Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado has changed representation, leaving agent Scott Boras and signing on with agents Joel Wolfe and Nick Chanock of the Wasserman Media Group, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (links to Twitter).
Arenado, one of the game’s brightest young stars, is coming off an All-Star and MVP-caliber season in which he batted a whopping .287/.337/.575 with an NL-leading 42 homers and an MLB-best 130 runs batted in, to say nothing of the characteristically standout defense he played at the hot corner. The 24-year-old Arenado (25 next April) will be eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter as a Super Two player, and MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects him to earn a significant $6.6MM salary. Arenado, who will be arb-eligible four times instead of three due to that Super Two status, figures to see his arbitration price skyrocket over the coming years if he does indeed start his arb earnings with such a high base.
For Rockies fans, the switch in representation is somewhat notable. Boras has a reputation for encouraging his players to go year-to-year throughout the arbitration process as opposed to signing long-term extensions — particularly ones that buy out free-agent years. While the switch to WMG certainly doesn’t mean that Arenado is likely to sign an extension, it would seem to increase the possibility, at the very least.
Wolfe is, after all, the agent for Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who signed a record-setting 13-year, $325MM extension last winter. Other WMG clients to sign long-term deals that buy out free-agent years over the past several years include Hanley Ramirez and Carlos Santana (as can be seen in the MLBTR Extension Tracker). Arenado, though, will already be extremely well-compensated, as was the case with Stanton, so if he’s to sign a long-term deal it would need to be enormous. He could already be facing $50MM+ worth of arbitration earnings if he remains healthy, and he’s slated to hit free agency heading into his age-29 season, creating the potential for a historic payday.
Arenado’s switch in representation will be reflected in the MLBTR Agency Database, which contains information on more than 2,000 Major League and Minor League players. If you see any errors or omissions, please let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.