The Colorado Rockies owner, Dick Monfort let fans know that this offseason will be a unique one given the economic state for a lot of franchises. With Daniel Murphy entering free agency, Smith would be an ideal candidate to take over the first base duties in Denver. Josh Fuentes who saw time at first for the Rockies in 2020 benefitted greatly from playing at Coors Field as his batting average was almost 150 points higher at home than on the road.
Most batters benefit from the friendly play of Coors, but with Smith being two years younger and being a far more consistent bat, he’d be an upgrade over Fuentes.
Nolan Arenado’s displeasure in Colorado is well known and given that the Mets are in the market for a right-handed bat as well as a full-time third baseman, a trade between these two makes perfect sense.
Arenado is a perennial gold glover, having received the award in seven of the eight seasons in his career. In Nolan, the Mets would have an upgrade at the third base position, especially on the defensive end. The hot corner saw multiple occupants during the 2020 season, with J.D. Davis seeing the most action there (55% of games) and having a full-time, every day third baseman would benefit this club immensely.
It seems silly to have concerns about a five-time all-star and four-time Silver Slugger, but Arenado is not without some concern. Having spent his entire career in the hitter-haven that is Coors Field, Arenado has seen some stark splits when playing at home and on the road.
Arenado’s career splits:
Home – .322/.376/.609/.985
Away – .263/.322/.471/.793
These are drastic splits, especially in the power department. This isn’t to say Arenado wouldn’t be an upgrade to the lineup, but the expectation shouldn’t be what we may be used to seeing in Colorado.
There’s also the contract situation. Nolan is owed $35M in 2021 and also has a player-option at the end of the year. It would make sense that if the Mets were trading for Arenado, it would be with the long term in mind, so even if he opted out, the Mets would certainly try to resign him. If Arenado didn’t opt-out at the end of 2021, he’d be owed that same $35M through the 2026 season.
The gold glover turns 30 next April and so the Mets would have to decide if trading Smith would be worth it to pay a hefty amount of money for the latter years of Arenado’s career, while most likely being rewarded over the next two to three seasons.