Over the weekend, the Cardinals and Rockies shook up the baseball world. In case you live under a rock, St. Louis acquired star third baseman Nolan Arenado from the Colorado Rockies. The deal became official last night and the Cardinals announced Arenado’s arrival this morning.
Not only are the Rockies sending about $50 million to the Cardinals, but St. Louis isn’t necessarily blowing up their farm system. None of the prospects involved are ranked within MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects. Simply put, the Cardinals made out like bandits. Not only has Arenado been one of the most productive players in baseball since 2015, but he also won’t reach unrestricted free agency until after the 2027 season. He does carry opt-outs after the 2022 and 2023 seasons, however.
From a Rockies perspective, paying another team $50 million to take your franchise player while not receiving a king’s ransom wreaks of desperation to rebuild. If you’re the Rockies, why wouldn’t you? With the Dodgers and Padres at the top of the NL West, there is no clear path to the playoffs for Colorado and there likely won’t be for quite some time.
If you’re going to trade Arenado, there’s no reason to stop there. Just about everyone should be available, and the White Sox should take note of that and remain in close contact with the Rockies’ front office. One player that should be frequently discussed is Charlie Blackmon.
Blackmon is exactly what this White Sox team needs to take another step forward. He is a left-handed-hitting right fielder who consistently produces at the plate. Aside from last season, he hasn’t had a year with an OPS+ below 115 and fewer than 29 homers and 31 doubles since 2015. Blackmon also has shown the ability to stay healthy, which is important for a contending team like the White Sox. Making a move for Blackmon’s services would provide the White Sox with insurance to combat injuries without a steep decline in production like last season.
Additionally, with no clear option at DH until Andrew Vaughn is MLB-ready, a rotating DH can be established. This would be particularly helpful to keep injury-prone players like Eloy Jimenez and Adam Eaton fresh.
Following the Arenado trade, it is clear that the asking price for the remaining Rockies shouldn’t be too high. Even though Blackmon has been the second-best Rockies’ player for years, he shouldn’t command as much as Arenado. Blackmon will be turning 35 in July and is set to hit free agency in either 2022 or 2023. With this in mind, the White Sox should inquire about his asking price before Spring Training or partway through the season if injuries arise.
An Opening Day lineup featuring Blackmon would look extremely dangerous.
- SS Anderson
- 3B Moncada
- 1B Abreu
- LF Jimenez
- DH Blackmon
- C Grandal
- CF Robert
- RF Eaton
- 2B Madrigal
If the White Sox genuinely have World Series aspirations in 2021, adding Blackmon to the mix would only help them reach that goal. Given the Rockies’ implied direction after their most recent blockbuster transaction, Rick Hahn and co. should at least check in with the Colorado front office regarding a potential trade for Charlie Blackmon.