They say starting your day off with a rumor gets the metabolizing going so in the best interest of health we’ve decided to cover this for you. Okay, maybe not but here you go!
Rockies beat writer for the Denver Post Patrick Saunders has officially linked the Braves to Rockies starting third baseman Nolan Arenado.
In 2020, Arenado hit .253/.303/.434 with 8 homers in a strange 76 wRC+, 0.9 fWAR season for the Rockies. His last full season of baseball was of course in 2019 which saw him hit .315/.379/.583 and put up 6 fWAR. Nolan signed an 8 year, $260M contract in 2019 and is set to make $35M a year for the next four years, before dipping to $32M in 2025. Nolan also has an opt-out after the 2021 season as well which makes his contract quite difficult to trade. Another statistic to also consider is Nolan’s home and away splits as he has a .985 OPS at home, and .793 OPS away from Coors Field. Still, the fact remains that he is considered one of the top third basemen in the league and would be a welcome addition to nearly any team in baseball.
Update - Jon Heyman provides an update on the Braves’ interest in Arenado and the asking price.
Braves have checked in on Arenado, too. Probably a long shot. Rockies want big haul back but don’t want to eat much $ (that part makes some sense as he may opt out after 2021 anyway). #STLCards need may be greater than Braves.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 29, 2021
As for Joc Pederson, the Braves were also linked, albeit through nothing but speculation as an interesting possibility for a platoon role but that line of thought has officially ended as Ken Rosenthal dropped this nugget of information this morning:
Free-agent outfielder Joc Pederson in agreement with Cubs, pending physical, sources tell @TheAthletic.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 29, 2021
Pederson hit .190/.285/.397 in 43 games last year with a 88 wRC+ and -0.1 fWAR, but in 2019 had a 127 wRC+ after hitting .249/.339/.538 with 36 homers. For his career, Joc has a .849 OPS against RHP and would have given the Braves a much needed LHB. So the search remains for the Braves as they put together the finishing touches on their roster as we lead into the 2021 season.