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Cardinals & Rockies

January 30, 2021

Cardinals

Name Age Level P1 P2 Availablility Years AFV Salary Surplus Low Median High
Arenado 30 Majors 3B Medium 6.0 144.3 199.0 -54.7 -54.7 -43.7 -32.8
Cash Minors 50

Rockies

Name Age Level P1 P2 Availablility Years AFV Salary Surplus Low Median High
Baker Minors 1B 2.5 2 2.5 3
Gomber 27 Majors SP LHRP Medium 4.0 13.8 8.9 4.9 3.9 4.9 5.9
Torres Minors OF 3.3 2.6 3.3 4
28 Comments
  1. John Bitzer

    This is still developing, and per Rosenthal, may not be complete for a couple days. But the framework above looks like it might be close.

    • Sean Ricky-Bobby

      sounds one more 40fv piece also going to the rockies and Arenado keeps 2021 opt out and adds 2022 opt out.

      I know the rockies are going to catch some shit for the shape of the package but they did well enough via the site. I just think you need to focus on younger prospects more then they did.

    • username 1001

      If this trade is working out as proposed, this has to give you guys so much confidence in your model. So far I have yet to see anything like BTV in terms of helping fans and statheads alike better understand how trade valuations work. I remember toward the start of the offseason how this site was getting backlash from Arenado’s value, but lo and behold, here is confirmation that his contract was in fact underwater.

      I know I’ve praised BTV a lot in some of my comments, but this site over the winter has shifted and sharpened my ability to expound on baseball trades. I have grappled with these ideas for years, but the tools available here actually allowed me to see them in action. Fangraphs, Baseball Prospectus, and all the other ranking and database sites have never made these ideas so accessible and easy to grasp. Yes, it takes reading the methodology to fully understand it, but once I took that in and looked through the numbers and AFV and Salary and Years and prospect rankings etc…it just makes sense.

      Regardless, despite what popular sites may say, this makes sense for Colorado. They are escaping Arenado’s contract and will have clearer vision moving forward. Maybe they focus on extending Story, maybe they go into a full rebuild. But Colorado is actually making moves instead of remaining stagnant. A good change!

      • John Bitzer

        Thanks for the kind words, for being such a loyal user here, and for being an advocate for the site. We appreciate it!

  2. allotta memes

    Damn must be a tough time for Rockies fans, Not only is Arenado getting traded, but I don’t expect Story to stick around much longer. I doubt he wants to stay in Colorado when his GM is terrible, and they just traded the best player on the team.

  3. Elias Q

    Colorado might as well be like Pittsburgh, going into a long-term rebuild, and aiming to contend within 5-10 years.

    • Daniel Marcoulis

      The Rockies aren’t showing a true sign of directions, unless this trade has sufficient established they will plan to tear down and rebuild. Really depends around these Story extension talks I’ve occasionally heard thrown around.

  4. Erik Jager

    Another MLB team decides to not to spend any money on their roster. There to be needs a minimum MLB payroll around a hundred million. The Pirates are on a fire sale mission. Several teams are spending only modestly on bargains. The MLB’S TEAM

  5. Chad Smith

    As a Reds fan and an ardent anti-Cardinal, I am glad they are getting Arenado. Let them find out what an albatross his and Goldschmidt contracts will become. Even with the reported $50M going the Cardinals’ way (which by the way is against league rules, but nobody cares about that anymore) they will have $61M tied up in two players for the next four years. That will hamstring their payroll and prevent them from adding players of substance for years to come (just like Votto’s deal has done to the Reds) and that is fine with me

  6. M P

    I don’t love the trade for Colorado. They are trading the best 3B in the league (putting aside salary for now) for a decent COF prospect who might turn into something and a 1B and SP/RP who don’t project particularly well. This return doesn’t have a particularly high ceiling or floor, which is an awful return for Arenado.

    This may have been the best Colorado could do, but wow, not a single high upside prospect in return.

    • John Bitzer

      I’m sure the amount is conditional. But it’s also probably a moot point, since it’s highly unlikely he would.

      • jeff blackwell

        so Arenado AAV is in $25m range with 15m/ added yr and $50 mil over 7? yrs?

        • John Bitzer

          $23.4M AAV — for now. (164/7)

          But let’s wait and see what the deferrals look like, as that will likely decrease the net present value further.

  7. John Bitzer

    Update: latest reports say Baker is not part of the package, but Woodford is.

    Also, Arenado has agreed to defer some undisclosed amount of salary, and the Cardinals are tacking on another year at the end of the contract for $15M. Since we don’t know the amount of the deferrals, we don’t have a clear read yet on how it affects the overall valuation of his contract. It’s all very complicated. But the basic framework here still seems to be solid and in fair-value territory.

    • John Bitzer

      No, they didn’t. Their mistake was to overpay for Arenado in the first place, which is what caused his negative valuation. They could find only one team willing to take on that underwater contract. Given that, the actual deal is fair under the circumstances.

      • Elias Q

        So is it like the Mookie trade, where the Red Sox didn’t get a top prospect (besides Jeter Downs) from LA because LA was taking Price’s massive contract?

        • John Bitzer

          A little bit. It’s all just math. Price’s contract was underwater as well, and Boston paid down half of it.

          • I believe Boston should have also gotten Graterol.

  8. Paul Owensby

    If I were Colorado, there’s no way this deal gets done unless Woodford, Gomber, Montero, & Kinizer is the return at a minimum.

  9. chris salber

    From a value standpoint the trade seems fair and the Rockies did well. But from logical standpoint I can’t figure out why the Rockies would do it. The prospects are underwhelming and if Arenado was so unhappy in 2021, he would opt out after 2021. The way I se the trade is like this.
    They could have played out 2021 with Nolan and paid him 35mil. A rough season, losing story, and lack of faith in the franchise to compete with the dodgers and SD would lead him to opt out. They’d still get a compensation pick for him
    Cost would be 35 mil and return a comp pick (assuming he is frustrated enough to opt out)
    Instead they paid 50 mil and got 3 marginal prospects back.
    Is the difference of 15 mil and 2 more prospects worth doing the deal now?

    • jeff blackwell

      maybe the Col FO realized that they made contention promises to Nolan that ownership couldn’t keep. Col sure spent on BP 3 ?? yrs ago.
      This may have been an act of financial desperation.

    • Justin Lane

      The Rockies management overpaid Arenado to start with. Then the pandemic hit and a mid-market team lost money. Other teams know this and can take advantage somewhat. I wish mlb had some kind of structure in-place to prevent what has happened to some of these teams. The opt-out also killed Arenado’s trade value. I think Colorado did okay with this trade considering the situation; the optics are horrible though.

  10. Douglas Joslyn

    Is it possible the $50M being discussed is partially in the form of a contract going back to Colorado. Matt Carpenter going to the Rockies would account for $18-$37M of the $50M depending on his vesting option for 2022. With Arenado in St Louis, the only place for Carpenter to play would be 2B where he has only played 64 games over the last 5 years and he doesn’t play it particularly well. He could play 3B for the Rockies in 2021 and possibly 2022 taking Nolan’s place.

    Dexter Fowler is due $16.5M in 2021, I could see him as a candidate also. It would seem either player would be better for the Rockies to take on rather than just send money.

    • John Bitzer

      Both Carpenter and Fowler have no-trade clauses, so it would seem unlikely that they’d waive them to go to Colorado as part of this deal.

  11. sterling abernathy

    Excellent analysis of the Arenado trade. Your article in September on Nolan’s contract value was very good. It is hard to understand how a player with his career can have a negative value, but his contract makes him one of the top 5 paid players over the next 6 years for his age 30-35 years. I still think he can outperform the model estimate, and his great fielding skills and work ethic ensure a relatively high floor, just not to the value of his current contract.
    Your point that the Rockies big mistake was agreeing to that contract more than this trade, seems right on. Also, I heard that the GM of Rockies gave Nolan the 2021 opt out clause, even though he didn’t ask for it.
    Could the Rockies have offered Nolan the option to opt out this offseason, even though it wasn’t in the contract to save the negative contract value? He may have been willing to take less long term guarantee to play for the Dodgers or the team of his choice.
    Also, has your model been adjusted for the impact of the pandemic, the lost revenue in 2020 and 2021 as well as so many teams actively reducing payroll?

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