Third baseman Nolan Arenado and the Colorado Rockies are reportedly finalizing a record-breaking eight-year contract extension.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 26, 2019
There are varying reports on the value and years of the contract, from $245 million over 7 years (via USA Today) to $260 million over eight years (via Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic). But if those numbers stay in that general ballpark, Arenado would make between $32.5 million and $35 million per year. Either of those salaries (and all the numbers in between) would give Arenado the highest annual salary in baseball. In fact, it would be the highest annual salary in baseball history. Rosenthal also reported that Arenado has an opt-out after three years, and that this deal isn’t a contract extension, but technically a brand new deal.
Arenado, 27, was expected to hit the free agent market after the 2019 season. He and the Rockies avoided arbitration with a one-year, $26 million deal at the end of January, which was a record for an arbitration eligible player.
He earned it, though. Arenado has been one of the most productive players in baseball since 2015. He debuted in 2013, and over six years in the majors he’s hit .291/.346/.539 with 222 doubles, 186 home runs, and an OPS of .886. He’s been an All-Star for four straight years, won four Gold Gloves, and four Silver Sluggers. He’s earned National League MVP votes for four straight years, finishing all of them safely inside the top ten and finishing third in 2018. Arenado has also been remarkably durable, playing at least 156 games per season since 2015.
This contract would likely take Arenado to the end of his baseball career, and he’d get to spend it all with the team that drafted him, developed him, and helped turn him into a star. That’s exactly what Arenado wants, as he told USA Today.
“I grew up here in this organization, so it feels like home in a way. I’ve been here since the tide has changed, and that’s a really good feeling. I was part of that change.
“You want to win in a place where you’ve been all of your life.’’
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