When Rockies megastar Nolan Arenado inked a franchise-record $260MM contract extension in February, it was of course assumed that the opt-out clause in his contract was one of Arenado’s demands to increase his leverage. However, it’s since been revealed that it was Rockies GM Jeff Bridich, not Arenado, who pushed for the inclusion of an opt-out clause. At first blush, that’s a questionable negotiating tactic at best. If a team wanted to lock up its star player for the long-run, why would it give him the option to jump ship three years into the contract? The Athletic’s Nick Groke, who spoke to Bridich himself, can provide some insight into the GM’s thinking. It’s left to Rockies fans to decide if they’re satisfied with his justification, which draws on the organization’s history with big contracts for the likes of Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton. While Rockies brass aren’t yet concerning themselves with Arenado’s decision, they will have to if the next couple of years play out anything like 2019. With Arenado intent on winning and the franchise preparing for another uninspiring offseason, the outlook for 2020 and beyond may be hampered by apparent financial restrictions. For the time being, though, the possibility of an Arenado opt-out looms as the club embarks on the winter with hopes of returning to the postseason.
Here are the latest notes from the Senior Circuit…
- It was a forgettable first season in Flushing for Mets second baseman Robinson Canó, one of the team’s crown jewels from last winter. Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reflects on the disappointing year for Canó while looking ahead to the future, which includes four more years of Canó, who turns 37 on Tuesday. While he seemed to find his stroke after the All-Star break, the overall numbers were still a far cry from the slugger that New Yorkers have come to know and love. Injuries no doubt played a considerable part in those struggles, with Canó landing on the injured list on three separate occasions, leading him to enter the offseason aiming to strengthen his legs. Still, the outlook for 37-year-old position players is not an especially promising one—and Canó won’t be given any breaks, given his hefty paycheck.
- With the Nationals having punched their ticket to the World Series, they have some decisions to make regarding the roster and strategy for the Fall Classic. And they’ve been given plenty of time to ruminate on their options. Mark Zuckerman of MASN has a thorough roundup on the questions the Nats will have to answer in the coming days. Of course, their AL opponent will have some influence on the particular choices, but general manager Mike Rizzo and company are preparing plans for either scenario. A couple of bullpen spots could be up in the air, though the starting rotation’s dominance has thus far rendered those choices seemingly unimportant. But with the year’s most important games on the horizon, those decisions will not be taken lightly.