KCKingdom
Fansided

Kansas City Royals missed opportunity to acquire Nolan Arenado

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 22: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies hits a sacrifice fly ball to score Trevor Story #27 from third base against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium on August 22, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 22: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies hits a sacrifice fly ball to score Trevor Story #27 from third base against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium on August 22, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 5
Next
Kansas City Royals missed opportunity to acquire Nolan Arenado
Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

Almost two years ago, the Rockies signed Nolan Arenado to a long-term extension worth $260 million over eight seasons. The deal also included opt-outs and a no-trade clause (more on that in the next section).

Suffice it to say, by landing Arenado just two seasons into that extension, the Royals would also have acquired the biggest contract in franchise history–and it wouldn’t even have been close. Still, with the team’s payroll where it’s at right now plus considering how much money the Rockies would’ve sent over (based on how much they really did send to the Cardinals), the Royals would be able to afford it.

Let’s start with the team’s payroll. Since the team has now acquired Benintendi, we’ll, of course, use his salary as part of the equation. Cot’s Baseball Contracts has the Royals at a shade over $98 million for the 40-man competitive balance tax payroll going into this season. As recently as 2017, the Royals were over $185 million while they were over $177 million the prior season. (Check out this valuable page for all years from 2000 through 2020.)

Adding Arenado raises that overall number, yes, but not by as much as one might think. This is because, for some reason, not only were the Colorado Rockies intent on dumping their best player for pennies on the dollar, but they also sent money with him–to the tune of $50+ million.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has an excellent breakdown of the trade, including the financial ramifications. That $50+ million is broken down thusly: the Rockies will pay $15 million of Arenado’s 2021 salary ($35 million) with the rest being paid over the rest of the length of the contract if Arenado doesn’t opt-out.

Yes, this deal includes an opt-out. Two, actually, one after each of the next two seasons. Arenado also retains his full no-trade clause that he waived in order to facilitate his move to St. Louis. Finally, the parties agreed to add another year to the deal so that now it extends through the 2027 season.

Back to the Royals. The team would add another $20 million in commitments this upcoming season, upping their 40-man CB tax payroll to $118 million–still well short of what the team spent from 2015-2018.

Plus, the Royals have pitcher Danny Duffy coming off the books after 2021. Two other notable players are free agents after this season: catcher Salvador Perez and outfielder/DH Jorge Soler. Even with raises to keep both Perez and Soler (if Duffy returns, it will be for far less than $13 million per season) in the fold, the Royals would be under their 2016-2017 levels of spending–at least for a couple of more seasons.

Lastly, let’s check in on whether the Royals and Arenado should have been motivated to unite.