DENVER (Swing Update) – The season will remain in a few weeks and Nolan Arenado has already hit one out of the park.
Anyway, with his contract setting records.
This could be the beginning of such a year for Colorado Rockies All-Star Rockies' third-baseman, who recently accepted a $ 26 million contract to avoid arbitration – the most high of one year for a player eligible for arbitration.
Next step: a long-term deal that could keep him in Denver for years. Otherwise, Arenado, who turns 28 on April 16, will be in the free-trade market at the end of the season. It will undoubtedly be a highly coveted product.
"Nolan is a very good player and the longer he plays in the Rockies, the better we will be," said field player Charlie Blackmon, who plans to move from center to left in 2019. "It's pretty safe to say that He makes all the team, he is even better. I really hope it will last years and years with the Rockies. "
Arenado was very clear on his No.1 priority: playing for a competitor. The Rockies have certainly managed to do it.
They have just finished a season in which they took the Los Angeles Dodgers to an extra game to decide the West of the NL (the Dodgers won), then beat the Chicago Cubs to the Wild Card game from the NL. Colorado was eliminated from the post-season by Milwaukee.
It was the second consecutive season the Rockies had played in the playoffs, something that had never happened before in franchise history. The team lost to Arizona in the 2017 Wild Card NL contest.
"I'm not a big fan of losing. We lost less than last year, "said Blackmon. "I would like to win a few more games, go a step further, do better than the year before."
Arenado finished last season with a .297 average, with 38 homers and 110 RBIs. He is a third-place maestro by winning his sixth consecutive gold medal. His recent agreement to avoid arbitration broke the previous record of $ 23 million that Josh Donaldson acquired last season in Toronto.
To help Arenado and give him an offensive momentum (the team broke a .256 record, which is worse in the franchise), the Rockies brought Daniel Murphy to first base. That means Ian Desmond will be heading for the outfield. They will be relying heavily on youngsters like Garrett Hampson, Ryan McMahon and Brendan Rodgers on second base after DJ LeMahieu left for the New York Yankees.
They need their young collaborators Kyle Freeland and German Marquez to go one step further, while Jon Gray regains his old form after struggling in the far right and being left out.
What you need to know before training in the spring after a season in which the Rockies finished 91-72:
NEW LOOK: Club house boss Carlos Gonzalez will not be part of the team for the first time in 10 years. At least, it is the case for the moment. Gonzalez did not start with Colorado last season, but signed a one-year contract in mid-March. He hit .276 with 16 home runs and 64 RBIs. LeMahieu and his replacement Adam Ottavino, who both signed with the Yankees, have also disappeared. Private Gerardo Parra remains a free agent.
ROOKIES TO WATCH: Rodgers could become the second-baseman in the Rockies. Third overall in the 2015 draft, Rodgers beat a combined total of .268 with 17 homers for Double-A Hartford and Triple-A Albuquerque.
They are ready: Trevor Story has had an exceptional season by forming his first all-star team. He hit .291 with 37 homers and also reduced his dam attack. He had elbow pains in the stretch, but said that he was good to go.
THEY ARE NOT: Ottavino leaving for the Yankees leaves a big hole in the eighth inning in the paddock. The Rockies have relied heavily on Ottavino to narrow the gap with Wade Davis, who has saved a franchise record of 43 games. The post could be filled by climbing Seunghwan Oh or Scott Oberg. Jake McGee, Bryan Shaw or Chris Rusin are three other lifters looking for a rebound season.
ON BRIDGE: Colorado is not getting much love from Las Vegas, which indicates that the team is likely to win 82 one-half wins in 2019. Some experts have called the Rockies to be the most playoff team likely not to return. To think, they no longer saw themselves as outsiders. "We are trying to win a world series and support and support it," said manager Bud Black. Colorado opens the season in Miami on March 28th.