Rockies, Arenado agree to $260M deal

The star third baseman and the Colorado Rockies agreed to an eight-year, $260-million contract, the team announced Tuesday.

Arenado could have become a free agent later this year.

Manny Machado waited until last week before getting a $300 million, 10-year deal with San Diego, and Bryce Harper remains on the market. Others slated to be free agents that winter include Houston Astros pitchers Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale and St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

Arenado says the cold free-agent market the past two seasons wasn't a big factor.

"I don't go off what everyone else is doing".

Nolan Arenado likes where he is and the direction the Colorado Rockies are headed. The deal also makes Arenado the highest paid position player in Major League Baseball history with an annual average salary of $32.5 million. Even more, they almost captured the team's first NL West title before losing in a tiebreaker at Los Angeles in Game No. 163. Colorado then beat the Chicago Cubs in the Wild Card game, before being swept in three games by the Milwaukee Brewers.

But now is a new chapter for a team that's been to the World Series just once - in 2007, when the Rockies were swept by Boston.

Known for his big bat and his highlight-reel plays at third, Arenado has been the face of the franchise for years. The real answer is, none of us really know, and the Rockies giving Arenado this contract makes it harder for all the teams that are supposedly bidding on Harper. He has finished in the top five in the National League MVP voting each of the last three years and has a career.291/.346/.539 slash line over six MLB seasons.

It's the second deal worked out by the front office this week.

Some of those names, including Rendon, could also come off the market in the coming months by signing extensions with their current teams. They'll rely heavily on youngsters such as Garrett Hampson, Ryan McMahon or Brendan Rodgers at second base after the departure of DJ LeMahieu to the New York Yankees.

Arenado, though, will be the driving force.

"I don't think it was a coincidence", Harding said of the timing of the signing.

  • Stacy Allen