The Rockies have not yet approached star third baseman Nolan Arenado about a contract extension, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports in response to a reader inquiry. Both Arenado and his agent say that no talks have taken place about seasons beyond his current arbitration control.
Certainly, there’s no rush to explore a new pact. Arenado, 25, just played out his Super Two year and has three more years of control remaining. He remains under Colorado’s control through 2019.
That being said, the organization’s leverage only continues to diminish as Arenado’s earnings increase and his play continues to impress. He took down a hefty $5MM this year after a big 2015 season, and he has played his way into a significant raise with an even-more-impressive 2016 campaign.
Over his 678 plate appearances thus far on the year, Arenado carries a .293/.361/.567 slash while racking up forty home runs and 130 runs batted in. Those counting stats are highly valuable in the arbitration setting, all the more so since they are both league-leading totals (as they were in 2015).
In actuality, the offensive production is more very good than great, given that half of it has come at Coors Field. Looking further into the numbers, Arenado owns a strong (but hardly earth-shattering) 123 wRC+. Of course, his true value lies in the fact that he delivers that quality production as a premium defender at the hot corner.
Given his age and productivity, Arenado is unquestionably one of the game’s better young position players. And he’s young enough that any control-enhancing extension would cover late-prime seasons (his age 29 season and beyond). With a big arb salary to start, there’s a stack of cash already all but guaranteed to Arenado, so he’ll be in a nice position to demand — and receive — a major guarantee if the Rox do ever take a pass at a new deal.