Just one year after signing third baseman Nolan Arenado to a massive contract extension, the Colorado Rockies are reportedly looking into trading the slugger, and there could be a surprising team interested in his services.
According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the Chicago Cubs are a "possible suitor" for Arenado if the Rockies end up deciding to move him.
“The Cubs also loom as a possible suitor, especially if they trade former National League MVP Kris Bryant in a move to obtain young pitching,” Morosi wrote.
There is no question that Arenado is one of the best hitters in baseball, as he blasted 41 home runs and batted .315 for the Rockies last season, but his contract could potentially be problematic for any team that wants to acquire him. Not only is he set to make a base salary of $35 million for each of the next five seasons, but he also has an opt out clause after the 2021 season, meaning that teams may not be keen to give up a boatload of prospects for a player they may only control for two years.
In addition to the issues with Arenado’s contract, the Cubs have their own financial constraints to deal with. The team seems adamant about getting back below baseball’s luxury tax threshold, and adding a $35 million contract to that bill without shedding the contract of a player like Jason Heyward seems to be a tall task for the Cubs’ front office.
Finally, the Cubs already have a strong third baseman in Bryant, and he will earn just over half of what Arenado is set to make during the 2020 season. Bryant is also under contract through the 2021 season, meaning that if the Cubs wanted to shell out big bucks for a third baseman, they’d likely be just as well off giving Bryant a contract extension instead.