Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado may be the best soon-to-be free agent in baseball, but team owner Dick Monfort has expressed optimism that the four-time All-Star won’t even reach the open market next winter, per Thomas Harding of MLB.com. “I think we’ve gotten it to the point where we’re to the finals,” Monfort said of a potential multiyear contract for Arenado. “We’re to the crescendo.” Arenado and the Rockies have already reached one agreement this offseason, having come to terms on a lucrative, arbitration-avoiding contract for 2019 on Thursday, and that may be a sign the two sides are progressing toward a long-term arrangement. Notably, regarding a potential multiyear pact for Arenado, Monfort declared: “I’m comfortable that we can get a number that we can get to. There are a lot of things that have to go through Nolan’s mind, too. But I’m confident that after we met, Nolan wants this to happen as much as we do.”
- More from Harding, who contradicts a recent report suggesting the Rockies are interested in re-signing free-agent outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. CarGo, 33, was a Rockie from 2009-18, a span in which he was plenty successful, but there’s no indication the club wants him back, Harding hears. Rather, it seems they’re primed to roll with younger options (David Dahl and Raimel Tapia) complementing the veteran tandem of Charlie Blackmon and Ian Desmond in the grass. Colorado also doesn’t seem to have an opening at first base for Gonzalez, Harding notes, as the team has signed Daniel Murphy and Mark Reynolds (the latter only landed a minor league deal, though).
- Slugger Evan Gattis is one of many familiar names remaining in free agency as spring training nears, though it’s possible he’ll return to Houston. Gattis said Saturday, via Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle, that “various people from the Astros organization” have stayed in touch with him this offseason. An Astro from 2015-18, Gattis – an experienced catcher – was almost exclusively a designated hitter last year, but the Astros haven’t addressed the DH position since the campaign concluded. They instead may end up starting Tyler White, who was quietly excellent across 244 plate appearances in 2018. The 32-year-old Gattis, meanwhile, only offered league-average offense and replacement-level value over 451 PAs. As a result, whether from the Astros or another team, he doesn’t figure to rake in a particularly expensive payday in the coming weeks.