Speaking Friday with reporters – including Kyle Newman of the Denver Post – general manager Jeff Bridich revealed that the Rockies and Nolan Arenado have had “honest” discussions about a contract extension over the past couple years. Bridich added that he expects the two sides to continue talking in the coming months, and suggested the team’s unlikely to trade the superstar third baseman this offseason. “There’s not a perfect timeline or a specific timeline, but we’d love to have him here, and he knows that,” Bridich said. “We’ll see what happens … We expect him to be on our team next year.” Arenado has been a speculative trade candidate because he’s facing his last year of team control in 2019, when he’s projected to rake in a whopping $26.1MM via arbitration. But the 27-year-old is integral to the Rockies, who have earned two straight playoff berths and, with Arenado’s help in 2019, figure to aim for another postseason trip in what could be his last hurrah with the club.
Here’s more from around the majors:
- Yoan Moncada has called second base home since the White Sox acquired him from the Red Sox in 2016, but it’s possible he’ll head to a new position next season. General manager Rick Hahn said Friday (via Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicag Sun-Times) that Moncada’s open to switching spots, “but we’re going to wait to see how this offseason plays out before we fully commit to any reconfiguring of the infield. It’s a possibility and if it were to happen we’d likely firm that up before we head to spring training.” Shortstop, third base and even center field have come up in the past as potential long-term landing spots for Moncada, whose athleticism has been a key selling point since his days as a star prospect. Now, if Chicago’s truly considering moving the 23-year-old Moncada off second, it could help inform its offseason plans.
- In addition to discussing Moncada’s status, Hahn highlighted which areas the White Sox will try to upgrade this winter. “We need to augment both the starting rotation and the bullpen,” he said (per Van Schouwen), though he cautioned that the White Sox must keep their “long-term focus” in mind. At the moment, Chicago has the payroll room to make substantial upgrades, but it’s also coming off a 62-win season – its sixth straight sub-.500 campaign. As such, it’s unclear just how aggressive the White Sox will be this winter, but Hahn noted that he hasn’t ruled out pushing for contention in 2019. “It’s not unintentional having the flexibility we enjoy going forward,’’ Hahn said. “That was a secondary goal of the rebuild, to make sure we had flexibility and economic strength when the time was right to spend and add on to what we’ve accumulated. Whether we use it this offseason or next we’ll see.’’
- The Rangers addressed their rotation Friday by acquiring left-hander Drew Smyly from the Cubs, though Texas still has plenty of work remaining to bolster its starting staff for 2019 and beyond. With that in mind, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News examines a dozen free-agent pitchers the Rangers could target this offseason. Among the candidates, longtime Angels right-hander Garrett Richards stands out as a “perfect fit,” opines Grant, who argues the Rangers should offer him a two- or three-year contract with incentives. Given that Richards underwent Tommy John surgery in July, he might not be able to contribute at all in 2019. However, that’s not necessarily a problem for the Rangers because they’re unlikely to win next season, Grant notes, adding that Richards may be able to help them in 2020 – when they could be closer to contention.