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Mets Should Pursue Nolan Arenado At Almost Any Cost

Unless you are the Los Angeles Angels with Mike Trout or maybe the Boston Red Sox with Mookie Betts, no baseball team can definitively say they have a better player on their team than Nolan Arenado. Since 2015, he has been a top eight player in the league in terms of fWAR, and he has been a top six player in terms of DRS.

Arenado has won seven straight Gold Gloves, been an All-Star for five straight seasons, and he has won a Silver Slugger in four of the last five seasons. It should come as no surprise he has been a top five finisher in the MVP voting over that five year stretch.

Arenado has proven himself to be the rare player who has the ability to impact the game in the field and at the plate. He is one of the best in the sport, a future Hall of Famer, and at 28 years old, he is in his prime. When players like this are available, you do everything you can do to acquire them.

That should include the Mets.

If Arenado was on the Mets in 2020, his 5.7 WAR would have been the best on the team. To that end, the Mets have not had a position player have a WAR over 5.0 since Juan Lagares in 2014, and they have not had a position player with a WAR better than Arenado’s 5.7 since David Wright had a 5.9 WAR in 2013.

If you think about it, that’s what Arenado is. Both are Gold Glove caliber and Silver Slugger players who are top 10 players in the sport. The key difference is Arenado is healthy and playing now. When players like Wright come along, and Arenado is that level of player, you do what you can to get him.

When you look at the Mets roster as a whole, the only player they have better than Arenado right now is Jacob deGrom. When you consider deGrom is the best pitcher in baseball right now, and he is signed to a very reasonable contract extension, you cannot trade him for Arenado.

Any other pitcher on the Mets roster, Noah Syndergaard included, can and should be considered in a potential Arenado trade.

As for the rest of the Mets team, you can and should consider trading all of them if the price is right.

Yes, that means you should consider trading players like Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo. It would hurt to lose either player, but you will have one entrenched in one of the corner outfield spots, and you can move Jeff McNeil to LF on a permanent basis to accommodate that loss.

For what it is worth, the Mets should be willing to trade McNeil for Arenado as well. After all, Arenado is a better baseball player than McNeil, and if you’re going to choose between the two as who you want to be your third baseman for the next five years, you are going to chose Arenado.

Finally, yes, you can also consider trading Pete Alonso. If the Mets traded Alonso for Arenado, they still have Dominic Smith and J.D. Davis (who is really only just a first baseman) to play first. At the end of the day, you hate losing Alonso who has proven to be not just a very good player, but also one who has captured the hearts and minds as Mets fans.

That said, Arenado is a better baseball player than Alonso. More to the point, the Mets are a better team with Smith/Davis at first, Arenado at third, and an outfield of McNeil-Nimmo-Conforto than have a team where they either play Jake Marisnick everyday or have a platoon of first basemen in left field.

They’re also a better team with Alonso and Arenado at the corners. To that end, if you can swing a deal without giving up Alonso, or any of their other core players which include Conforto, McNeil, Nimmo, and Syndergaard, you do it. The problem is the Mets don’t necessarily have that farm system after all the damage Brodie Van Wagenen did last offseason.

To that end, if the Rockies want a player the ilk of Francisco Alvarez, Ronny Mauricio, Andres Gimenez, Matthew Allan, Brett Baty, or whomever else the Rockies inquire, the Mets should be willing to listen. Of course, if the Rockies want to go this route, the caliber of Major League player the Mets should be willing to part in such a trade comes down a significant peg from the aforementioned core.

Now, it should be noted Arenado has an opt out after the 2021 season. If you are the Mets, you don’t disrupt your core without getting him to waive that or renegotiate the contract. That is where Steve Cohen and his money should hopefully come into play.

If the Mets can get Arenado to waive his no trade clause and opt in to his contract, short of Jacob deGrom, there is no one the Mets should not discuss in a trade because at the end of the day, the Mets do not have a player as good as the one Nolan Arenado is.

0 thoughts on “Mets Should Pursue Nolan Arenado At Almost Any Cost”

  1. Michael Dabiek says:

    Well they would be crazy to allow the Braves to beat them to the punch. Block that by all means.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      If the Braves add Arenado to that young core, and you have a real discussion about whether the Mets should start selling and looking to rebuild.

  2. Pal88 says:

    I would go even up W/Syndergaard ,

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Of anyone not named deGrom, Syndergaard is the player I’d be most hesitant to trade, but if Arenado is waiving his opt out, you have to consider it.

  3. Jimmy says:

    I don’t see how you can have a thoughtful discussion about Arenado, or a fair valuation of his talent, without so much as a glance at park factors and home/away splits. Or are those numbers inconvenient?

    No doubt he’s a terrific player. How terrific is open to debate. Love the defense.

    Also: Why would he opt out now? And are Mets/Cohen currently remotely in position to have that kind of conversation?

    Betts next winter seems like a far better and more realistic play. Arenado represents cost in players plus big money. Betts would only be big money. Moreover, Mets have a 3B; they lack a CFer.

    Jimmy

    1. metsdaddy says:

      There have been a number of studies done showing how players have performed well offensively after leaving Coors Field, and Arenado is very likely one of those players.

      In terms of a play for Betts, it’s not all that realistic when you consider the Mets have to get two SP, a catcher, a bullpen, and build depth next offseason.

  4. Oldbackstop says:

    265/.323/.476/.799

    Who is that? Todd Frazier in 2018? Very close.

    No, that is Arenado, career away.

    You say “studies have been done” about how players perform after leaving Coors Field. You don’t have to do a study. Those are his numbers.

    Sure he is a nice player and a good glove. A great glove, even. But there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to dream that his O numbers here wouldn’t look like the above slashes, and then decline as he comes off his peak years in 2020 and beyond.

    If he were to come here and have two years at those slashes, we might be begging him to opt out of those $35 mil plus incentive years stretching ahead.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Nolan Arenado career 122 OPS+

      1. Robbie Cano career wRC+ 125

        Maybe the Mets should trade for Arenado and then trade him for Cano??

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Wakka wakka wakka

      2. Oldbackstop says:

        Nolan Arenado OPS career at Coors: .995
        Everywhere else: .799

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Ignore studies on the topic all you want.

  5. Oldbackstop says:

    Arenado at Citi: 229/.275/.410/.684

    At Philly, under the Mendoza. At Miami, even worse.

    Arenado looks like a creature of Coors. Remember Cuddyer.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Yes, I remember a 36 year old Cuddyer who retired partially because of knee problems.

      What does that have to do with Arenado and your parsing through extremely limited SSS

  6. Oldbackstop says:

    Do you want to pay 35 million plus for six years for 265/.323/.476/.799?

    Do you think McNeil will underperform that?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      No, I want the Mets to pay that to Nolan Arenado

      1. Oldbackstop says:

        Since those are his career slashes away from Coors, and he is at his age peak, why do you think he would improve on those numbers?

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Aside from his adjusted stats like OPS+ and wRC+, there has been research done indicating looking at Coors Field players by just their home/road splits is plain wrong.

          1. Oldbackstop says:

            Lol…..that’s like saying studies show fat chicks have good personalities. You are basically denying Coors is a performance enhancer. Again, get yer head out of your butt and address these obvious issues in your first draft so your readers don’t have to bring them up. This is middle school essay level shtt.

          2. metsdaddy says:

            You once again ignore facts and studies and choose to substitute your feelings.

            When you continue to be embarrassingly wrong, you chose to go with childish insults

  7. Oldbackstop says:

    Nolan Arenado OPS career at Coors: .995
    Everywhere else: .799

    1. metsdaddy says:

      You probably said the same thing about DJ LeMahieu because it furthered a narrative, and its easier to do that than to look at the analysis on the Coors Field effect on players who left to go to other teams.

  8. Oldbackstop says:

    You wrote an entire article saying we should give anything for Arenado, without citing his salary obligations and Coors home and away splits.

    What do you think an actual editor at an actual publication would say if you were an actual journalist and brought this crap in to them?

  9. Oldbackstop says:

    In 2018 Arenado hit exactly 100 points higher at Coors than on the road. Last year it was more than 80 points.

    Are you under the impression that Citifield will elicit those home numbers?

    Every discussion of Rockies player begins and ends with home/road splits. Every discussion of any Mets acquisition begins and ends with salary obligations.

    Stunningly, you have written an opinion piece without a mention of either.

    And these are extremely relevant — Arenado would be our highest paid player, 15 mil more PER YEAR than your obsession Cano.

    And his splits are extreme…Arenado away from Coors is damn near a replacement level third baseman offensively.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Again, stop making up stuff

      1. Oldbackstop says:

        When I put three numbers in a post, you need to cite what you are accusing me of lying on. Your problem is, you are intellectually lazy.

        Road numbers last year among third baseman….Arenado is not top ten in most offensive categories.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          You were informed your factual predicate has been proven wrong, and despite that, you continue to mimic the factually wrong assertion.

          And again, you choose to insult to disguise the fact your feelings are wrong.

  10. metsdaddy says:

    I will not make dumbing down my opinions and analysis to fit your bad opinions a New Years’ resolution

  11. oldbackstop says:

    Every discussion of Rockies player begins and ends with home/road splits. Every discussion of any Mets acquisition begins and ends with salary obligations.

    Stunningly, you have written an opinion piece without a mention of either.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      1. You’re being willfully ignorant on the Rockies home/road splits.

      2. You’re completely contradicting yourself on the Mets budget.

      In sum, you’re just trolling as usual, and based upon your previous replies when called out on it, you’ll say something juvenile

      1. Oldbackstop says:

        Even your answers avoid the obvious.

        What do you think an actual editor at an actual publication would say if you were an actual journalist and brought this crap in to them?

        Aren’t the Mets committed to staying under the cap, reporter MD?

        Oh, ermmmm…

        Doesn’t Arenado have extremely fluffy splits?

        Oh…ermmm….

        Nice reporting, Jimmy Olsen.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Trolling

          1. Oldbackstop says:

            My bad. Nice trolling, Jimmy Olsen.

          2. metsdaddy says:

            Trolling

  12. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    ***Here’s why you don’t trade McNeil for Arenado, or any package close to McNeil.***

    —If it’s McNeil straight up for Arenado, the Mets would be giving up something like 17-18 cheap wins from McNeil in return for the right to pay Arenado $33.5m a year for the next 7 years.

    Arenado: 28 WAR over the next 7 years (to not split hairs, that’s 5.5, 5.0, 4.5, 4.0, 3.5, 3.0, 2.5) for $234m.
    McNeil: a 5 WAR player by AAV over the next 5 years, totaling 17.5 WAR (4.5, 4.0, 3.5, 3.0, 2.5) for about $35m (2 min + 3 arb yrs).
    Difference: about 10 wins, for which the Mets would pay 200 million dollars.

    There’s just no world in which the Mets (or anyone) should pay $200m for the 10 WAR total difference between Arenado and McNeil, which amounts to about 1 win per season from 2020 through 2024, then Arenado as a 34 and 35 yo in 2025 and 2026..

    —*The real question is, should a canny GM take Arenado for nothing but salary?* He’s a terrific player but he hasn’t cracked 6 wins in either of the last two years and now he’s going into his decline phase. A reasonable projection has him as worth roughly 27-29 wins over the duration of his deal. That’s fine, but it’s not a steal. It’s not a great contract and it’s not at a critical defensive position. One important point in his favor is that Arenado’s good enough that you can hope he’ll be a useful if modest regular at the end of the deal. You can say the same of McNeil, but in Arenado’s case you’d be unlikely to want to move him while Alonso is under team control.

    So, do you commit about 20% of your budget it you’re the Mets for a 2ndary defensive position that hasn’t been that difficult to fill over the last 5 years in the NL? I wouldn’t–particularly if I had to give up something substantial for the privilege. Why not go for Betts or Lindor when they hit FA? Higher upside, but similar AAVs, most likely. And as they decline they can be moved to several less demanding positions, whereas Arenado can only go to 1B.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I understand your point about the salary difference, and it’s a valid one as contracts do matter. That said, I’m still not completely sold McNeil is a five win player in perpetuity like Arenado has established himself to be.

      The other issue going forward is the Mets window is really just two years with the way their players hit free agency. I’m much less worried about 2023 because of that. Do what you can now to win in 2020 because that opportunity to win is quickly vanishing.

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