DENVER – As the Rockies reached the third-and-long stage of negotiations, they secured their third baseman for the near future and possibly for the remainder of his career.
The Rockies announced Tuesday that they had agreed to an eight-year deal with Nolan Arenado. The deal is worth $260 million, the largest in franchise history.
Arenado will have an out clause after three seasons and his deal is expected to include a full no-trade clause.
Even if he stays for only three more years, it leaves the Rockies in prime position to keep winning after posting back-to-back playoff berths for the first time ever.
Arenado was scheduled to become a free agent after this season and had previously agreed to a one-year, $26 million contract to avoid arbitration.
ESPN was the first to report the deal between the Rockies and Arenado Tuesday.
Arenado was drafted in the second round by the Rockies in 2009. The 27-year-old California native owns a career .291 batting average to go along with 186 home runs, 616 RBI, an .886 OPS and career 33.1 WAR.
He is a four-time All-Star who has excelled with his glove and bat – earning six Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers so far in his young career, which is so far on a Hall of Fame arc.
Former Rockies outfielder Todd Helton, who certainly makes a case as the great Rockies player of all-time, could see that title taken from him by Arenado. A Gold Glover himself, Helton marveled at Arenado's defense in a conversation with Denver7 Tuesday, saying that Arenado has earned every penny.
"Damn. Good for him. He's the best I've ever seen [at third base]," Helton said. "He deserves everything he gets."
The Rockies' agreement with Arenado comes one day after they announced a three-year contract extension for manager Bud Black, who is entering his third year on the job and carries a 178-147 record so far.
Editor's Note: This story has been reflected to note that Arenado's contract is worth $260 million, above the $255 million originally reported.