Rockies Sign Nolan Arenado For Eight Years

Opt-out clauses, such as the one in Arenado's deal, have become an nearly standard feature of large free agent contracts in recent years.

On Tuesday, Nolan Arenado and the Colorado Rockies shocked the baseball world when it was announced that they have agreed to an 8-year, $260M extension deal.

If the deal is finalized, Arenado's $32.5 million average annual value would be the second-highest in baseball history behind the $34.42 million for pitcher Zack Greinke in a $206.5 million contract with Arizona that began in 2016. It also includes a player opt-out after the 2021 season.

Arenado, who turns 28 on April 16, was on track to be eligible for free agency after this season, but there's comfort in remaining at Coors Field, especially in these uncertain days of free agency. In his career, he has won a Gold Glove award every season since breaking into the big leagues and has hit at least 30 HR and 100 RBI in his last four consecutive seasons.

Arenado and the Rockies avoided arbitration this winter by agreeing to a $26 million salary. The outfielder and his agent are looking for a record-setting deal north of Giancarlo Stanton's previous record of $325 million over 13-years signed with the Miami Marlins in 2014.

Arenado's agent, Joel Wolfe, said his client never expressed any apprehension about the potential of facing free agency.

Kershaw wound up signing a three-year extension with the Dodgers, bypassing the chance to become a free agent for a second time in his career. Should his future outlook stall for any reason, the Rox have plenty of other infield talent on the rise, most notably including Ryan McMahon and Garrett Hampson.

Over the offseason, the Rockies gave their offense a boost by bringing in Daniel Murphy to play first base.

From a payroll vantage point, the Arenado contract will further push the Rox into franchise-record territory. In terms of luxury taxation, the Rockies are still almost $40MM shy of having anything to worry about in 2019, and their luxury tax ledger plummets to just north of $129MM next winter, which would place them almost $80MM shy of incurring any penalties.

The two prime years secured are not nothing. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the exact salary terms, while Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported the agreement to be in place (Twitter links).