Nolan Arenado has quickly blossomed as arguably the best player on the Rockies, but there have been no talks of a long-term deal between the two sides to this point, tweets Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Soon to turn 25 years old, Arenado had a monster season in 2015, batting .287/.323/.575 and leading the NL in homers (42), RBIs (130) and total bases (354) while also earning a Gold Glove. In his first trip through arbitration this winter, the Wasserman client took home a hefty (relative to other first-time arb players) $5MM payday, and he’ll go through that process three more times due to his status as a Super Two player before hitting the open market following the 2019 season. The Rockies, then, still have plenty of time to talk extension, though the price will only escalate if Arenado keeps producing at that level.
More from the NL West…
- Padres manager Andy Green is excited by what he’s seen of Alexei Ramirez thus far in Spring Training, writes A.J. Cassavell of MLB.com. Green feels that the club could have a bargain on its hands in Ramirez, noting that Ramirez’s poor 2015 numbers were more the result of a couple of bad months to open the year than a decline in skill. “Fact of the matter is, if he hadn’t had those two months, he probably would have signed for really big dollars someplace else,” Green tells Cassavell. “The last three months of the season were classic Alexei Ramirez. We’re excited to get that guy.” Indeed, Ramirez did bat .277/.325/.432 after the All-Star break.
- San Diego general manager A.J. Preller said on Mighty 1090 AM earlier this week that he’s pleased with the direction of the Padres’ scouting and international departments since taking over as GM nearly two years ago (via Tom Krasovic of Baseball America). “You see it in the bodies of the minor league players that are here at minor league minicamp,” said Preller. “You see it in the way our system is structured, in terms of instruction. It’s something that’s going to put us in the right spot in the future. … I think on the international scouting side, we’re definitely in position to go ahead and add players if we want to.” Multiple reports peg the Padres as big spenders on the 2016-17 international free agent market, which kicks off on July 2.
- In the wake of a report from Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News that the Rangers are interested in Padres catcher Derek Norris, Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron attempts to construct a blockbuster swap that would send Norris and right-hander Tyson Ross to the Rangers. Cameron writes that Rangers probably need another starter more than another catcher, but notes that Grant suggested payroll was too tight to add significant dollars. As such, Cameron offers a well-reasoned case for the Rangers to move Joey Gallo — a top 10 prospect that is blocked at his possible positions in 2016 — and a solid but lesser-ranked minor leaguer for Norris, Ross and enough cash to cover their 2016 salaries. Rangers fans probably recoil a bit at the notion of dealing Gallo, but Cameron’s rationale is well thought out and worth a read.
- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts called left-hander Hyun-jin Ryu’s fairly modest goals of 20 starts and 150 innings this year “unrealistic,” writes Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times. The club has yet to establish any sort of timetable for Ryu’s return to a big league mound, he notes. Sticking with Dodgers injuries — outfielder Andre Ethier exited today’s Cactus League contest after fouling a ball off his shin, but the club has since announced that x-rays performed on his leg came back negative. Ethier is day to day with a contusion, but he appears to have avoided further injury. Also worth noting: MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick writes that the team is still optimistic that Corey Seager will be ready for Opening Day. Seager said the pain in his sprained knee is gone “for the most part,” adding that he was cleared to resume playing catch today.