Why The Arenado Trade Will Sabotage The Rockies For Seasons To Come
The Colorado Rockies have their fair share of star players. Charlie Blackmon’s walk-off grand slams make the trip to Coors Field worth it by themselves. Trevor Story was recently counted among the MLB’s Top 20 players by the MLB Network. But one star, Nolan Arenado, is no longer with the Rockies. He was traded away to the Cardinals in February 2021. In return for sending the Cardinals Arenado and $51 million, the Rockies got five Cardinals players. However, none of them match Arenado’s caliber, and Rockies fans know it.
Why Nolan Arenado Is A Star
The 2020 season aside, Nolan Arenado is among the MLB’s best hitters. In 2018, he had a .306 batting average, which put him in the top five hitters in the entire league. Even during his slump in 2020, he was a strong player. He had a 10% K rate (strikeout rate for you baseball newbies) during his slump season. That was the best K rate in the National League that year, making Arenado more formidable than many hitters during a season where many of his stats slumped. If that’s his bad season, then it’s easy to see why he’s sought after.
Why The Rockies Traded Nolan Arenado
Jeff Bridich was the Colorado Rockies General Manager who oversaw Arenado’s trade. Perhaps because of this blunder, he “stepped down” while I was writing this article. In hindsight, it’s unsurprising. Not only did Bridich trade one of the Rockies’ best players away. But, according to USA Today, he was also:
It remains unclear why the Rockies traded Arenado. However, it’s likely because his contract was too expensive. His eight-year $260 million extension with the Rockies gave him the largest annual salary of any MLB player in 2019. As far as we can tell, the Rockies didn’t want to pay that much money for him. But when you have a star homegrown player, you should expect him to be expensive. The Rockies got a lot for that money, too. But now that Arenado is gone, the Rockies managers must deal with the fallout from the fans.
- Combative with other club executives and media partners.
- Argumentative with Arenado himself.
- Incoherent at press conferences about Arenado’s trade.
Fans' Reactions To Arenado’s Trade
Googling the headlines about Arenado’s trade should make the tone of the fans’ reaction clear. Since it’s such a strategic blunder, finding concrete reasons for it is difficult. The best we could do was speculate about his contract’s worth. However, that uncertainty makes fans even angrier. It’s one thing to make an unpopular and costly decision. It’s another to make it for no good reason.
Anecdotally, my girlfriend’s cousin is a devout Rockies fan. But he’s as devout a follower of star players as much as his star team. After Arenado’s trade, my girlfriend’s cousin loaded up on Cardinals gear. That’s the thing about star players. Baseball fans will follow their favorite players as much as their favorite teams. And if star players are mistreated – or perceived to be mistreated – the team’s image falls in the eyes of its fans.
What Arenado’s Trade Means For Baseball Bettors
If you bet on baseball, there are a few things to keep in mind. Arenado will still be a strong player at the Cardinals. So, if bettors are looking at MLB futures, the Cardinals should be a team worth considering. The Rockies are going to be in turmoil while management figures itself out. The new Cardinals players will have to be integrated into the Rockies, too. So, the Rockies probably aren’t good futures bets right now, either.
Moneyline bets will change this season, too. The Rockies’ performance will likely be poorer, while the Cardinals may gain the edge in a few close games.
Although the Rockies still have some star players, losing Arenado is a big hit. The Rockies won’t suddenly become the worst team in MLB. But bettors should expect the team’s performance to dip.