What Would a Trade For Nolan Arenado Look Like for the Texas Rangers?
Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels has made it his mission to add a key arm and a big bat to the 2020 Rangers' roster as they move into a new stadium.
So far, the arm has been added via trade in veteran Corey Kluber, but the Rangers are still searching for the big bat after missing out on free agent Anthony Rendon and being unwilling to go the extra years on a Josh Donaldson deal.
Now, the attention turns to Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, who has been arguably the best hot corner defender and hitter in the game over the last 5 years or so.
Colorado is teetering between contending and rebuilding and has started to listen to offers for the multi-time Gold Glove and All-Star third baseman. With the Rangers consistently mentioned as a possible landing spot for Arenado, it begs the question: what would a trade package for Arenado look like from the Rangers' perspective?
Make no mistake about it – if the Rockies trade Arenado, they don't want experienced major league talent. They'll want young, high-ceiling prospects that will allow them to control costs for the next few years.
Fortunately for Texas, they have a good farm system from which to deal from.
Texas receives: 3B Nolan Arenado
That seems like quite a bit for one player, but Arenado's services should demand that type of return for the Rockies.
Jung has a ton of upside at the hot corner and should be ready around 2021. Jung was a huge power bat in college at Texas Tech, hitting 33 home runs in three seasons in Lubbock.
Jung was one of the top bats in the 2019 MLB Draft, has a controlled approach and a sound swing as a right-handed hitter. He consistently hits balls to all fields and has the power to hit over 25 home runs per season. He controls the strike zone and has no major weakness at the plate.
Defensively, he'd be a major downgrade in Colorado at the position compared to Arenado, but that says more about Arenado's talents defensively than it does Jung's. He has a strong arm and good range, having played some shortstop as a Red Raider.
Along with Jung, Cole Winn would be a terrific building block for the Rockies, returning home to try and help his childhood team rebuild.
Winn grew up in Longmont, Colorado before then transferring to a high school in California, putting up monster numbers in his senior season to get drafted in the first round in 2018.
The 19-year-old Winn already possesses two plus pitches in a low-to-mid-90's fastball that reaches 97 with some armside run, and a filthy curveball with a 12-to-6 break that is rather rare for his age and lack of innings. He added a slider during his senior season, and it has already shown flashes of becoming a top-tier strikeout pitch.
Taveras and Palumbo appear to be throw-ins at this point, but that wouldn't be the case from the Rockies' perspective.
Taveras projects as a terrific two-way player in the majors. As a switch-hitter, Taveras has good bat-to-ball skills, but he lacks power overall. In Colorado, he'd be lucky to get to 15-20 homers a year. Defensively, he has a very strong arm and great range.
Palumbo profiles more as a shutdown reliever in the late innings, but he's done some good things in the minors with his plus-curveball that flummoxes hitters from both sides of the plate. He's an athletic lefty with a clean delivery and can crank up the power when needed.
If this were to be the type of trade package the Rangers put together for Arenado, it would be a good deal for both sides. Texas would get its face of the franchise to lead the club into its new park, while Colorado would get a boatload of good, high-ceiling prospects around which to rebuild.
Follow SI Rangers Maven on Twitter: @RangersMavenSI