Nolan Arenado traded to St. Louis

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My friend who often gets STL scoops early texted me this, he thinks it is happening (money is unclear):

Rockies get: Matt Carpenter, Tommy Edman, Lane Thomas, Miles Mikolas, and Johan Oviedo

Cardinals get: Nolan Arenado, Jon Gray
Very impressive, let’s see how close this turns out to being right. At the bare minimum, this alone is insanely cool.
 

JCizzle

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The Rockies are sending the best player plus $50M? I'm sure I'm missing something, but that seems weird without knowing many of the Cardinal players involved.
 

jon abbey

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The Rockies are sending the best player plus $50M? I'm sure I'm missing something, but that seems weird without knowing many of the Cardinal players involved.
MIA sent $30M along with Stanton in similar circumstances, it’s because the remaining contract is so big.
 

jon abbey

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People shouldn't jump to analyze this one until we know the whole deal, as it's a complex scenario. Keep in mind the pretty underwhelming package that the Indians just got for one year of Lindor and two of Carrasco, and here there is a lot of potential downside for the team if Arenado gets hurt or gets bad and doesn't opt out.
 

ngruz25

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the Rockies haven't signed a major league FA in like 3 seasons. They're just a bad franchise.
They've quietly been a really terrible franchise. They've been around for 25 years and have only been to the postseason four times. They've only won a playoff series in one of those seasons - 2007, where they made it all the way to the World Series before, well, you know what.
 

jon abbey

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It has to be pretty impossible to build a team when pitches act one way in home games and another way in all other games. As we've learned in recent years, this isn't just close to impossible for the pitchers to deal with, it's really difficult for the hitters in non-Coors games.
 

bosockboy

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It has to be pretty impossible to build a team when pitches act one way in home games and another way in all other games. As we've learned in recent years, this isn't just close to impossible for the pitchers to deal with, it's really difficult for the hitters in non-Coors games.
Definitely. It was a mistake expansion franchise.
 

edoug

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I guess if he opts out, it isn't too terrible a deal for the Rockies. But when players to St. Louis they stay forever.
 

jon abbey

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I guess if he opts out, it isn't too terrible a deal for the Rockies. But when players to St. Louis they stay forever.
This is part of what makes it complicated, because from COL's side, he was almost certainly opting out if he wasn't traded.
 

gammoseditor

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This is part of what makes it complicated, because from COL's side, he was almost certainly opting out if he wasn't traded.
And if he doesn’t opt out it’s because he had a really disappointing season. His trade value falls and you’re stuck with a bad contract.
 

DeadlySplitter

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the 50M has to be only if he doesn't opt out at all, right? and a prorated if he does?

the return sounds pitiful, 3-5 lower-end prospects. But Baseball Trade Value has Arenado at -43.7, and his all-time road OPS is .793 (wRC+ 108). A slightly above average bat at 3rd with excellent defense is still a great player, but not 30M AAV.
 

jon abbey

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So what is the actual deal?
Nothing has been announced, it needs Arenado and the league office to sign off on it. It seems like it is five mediocre prospects for Arenado plus $50M (assuming he doesn't opt out, I would think).
 

jon abbey

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the 50M has to be only if he doesn't opt out at all, right? and a prorated if he does?

the return sounds pitiful. 3-5 lower-end prospects.
It's a real tribute to Mookie Betts and Chaim Bloom (and the Dodgers' need to show their fanbase they were being aggressive) that the Sox got so much for Mookie last year, because that doesn't usually happen in these deals (Stanton, Lindor/Carrasco).
 

DeadlySplitter

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It's a real tribute to Mookie Betts and Chaim Bloom (and the Dodgers' need to show their fanbase they were being aggressive) that the Sox got so much for Mookie last year, because that doesn't usually happen in these deals (Stanton, Lindor/Carrasco).
and also that the Dodgers had outfielders to burn with Verdugo, I guess.

edited the post you quoted with some stats. St. Louis is taking some risk here still.
 

jon abbey

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edited the post you quoted with some stats. St. Louis is taking some risk here still.
We've learned in the last few years that Rockies hitters' road numbers are as shrunken as the Coors' numbers are inflated, and so their overall numbers aren't really inflated. Mike Petriello has written about it a ton, but one example is DJ LeMahieu had a .673 road OPS in seven years with COL.

https://www.mlb.com/news/dj-lemahieu-leaves-coors-field-for-the-bronx-c302622392
 

jon abbey

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This covers 2006-2015 but it's still just as true, pretty sure.

"For example, over the past 10 seasons, the Rockies scored 4,596 runs at home, unsurprisingly the most in baseball. But over the same period on the road, they scored 3,089 runs, the fewest in baseball, 151 runs behind 29th-place Houston. In order for both of those things to be true, either Coors Field would have to elevate baseball's worst offense to play like its best, or a middle-of-the-pack team would have had to receive positive effects at home and__negative effects on the road -- which seems far more realistic. You can call that "the Coors Field effect.""
 

jon abbey

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I have posted this a bunch here since NY signed DJ two years ago, but it's so good:

 

DeadlySplitter

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So the idea is Nolan is actually a 850-900 OPS hitter once he's away from Coors a whole season? interesting.
 

edoug

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This covers 2006-2015 but it's still just as true, pretty sure.

"For example, over the past 10 seasons, the Rockies scored 4,596 runs at home, unsurprisingly the most in baseball. But over the same period on the road, they scored 3,089 runs, the fewest in baseball, 151 runs behind 29th-place Houston. In order for both of those things to be true, either Coors Field would have to elevate baseball's worst offense to play like its best, or a middle-of-the-pack team would have had to receive positive effects at home and__negative effects on the road -- which seems far more realistic. You can call that "the Coors Field effect.""
"The Rockies scored 4,596 runs at home, unsurprisingly the most in baseball. But over the same period on the road, they scored 3,089 runs, the fewest in baseball,"
That is a fascinating stat. So the Rockies problem was that they didn't have enough hitting.
 

pokey_reese

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And if he doesn’t opt out it’s because he had a really disappointing season. His trade value falls and you’re stuck with a bad contract.
So you are saying that the opt-out clause benefits the player, rather than the team? Interesting take.
 

jon abbey

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So in the end this is very close to the Stanton deal, they have the same agents too. NY took on more years with Stanton but one optout (past now) and a $22M AAV after MIA picked up $30M of it (plus the last two years of Starlin Castro's deal, thank jah), both are through 2028, both full no-trades. Arenado is 18 months younger and one of the best defensive players in baseball, Stanton is actually good in LF/RF last we saw but he never plays there anymore, perma-DH.

View: https://twitter.com/enosarris/status/1355378795226701824?s=20
 

CaptainLaddie

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The Rockies are dogshit, but it's a very hard job running that franchise thanks to the elevation.

I wonder what a Beane or Epstein type could do there, where they'd take deep dives into the analytics and numbers to put together a roster.
 

santadevil

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It's a real tribute to Mookie Betts and Chaim Bloom (and the Dodgers' need to show their fanbase they were being aggressive) that the Sox got so much for Mookie last year, because that doesn't usually happen in these deals (Stanton, Lindor/Carrasco).
How could you possibly say that after all the GM's that post here on SoSH totally disagreed with your assessment the day that Betts was traded away?


St. Louis gets another player that I enjoyed watching (Goldschmidt was the other) when they were first coming up. Looks like a solid move for them

As asked above, I assume there must be some proration of the $50M over the next couple years if he decides to opt out for some insane reason
 

Oppo

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There’s an almost 0% chance the Rockies could compete with LAD and SD through the end of Arenado’s deal. Better to pay out $50 million if the net savings is $149 million.

Add in the shoulder concerns and sub .800 ops on the road (although that risk/benefit is probably a worthwhile gamble for StL) and see what Arenado looks like after a couple full seasons outside of Colorado.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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There’s an almost 0% chance the Rockies could compete with LAD and SD through the end of Arenado’s deal. Better to pay out $50 million if the net savings is $149 million.

Add in the shoulder concerns and sub .800 ops on the road (although that risk/benefit is probably a worthwhile gamble for StL) and see what Arenado looks like after a couple full seasons outside of Colorado.
Cardinals have done a lot more right than wrong over the past 15-20 years. They walked up to the ledge and then turned away from extending the 2d greatest player in their history, a move that seemed wise/gutsy at the time (and proved at least a little lucky in retrospect). They target studs and get them for fair (some would argue unfair!) value: Holliday, Goldschmidt, Arenado. Also not the first time they’ve “taken a chance” on a Rockies hitter with great stats (see Walker, Larry, 2004).

St. Louis has been a model MLB franchise. Colorado, not so much. I wouldn’t bet against this deal working out well for the Cards.
 

sean1562

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Can Brendan Rodgers play 3b? At some point, they have to give that kid an actual opportunity.
 

RedOctober3829

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We've learned in the last few years that Rockies hitters' road numbers are as shrunken as the Coors' numbers are inflated, and so their overall numbers aren't really inflated. Mike Petriello has written about it a ton, but one example is DJ LeMahieu had a .673 road OPS in seven years with COL.

https://www.mlb.com/news/dj-lemahieu-leaves-coors-field-for-the-bronx-c302622392
Yeah I'd say LeMahieu was still a really good hitter away from Colorado given what he's done in NY. I would expect the same with Arenado.
 

Manramsclan

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If this goes through, I wonder what the implications would be for the Cubs. They already were entering a transition period but this may tip them over into a full rebuild and increase their willingness to deal Contreras, Bryant, Baez for parts.
 

Oppo

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Cardinals have done a lot more right than wrong over the past 15-20 years. They walked up to the ledge and then turned away from extending the 2d greatest player in their history, a move that seemed wise/gutsy at the time (and proved at least a little lucky in retrospect). They target studs and get them for fair (some would argue unfair!) value: Holliday, Goldschmidt, Arenado. Also not the first time they’ve “taken a chance” on a Rockies hitter with great stats (see Walker, Larry, 2004).
St. Louis has been a model MLB franchise. Colorado, not so much. I wouldn’t bet against this deal working out well for the Cards.
I said it was probably a worthwhile gamble given the risk/benefit.
Not sure how the Pujols situation has any bearing on this trade? Just that they generally make good decisions? They had some pretty terrible deals with Mike Leake, Greg Holland, Brett Cecil, Dexter Fowler, Matt Carpenter, Kolton Wong, Marcell Ozuna, and others (edit: Martinez) in recent years. They will need Goldy to be more 2020 version than 2019. His OPS+ was 144 with Arz and now 122 with StL.
 
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E5 Yaz

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PedroKsBambino

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It is an interesting question what the Rockies should do pitching-wise. Feels like they’ve tried all sorts of variations—-the one I don’t think they’ve tried is an extreme version of the ‘opener’ concept, have a staff where 7-8 guys regularly pitch 2-4 innings and piece it together at home, looking for 4-6 from those guys on the road or something like that. Just so tough to make it work there.

That said, they also have consistently overplayed their vets and been hesitant to play their younger guys and whatever the real limitations of the altitude are on hitting, it doesn’t excuse the consistently poor decision making fully
 

Sox and Rocks

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So the idea is Nolan is actually a 850-900 OPS hitter once he's away from Coors a whole season? interesting.
Yes. Statistics back the theory (see JA's post/links above) that the Coors effect has a more negative impact on the ability to hit on the road than the positive impact on home numbers. This is exacerbated even more given the division they play in, where 3 of the parks are at or below sea level. It may be a mistake to play MLB in Denver, but it's certainly a mistake to have the Rockies in the NL West.

And, as also pointed out above, the Rockies are incompetently run. They've never embraced analytics to develop strategies for this. In fact, they've gone away from what little analytics they did use:

https://theathletic.com/2251109/2020/12/09/rockies-analytics-department-departures/
An absolute trainwreck of an organization, starting with the owner. I wish I knew how to quit them...
 

BuellMiller

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Cardinals have done a lot more right than wrong over the past 15-20 years. They walked up to the ledge and then turned away from extending the 2d greatest player in their history, a move that seemed wise/gutsy at the time (and proved at least a little lucky in retrospect). They target studs and get them for fair (some would argue unfair!) value: Holliday, Goldschmidt, Arenado. Also not the first time they’ve “taken a chance” on a Rockies hitter with great stats (see Walker, Larry, 2004).

St. Louis has been a model MLB franchise. Colorado, not so much. I wouldn’t bet against this deal working out well for the Cards.
Not to be too pedantic, but that was a lot more than 15-20 years ago. Like 94 or 95. (At least by WAR).
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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I am still having trouble processing this trade from Colorado's angle. I cannot find one remotely plausible benefit to the team. It's not like Nolan Arenado is Vinnie Castilla. But even if he is (which he is not), the trade still seems one-sided.

This deal is like Colorado trading a case of Covid-19 vaccine for a case of Budweiser, and paying for the express shipping costs.