Nolan Arenado

Cubs are ‘absolutely motivated’ to acquire Nolan Arenado from Colorado Rockies

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USA TODAY

Cubs are ‘absolutely motivated’ to acquire Nolan Arenado from Colorado Rockies

Rumors of the Cubs showing interest in acquiring Nolan Arenado from the Rockies have persisted over the past couple of weeks. On Wednesday, NBC Sports Chicago’s David Kaplan gave the latest development on the story.

During his radio show Wednesday, Kaplan reported that the Cubs are “absolutely motivated to acquire Arenado,” citing a conversation he had with a source close to the Rockies.

“I was on the phone with somebody in Colorado [Tuesday] night who covers the Rockies,” Kaplan said. “He said to me, ‘hey dude, let me just tell you, these discussions are real. [Arenado] absolutely wants out of the Colorado Rockies organization and he’s made it clear to ownership, ‘I don’t want to be here. Get me outta here.’

“He said, ‘I’m telling you, the Cubs are absolutely motivated to try and get him. Absolutely, 100 percent.'”

Per Kaplan, the Cubs would send Kris Bryant and a prospect to the Rockies for Arenado and some cash. Arenado is discontented with the Rockies, telling Denver7 (Colorado TV station)  he feels “disrespected” and “crossed” by general manager Jeff Bridich. 

Les Shapiro of Mile High Sports Radio concurred with Kaplan's report, even adding Arenado would "warmly welcome a trade to the Cubs."

A Bryant-Arenado swap wouldn’t net the Cubs any young assets but it would be the significant roster shakeup Theo Epstein and Co. have tried for all winter. To that point, ESPN’s Jeff Passan said Tuesday on “Waddle and Silvy”  that the Cubs still want to make that kind of a move.

“They’re still talking to teams. They’re still talking about Nolan Arenado,” Passan said. “They want to make a big move here, and they’ve had months to do it and haven’t. They are still absolutely — even though players are going to be reporting to camp this week — looking to do something.”

Adding Arenado and his $35 million 2020 salary would put the Cubs over the luxury tax threshold, meaning they would have to make a secondary move at some point this season to shed money. Arenado also has an opt-out after 2021, so the Cubs would likely want to make she he doesn’t exercise that before acquiring him.  

There’s some smoke to the fire, here. Whether or not Arenado winds up in Chicago is far less clear.

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White Sox take to Twitter to troll Nolan Arenado trade buzz

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USA TODAY

White Sox take to Twitter to troll Nolan Arenado trade buzz

The White Sox tweeted out news of their latest acquisition Friday.

And no, it's not Nolan Arenado.

In a seeming response to a Twitter user's insistence of an impending trade that would bring Arenado to the South Side, the White Sox tweeted out their own batch of "breaking news," going as far to mimic that Twitter user's handle of @MLBIntel.

The Twitter user in question gained some internet fame days earlier, when tweets about the Boston Red Sox trading superstar Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers were proven correct hours later.

Thursday night, this person was at it again, tweeting that the White Sox had a deal in place to acquire Arenado, the perennial MVP candidate, from the Rockies, going as far to say that Arenado had a meeting with team chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.

But that was followed up by numerous reports — including one from our own David Kaplan — debunking the Arenado-to-the-White Sox idea.

Now the White Sox, however subtly, seem to be joining that chorus with this tongue-in-cheek string of tweets.

The result of all of this: Anyone else feeling hungry?

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Nolan Arenado would ‘love’ to play for Cubs, should Rockies move him

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USA TODAY

Nolan Arenado would ‘love’ to play for Cubs, should Rockies move him

The outcome of Kris Bryant’s service time grievance is in, with an MLB arbitrator ruling in favor of the Cubs. With Bryant losing the grievance, the club can move forward with potential trade talks, now knowing their star third baseman has two more years of club control and therefore more value.

One deal that has reportedly been discussed, at least in earnest, is a one-for-one that would send Bryant to Colorado in exchange for Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado.

Shortly after breaking the result of Bryant’s grievance, ESPN’s Jeff Passan appeared on NBC Sports Chicago’s David Kaplan’s radio show. Kaplan proposed a trade that would send Bryant, Jason Heyward, Willson Contreras and a prospect to the Rockies for superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado.

According to Passan, the Rockies would hang up the phone if the Cubs offered that package. However, he made one thing certain: Arenado would love to play for the Cubs.

“I don’t think they are at the top of the list right now, even though Nolan Arenado would love to come and play in Chicago,” Passan said of the Cubs. “And I mean he would love it.”

The difficulty of adding Arenado for Bryant straight up is it doesn’t shed any salary, one of the Cubs’ offseason objectives. Arenado is owed $234M through 2026 and $35 million annually through 2024. Bryant will make $18.6 million in 2020.

Kaplan’s proposal would shed salary, though as Passan said, Heyward’s $86 million — or even half of it — would be too much for Colorado. Passan said a more likely scenario is the same deal but including Tyler Chatwood ($13 million salary in 2020) rather than Heyward.

The financial gymnastics of a Bryant-Arenado swap will make a deal difficult to achieve. If Arenado grows increasingly disgruntled with the Rockies, perhaps a trade becomes more likely.