Rockies to Sign Nolan Arenado to a Monster Extension (UPDATE: It's Happening)

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Rockies to Sign Nolan Arenado to a Monster Extension (UPDATE: It’s Happening)

Chicago Cubs

We’ve been talking for weeks about how the uncertain free agent market has almost unquestionably pushed certain young players to accept early extensions, and now you wonder whether it’s going to do the same for even the superstars of the market.

Nolan Arenado, one of the would-be headliners of next year’s free agent class, is going to be something of a test case, because he’s reportedly been offered a whopper of an extension (UPDATE: It’s happening, see below):

The reported offer is for seven years – it would kick in this season, and run through 2025, when Arenado is 34 – at a record $35 million per year. Thanks to his absolutely otherworldly production at Coors Field, and his middling production elsewhere, the Rockies probably have a unique incentive to lock Arenado up, and Arenado may have a unique incentive to take a monster deal right now from the Rockies, rather than risk free agency.

I really think this is going to get done, and it’ll take a top free agent off of next year’s market. (Remember those rumors that the Cubs were just waiting for future offseasons to spend, because they preferred future classes? Even if that rumor is true, you can never count on future classes looking like you expect.)

Obviously, outside of the league-wide implications, there is a narrower potential impact here, as Arenado – a star third baseman whose arbitration figures set certain benchmarks – was probably always going to be an aspirational comp for Kris Bryant’s free agency. That is to say, if Bryant bounces back this year, it could well be the case that he will eye any Arenado deal as the one to beat in a couple years, and it would probably be a floor for any extension talks.

UPDATE: It’s happening, and it’s actually for eight years after a little more negotiation:

Certainly worth considering this framing of the deal:

The two prime years secured are not nothing. It’s just that – as with all deals that feature an early opt-out – the Rockies have given the player all the surprising upside, and locked in all the downside risk. Sometimes that’s what it takes to get a deal done, but of course, the counterargument is to just not do the deal.

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.