’t have to send AJ. Only way they send him is if they actually want to get rid of his salary. Part of me says they need to because 35 million is owed to him and this salary dump makes it easier for them to sign Corey Seager long term which in my opinion is a must.
#9 Not only does it make sense for the Rockies to try to get some important pieces for their club going forward but it also frees up capital for them to shop for talent.
#10 A trade is a win-win-win for all three parties. Only thing that can stop this is if the Rockies get too greedy and ask for the moon. The Dodgers do not need to make this move to become contenders. They are already contenders. So they are coming from a position of high leverage.
The other thing that can stop this is if the GM becomes too stubborn and allows Arenado to play out his 2021 contract. This would be a blown opportunity and his legacy as a GM would be ruined. He might even lose his job. So, he must make a move. Maybe it is with another team. But he must make a move. Also remember that the GM cannot entertain an offer from the Marlins or a team like the Mariners because Arenado can block all moves with a no-trade clause, so the GM’s hands are really tied. If Arenado is on board with me and says, “I will only accept a trade to the Dodgers”, then Arenado is a Dodger by Christmas as stated by Jim Bowden. What pieces the Dodgers end up agreeing to part with is unknown. Maybe it is the pieces mentioned by JP Morosi or maybe there is a ‘can’t miss’ minor leaguer that the Rockies have their eyes on. Surely a home run phenom in DJ Peters must be on their radar.
Anyhow, it seems like this trade is inevitable now that it has been laid out on the table like this. My article written on November 12th was a hypothetical trade idea and I mentioned that it was what I saw in my crystal ball. However, I did not know that he had an opt out option after the 2021 season. This opt out is the element that will make Arenado a Dodger for the next 4-6 years. The Dodgers should, and hopefully will, negotiate a removal of that opt out option or at least they should compromise with him and ask that he push it back to 2024. Arenado might just be willing to remove it. The only reason he included it was because he thought that he needed protection in case the Rockies had not yet become contenders by 2021 and he really wants to be a contender. He will bring that hunger to the Dodgers. He does not need to be the clubhouse leader Turner has been. He needs to let his glove and bat do the talking and lead by example. The more you really break things down, the clearer the picture becomes. In a perfect world this trade plays out. Is there another team out there that Arenado would waive his clause for? It is possible. Does Jeff Bridich, the Rockies’ General Manager, make the mistake of refusing to trade away their star player and risk getting nothing in return? Highly unlikely but is also entirely possible. He would ruin Christmas for the Rockies, the Dodgers, and Arenado. The move is truly in his hands. Will he be Santa Claus or will he be the Grinch, Jim Brid’grinch’.