The Colorado Rockies have announced an eight-year contract extension, worth $260 million with superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado. The deal also includes an opt-out after three seasons that will be available to Arenado and a full no-trade clause, giving Arenado as much control a player that’s locked up on a long-term deal can have.
In his six seasons in the major leagues, Arenado has won six Gold Gloves, four Silver Slugger awards, two Platinum Gloves and has made it to four All-Star games. Those awards speak for themselves and despite the star third baseman not having any MVP awards on his list of achievements, he is arguably the best position player in all of baseball. In fact, this new contract makes him the highest-paid position player in all of baseball based on annual salary, and the second-highest paid player, trailing only Zack Greinke.
Offensively, Arenado’s accomplishments are as impressive as anyone in baseball. He has led the National League in home runs three out of the last four seasons, has led the National League in RBIs twice in his career and he led the NL in doubles in 2017.
Those are just his numbers when it comes to leading the league. His other numbers are equally as impressive, posting a career batting average of .291 and a career OPS of .886. I know that a lot of people will scream “Coors Field”, which is reasonable because Coors Field is one of the more, if not the most, hitter-friendly park in all of baseball, but when the Rockies play home games there are seven other players in the lineup not including the pitcher, and nobody else is putting up the types of numbers that Arenado is putting up.
His home/road splits do feature a much better batting average and a significantly higher OPS at home than they do on the road, but a lot of hitters in baseball hit better at home than they do on the road, that’s not unique to Nolan Arenado.
The thing that really stands out about how dangerous Arenado is with the bat in his hands is how little he makes soft contact. For his career, he only makes soft contact 15.2% of the time, which correlates directly to a very good BABIP of .300.
As impressive as Arenado’s offensive numbers are over the course of his career, his defense might be even more impressive. To start off there’s never been a season since he’s been in the major leagues that he hasn’t won a Gold Glove award, meaning the third base spot is effectively on lockdown as far as the Gold Glove goes before the season even starts. As mentioned above, he has also won two Platinum Gloves, given to each leagues best fielder regardless of position. Those awards also happen to come in each of the past two seasons.
During his career, Arenado is responsible for 109 defensive runs saved, and that is with only five defensive runs saved this past season. Before that his lowest season was 16 defensive runs saved.
The value that Arenado brings to the Rockies can’t be understated as they’ve made it to the postseason in back-to-back seasons. It was only a matter of time before the Rockies paid him based on what they were set to pay him this season as the two sides agreed to a one-year deal earlier in the offseason to avoid arbitration.
It’s only a matter of time before Arenado wins an MVP award, and more than likely he will win a good amount more than one before his career is wrapped up.