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Nolan Arenado, Rockies close to record-breaking $260 million extension: report

Nolan Arenado is signing a huge contract to stay with the Rockies. | AP Photo/David Zalubowski

The Rockies and star third baseman Nolan Arenado are finalizing an eight-year contract extension worth $260 million, according to The Athletic. The deal, first reported by ESPN, includes the highest average annual value in MLB history ($32.5 million), surpassing the $31 million per year on Miguel Cabrera’s eight-year, $248 million contract with the Tigers.

Arenado, 27, is taking a massive deal to stay in Colorado rather than hit free agency following the 2019 season. The new pact starts with the upcoming season and runs through 2026. It also includes a no-trade clause and an opt-out clause following the third season that would allow Arenado to hit free agency at age 30, per ESPN.

Few players in the big leagues have been as consistently brilliant as Arenado over the last four seasons. The third baseman has recorded at least 37 home runs – leading the National League three of the past four seasons – and been a staple near the top of NL MVP ballots despite never winning the award. According to Baseball-Reference, he’s been worth between 5.6 and 7.2 wins above replacement each year, so he’s far from someone who’s merely taking advantage of the thin air in Colorado.

That performance earned him one of the largest contracts in baseball history. Only three contracts in history have been bigger: Giancarlo Stanton’s $325 million deal, Manny Machado’s $300 million deal and Alex Rodriguez’s $275 million deal. Bryce Harper will also likely top that amount on his next contract, but that still puts Arenado in the top five all-time.