Last week, Jon Morosi reported that there was around a 50/50 chance that the Rockies would trade Nolan Arenado this off-season.
On the surface, it would seem as if the Yankees are all set. They captured their white whale in Gerrit Cole, brought back Brett Gardner, and continue to shop J.A. Happ. The Yankees don’t necessarily have a need at third base, but they didn’t have a need in right field when they acquired Giancarlo Stanton either.
If you pay attention to the Yankees at all, you know that Brian Cashman goes for value first and foremost, and worries about fit second.
Why it makes sense
Why does a trade for Arenado make sense? Well for starters, he’s insanely good at baseball. He owns a career slash line of .295/.351/.546 and averages 36 homers and 115 (!!!) RBIs per season. Defensively, he’s got a chance to be the greatest defensive third baseman of all time. He’s won the gold glove every single year he’s been in the league. Arenado hits the ball hard, often, and far. He hits well with runners in scoring position, and he has a great eye. He’s essentially the perfect offensive player. Did I mention he’s won the gold glove award every year he’s been in the league?
But Coors Field!
Spare me. How did that Coors field theory work with DJ LeMahieu? Next Question.
We have Miguel Andujar and Gio Urshela!
News Flash: Nolan Arenado is eons better than both of them. He is arguably the second best player in the sport behind Mike Trout. He would instantly be the best player on the Yankees. (Sorry Aaron)
Arenado has played in at least 155 games in every season since 2015. He simply doesn’t get injured. On a team full of injury prone stars, that could be a nice change of pace. Arenado has a reputation for an insane work ethic and an awesome teammate, with no history of off the field trouble.
Arenado is owed a very reasonable $235 million over the next seven years. I have no idea what the Yankees would have to give up. Miguel Andujar, Devi Garcia, and Clint Frazier would be a start. Under normal circumstances, the Rockies would probably ask for an established stud like Gary Sahnchez or Gleyber Torres. However, they seem desperate to get out from under that contract. Additionally, Jon Morosi reported that they preferred not to trade within their own division. That probably means they prefer to trade him to the American League.
Fit wise, Arenado would instantly slide into the three spot. He would provide elite protection for Aaron Judge, and he would also take some pressure off Giancarlo Stanton. As the best defensive third baseman in the game, he would help ease Gleyber’s transition to full time shortstop.
The Yankees are already a championship contender for 2020. However, Brian Cashman’s job is to improve the roster any way he can. Adding Nolan Arenado to this team would arguably give the Yankees the greatest roster of all time, talent-wise. It would also take a lot of the pressure off the current crop that hasn’t hit very well in the playoffs.