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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Nolan Arenado agrees to eight-year, $260 million contract to stay with Rockies

1.  Congrats to a great player. 

2.  I’ve never enjoyed Nightengale’s takes, but this is just sloppy/ignorant:

Coors Field may no longer be the hitters’ paradise of Cincinnati or Philadelphia now that they are sorting baseballs in a humidor, but he won’t deny it’s a fabulous place to hit.

Batting park factors, 3/1 year:

PHI 102/102
CIN 103/105
COL 117/119

Colorado has never not had the best hitters park in MLB.

TDF, trained monkey Posted: February 26, 2019 at 01:10 PM | 42 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: contract extension, rockies

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   1. Bote Man Posted: February 26, 2019 at 01:25 PM (#5818365)
Bob Nightengale is going for the Oscar award for being wrong most consistently.
   2. I Am Not a Number Posted: February 26, 2019 at 01:33 PM (#5818370)
Coors Field may no longer be the hitters’ paradise of Cincinnati or Philadelphia

Gee, I wonder if in this day and age you could actually look something like that up? Nah, better to just make #### up.
   3. bfan Posted: February 26, 2019 at 01:43 PM (#5818377)
Once Bryce Harper signs (assuming the current reporting on his offers are true), we will have 3 players this off-season signing long term deals of over $30 million per year, and these 3 deals will be the highest per year ever for position players, and Harper's stands to be 20% or more higher than the highest in any season before this season. Once Harper signs his contract, are we done with "Is free agency broken/do players have no bargaining power" articles?

I know there may end up being 30 or so veteran players with projected 0 or less WAR who do not get MLB guaranteed contracts for 2019, but those players will be replaced with other players with equal or greater projections at a lower salary, who have never experienced MLB (or at least not for full seasons). I do not find that a bad result at all.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 26, 2019 at 02:00 PM (#5818390)
Once Harper signs his contract, are we done with "Is free agency broken/do players have no bargaining power" articles?


It's really cold outside, but that doesn't mean global warming isn't happening. The upper 1% of free agents are doing fine, the middle class is getting squeezed. Whether that's collusion or a recalibration is up for debate, but the fact guys like Dallas Keuchel are still out of work, that Mike Moustakas has to settle for a 1 year, $9M deal, and it that Harper is unsigned through the first two weeks of camp seems to suggest that something is broken.
   5. bfan Posted: February 26, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5818395)

It's really cold outside, but that doesn't mean global warming isn't happening. The upper 1% of free agents are doing fine, the middle class is getting squeezed. Whether that's collusion or a recalibration is up for debate, but the fact guys like Dallas Keuchel are still out of work, that Mike Moustakas has to settle for a 1 year, $9M deal, and it that Harper is unsigned through the first two weeks of camp seems to suggest that something is broken.


Actually, this is what Bill James predicted would happen, about 20 years ago. As we get more and more understanding of what a replaceable player is, then that person becomes less and less valuable to a team, because he is replaceable. The middle class is getting squeezed because teams now realize that their contribution relative to their salary demands was out of balance. They may make the MLB careers of most MLB players much shorter, but that would also means that more players will get to experience MLB, and its salaries and perks.

Now, whether we can get to a system where we truly pay the greatest players like Mike Trout what they are worth, and balance that payment with lower salaries on his team to match what other players are worth, I do not know. But moving in that direction is not sinister or signs that something is broken; it is a better alignment with value and cost.

If you want to address that imbalance with floors and caps, you can do that. Just recognize what happens when you introduce caps.
   6. Nasty Nate Posted: February 26, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5818397)
..but the fact guys like Dallas Keuchel are still out of work...
C'mon, "still out of work" is misleading. He's out of work because he's trying to use his negotiating leverage to get the best possible deal. Good for him. But he could have already signed a deal if he wanted to get what guys like him got 5, 10, 15 years ago. He thinks he can get more, and he's probably right.
   7. bbmck Posted: February 26, 2019 at 02:24 PM (#5818403)
The middle class is doing just fine. The middle class who hire Scott Boras are hit and miss.
   8. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 26, 2019 at 02:27 PM (#5818404)
The middle class is getting squeezed because teams now realize that their contribution relative to their salary demands was out of balance. They may make the MLB careers of most MLB players much shorter, but that would also means that more players will get to experience MLB, and its salaries and perks.


More players will get to experience MLB, and its perks, but will then be replaced before they get to experience its salaries. Unless the salary structure changes.
   9. Hank White Posted: February 26, 2019 at 02:30 PM (#5818405)
I think there has probably been a recalibration that has impacted the willingness of teams to spend money on "replacement level" veterans, but I also think it's a simple matter of supply and demand. In a free market economy, you are worth what teams are willing to pay for you which is a function of supply and demand. However, when only 8-10 teams are participating in the market (trying to win) then you have a reduced demand relative to the supply of available free agents. I think that's the biggest issue for the league to figure out: are they ok with over half the league playing the role of Washington Generals, or do need to try to force other teams to "try" (assuming that trying is somewhat correlated to spending).
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 26, 2019 at 02:30 PM (#5818406)
C'mon, "still out of work" is misleading. He's out of work because he's trying to use his negotiating leverage to get the best possible deal. Good for him. But he could have already signed a deal if he wanted to get what guys like him got 5, 10, 15 years ago. He thinks he can get more, and he's probably right.


Having this many good players not in camp at this point is not normal, right? I think we can all acknowledge that.
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: February 26, 2019 at 02:34 PM (#5818410)
Having this many good players not in camp at this point is not normal, right? I think we can all acknowledge that.
Yes. But we don't want to force Keuchel to sign for potentially less money just to be normal, do we?
   12. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: February 26, 2019 at 02:35 PM (#5818411)
And now on topic:

Arenado is a terrific fielder and a very good hitter. Given that he's still a year from FA, this contract suggests that he's seen as more valuable than Machado. And rightly, too, IMHO. Harper, good though he is, is still more famous than good, and if manages to top this (or Machado's contract) someone is going to get burned.
   13. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 26, 2019 at 02:35 PM (#5818412)
participating in the market (trying to win)
It seems like you're reading an = in there that doesn't really exist.
   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 26, 2019 at 02:38 PM (#5818413)
Having this many good players not in camp at this point is not normal, right? I think we can all acknowledge that.
Harper, Keuchel, I guess Kimbrel and...who else?
   15. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: February 26, 2019 at 02:41 PM (#5818417)
Yeah, I think this is a pretty good deal for both Arenado and the Rockies. I'm also glad to see when players stick with their teams, especially when it's not one of the (for lack of a better word, but we use it in the NBA thread) glamour teams.

I do wonder if the FA market entered into Arenado's mind at all when considering discussing an extension or not (not that the ton of money doesn't help make that easier). We've seen more of the early/pre arb extensions (Nola, Severino) than soon to be FA extensions, but it's worth watching to see if more guys do start taking these extensions.
   16. JJ1986 Posted: February 26, 2019 at 02:43 PM (#5818418)
Harper, Keuchel, I guess Kimbrel and...who else?

Gio Gonzalez is good-ish. Adam Jones is a guy who would have been signed in the past. Jose Iglesias just got a minor league deal. Fangraphs projects 4 other guys (Carlos Gonzalez, Matt Wieters, Martin Maldonado and Clay Buchholz) for 1+ WAR, although I'd be down on all four. A bunch of relievers - Bud Norris, Ryan Madson, Tony Sipp, Adam Warren.
   17. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 26, 2019 at 02:44 PM (#5818419)
Colorado has never not had the best hitters park in MLB.


Except that year the Expos played games at Hiram Bithorn. That place was ridiculous.
   18. bfan Posted: February 26, 2019 at 02:45 PM (#5818420)
Yeah, I think this is a pretty good deal for both Arenado and the Rockies. I'm also glad to see when players stick with their teams, especially when it's not one of the (for lack of a better word, but we use it in the NBA thread) glamour teams.

I do wonder if the FA market entered into Arenado's mind at all when considering discussing an extension or not (not that the ton of money doesn't help make that easier). We've seen more of the early/pre arb extensions (Nola, Severino) than soon to be FA extensions, but it's worth watching to see if more guys do start taking these extensions.


I agree with all of this. I think Arenado and his agent read the market correctly, and gave Colorado the first chance to make a pre-emptive bid, to keep him from going out to the market. Colorado was smart enough to pay a market rate for their best player, and it all ends well for both parties. Could he have gotten more? Might he have gotten less? Both are yes and no, but this seems like a market number to me.
   19. Bote Man Posted: February 26, 2019 at 02:50 PM (#5818425)
Gio Gonzalez is good-ish.

::sigh:: And today was shaping up to be such a good day for me :-(
   20. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 26, 2019 at 02:57 PM (#5818431)
Gio Gonzalez is good-ish. Adam Jones is a guy who would have been signed in the past. Jose Iglesias just got a minor league deal. Fangraphs projects 4 other guys (Carlos Gonzalez, Matt Wieters, Martin Maldonado and Clay Buchholz) for 1+ WAR, although I'd be down on all four. A bunch of relievers - Bud Norris, Ryan Madson, Tony Sipp, Adam Warren.
Fungible players getting funged, pretty much. I guess Iglesias is a little surprising.
   21. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 26, 2019 at 02:59 PM (#5818433)
Arenado has been incredibly consistent the last four years. He's played in at least 156 games each season, hit between 37 and 42 HRs, and put up OPS+s between 124 and 133. His defense took a hit from exceptional to simply above average by BIS, though UZR/150 was never as bullish and put him between +3 to +6 for the last four years.

I'm happy to see him stay in Denver, though this deal does give him an opt-out after three years.
   22. Stevey Posted: February 26, 2019 at 03:31 PM (#5818440)
are we done with "Is free agency broken/do players have no bargaining power" articles?


Revenues are going up, salaries are going down. Maybe it just suddenly became a lot more expensive to get all the other stuff needed to run a baseball team.

$30M might seem like a large, milestone number, but it really doesn't mean squat without the context of how much people are paying to be able to see these guys. 5 WAR players are bringing in more than $30M revenue.
   23. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 26, 2019 at 03:38 PM (#5818443)
$30M might seem like a large, milestone number, but it really doesn't mean squat without the context of how much people are paying to be able to see these guys. 5 WAR players are bringing in more than $30M revenue.
It's my understanding that, to the extent the issue has been studied, people have concluded that that is far from the case. Are you aware of any studies that support what you're saying?
   24. Spahn Insane Posted: February 26, 2019 at 03:44 PM (#5818444)
Fungible players getting funged, pretty much.

Right, subtitled "teams no longer being totally dumb," sub-subtitled "What would Jim 'Retail' Hendry do, so you can do the opposite."

Jones being a player who "would've been signed in the past" doesn't make him actually good. He can't play CF anymore, and he doesn't have the bat for an OF corner. That he's looking for work shouldn't be that surprising, especially if he's insisting on a guaranteed starting gig and/or multiple years.
   25. bfan Posted: February 26, 2019 at 03:49 PM (#5818447)
Revenues are going up, salaries are going down.


do we know that to be true? I know they went down 2017 to 2018 (after going up for many, many years in a row); I do not know that to be the case for this year. I thought fangraphs had a look at that and said they might go up slightly?
   26. TDF, trained monkey Posted: February 26, 2019 at 04:12 PM (#5818459)
Whether that's collusion or a recalibration is up for debate, but the fact guys like Dallas Keuchel are still out of work, that Mike Moustakas has to settle for a 1 year, $9M deal, and it that Harper is unsigned through the first two weeks of camp seems to suggest that something is broken.
Keuchel has one season of 170 IP and one season of 3+ bWAR over the past 3, yet was rumored to be looking for 5/$100M. And Cinci dropped out after looking at his medical records.

Harper is unsigned because Boras is still trying to get another dollar from someone.

FWIW, MLB trade rumors had Moustakas getting 2/$16M while Fangraphs had him ~$12-13M/yr but for 3 years. It's also fair to note that he turned down a $15M option for this season (per Fangraphs), so maybe his agent gave him some bad advice. EDIT: And he's guaranteed $10M ($7M for '19, $11M or $3M buyout for '10), not $9M.
   27. Nasty Nate Posted: February 26, 2019 at 04:25 PM (#5818464)
It's also fair to note that he turned down a $15M option for this season (per Fangraphs), so maybe his agent gave him some bad advice.
That wasn't bad advice. It was a mutual option, so the team would have declined it if he didn't. On the other hand, declining the QO a year earlier didn't work out.
   28. jingoist Posted: February 26, 2019 at 04:43 PM (#5818480)
I am hoping the O’s sign Adam Jones at the last minute so he stays in town.
Adam has been the face of the team for the past half dozen or so years.
Beside, he just paid a kings ransom for Cal Ripken’s fortress last year sand it would be nice if he could sleep in it a few more times each year
   29. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 26, 2019 at 05:02 PM (#5818489)
It's really cold outside, but that doesn't mean global warming isn't happening.


It's 60 degrees today in Denver, where Nolan Arenado will be playing for the next eight years.
   30. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 26, 2019 at 05:37 PM (#5818501)
I think we're edging into "the peasants can't be starving, look at all this tasty cake" territory.
   31. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: February 26, 2019 at 07:21 PM (#5818516)
Now, whether we can get to a system where we truly pay the greatest players like Mike Trout what they are worth, and balance that payment with lower salaries on his team to match what other players are worth, I do not know. But moving in that direction is not sinister or signs that something is broken; it is a better alignment with value and cost.

It absolutely is a sign that something is broken. MLB's pay structure is based on an implicit bargain, that teams get the first part of a player's career for virtually free, and after that "overpay" for the veteran FAs. If a huge chunk of FAs suddenly are no longer getting that overpay, due to "a better alignment with value and cost," and teams rather decide to pocket the money instead, then the whole house of cards collapses.

It's a completely untenable situation for the MLBPA (which they arrived at through incompetence, lack of foresight, and poor negotiation, but still). And one they need to address... like yesterday.
   32. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: February 26, 2019 at 08:02 PM (#5818518)
Awesome player. Always enjoy seeing quality people get paid
   33. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 26, 2019 at 09:44 PM (#5818537)
I'm pretty shocked that the Rockies actually spent their money on something worth having, but fair is fair, I guess.
   34. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 26, 2019 at 10:25 PM (#5818548)
Todd Helton Part 2?
   35. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: February 26, 2019 at 10:43 PM (#5818551)
Todd Helton Part 2?


I am not sure if you mean this in a good or bad way, but, at least Arenado is much younger than Helton was when he signed his massive deal.
   36. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: February 26, 2019 at 11:33 PM (#5818554)
Coors Field may no longer be the hitters’ paradise of Cincinnati or Philadelphia

Gee, I wonder if in this day and age you could actually look something like that up? Nah, better to just make #### up.


To be... fair? The split between HR in home games vs. road games (counting both HR hit and allowed) was much larger for the Reds last year than it was for the Rockies. (Reds 233-167, Rockies 220-174.)

Of course, that's not the only thing that matters in scoring runs. But it is where people tend to look first.

FWIW, BABIP splits home vs. road (again, including both pitching and hitting): PHI even, CIN home +.005, COL home +.048. Yeah, that'll get you a few extra runs every now and then.
   37. Bote Man Posted: February 27, 2019 at 12:56 AM (#5818561)
And one they need to address... like yesterday.

More likely when the next CBA is negotiated...and the players strike.
   38. Nasty Nate Posted: February 27, 2019 at 09:35 AM (#5818609)
It absolutely is a sign that something is broken. MLB's pay structure is based on an implicit bargain, that teams get the first part of a player's career for virtually free, and after that "overpay" for the veteran FAs.
No, that's not the bargain. They get the very first part of a player's career for virtually free, and then the next chunk they have to pay, and then after that the player gets to choose whichever bidder he wants. Players still get that. In these discussions, when is the "before" which was so much better for the players than now? 10 years ago? 15 years ago?

People like Keuchel or even Moustakas (and maybe even Jose Iglesias) seem like they've been earning more money than similar players in the past, never mind all the players who have gotten big deals. Keuchel got $13m in his last year before free agency, Barry Zito got $8m, Lackey got $10m etc...
   39. Nasty Nate Posted: February 27, 2019 at 09:36 AM (#5818610)
It's 60 degrees today in Denver, where Nolan Arenado will be playing for the next eight years.
Good for the Rockies and their fans. Sorry to distract from the important part of this thread!
   40. TDF, trained monkey Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:08 PM (#5818740)
To be... fair? The split between HR in home games vs. road games (counting both HR hit and allowed) was much larger for the Reds last year than it was for the Rockies. (Reds 233-167, Rockies 220-174.)
HR/FB home vs. Road:

COL 17.7% vs. 13.0%
CIN 14.3% vs. 10%
PHI 13.9% vs. 11.5%
FWIW, BABIP splits home vs. road (again, including both pitching and hitting): PHI even, CIN home +.005, COL home +.048. Yeah, that'll get you a few extra runs every now and then.
2018 BABIP by stadium:
COL - .327, t#2 BOS/TEX .309

2017
COL - .334, #2 DET .316

2016
COL - .343, #2 ARI .330

2015
COL - .344, #2 BOS .321
   41. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 27, 2019 at 03:41 PM (#5818776)
Given that he's still a year from FA, this contract suggests that he's seen as more valuable than Machado.

Arenado was already on a one-year, $26M contract for his last arb year. So they are effectively giving him $234M for 7 years of free agency (2020-2026), with a player opt-out after 2021.

Machado gets $300M for 10-years (2019-2028), with a player opt-out after 2023.

It's hard to really compare the contracts given those differences, but yeah, signing Arenado a year before they had to, and giving him an opt-out after only three years of additional team control, is giving up a lot. Arenado only gives up 2 years of free agency before getting another opportunity to test the market when he's 30. Whereas Machado gives up 5 years of free agency, and will be 31 when his opt-out hits. (The opt-out is still a big give for the Padres, don't get me wrong.)
   42. Zonk took his own SATs Posted: February 27, 2019 at 06:26 PM (#5818861)
As a non-Rockies fan who knows better than to lean on the old counting stats --

I have to admit that I still find counting stats fun for a lark... and I hope Arenado stays healthy, productive, and in town for the duration of this deal solely because his counting stats could be getting into pretty cool epochs by the end.

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