In the last two weeks, the idea that the Rockies could trade superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado has gone from no longer seeming "preposterous" (as reported by Ken Rosenthal) to there being a "50/50 chance," according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com.
Regarding what the Rockies could be seeking as part of a return, Morosi reported Colorado would "likely" need to receive a controllable first baseman or center fielder.
Other nuggets from Morosi: the Dodgers are probably not the frontrunner, and the Nationals (who have inquired along with the Rangers, Braves, and roughly three other teams) are reluctant to trade Victor Robles.
We explained here on Dec. 20 why Arenado is a near-perfect Mets trade target. And if they haven't already gotten on the phone with the Rockies to discuss it, they should.
As far as what the Mets could offer the Rockies as part of a deal, it doesn't seem like there is a fit when it comes to a controllable center fielder. Unless the Rockies view Brandon Nimmo as a true center fielder (which he is not), he doesn't qualify. Dominic Smith -- who is under team control through the 2024 season -- definitely fits as a controllable first baseman. But it's hard to see him being a key piece for a player like Arenado.
In addition to big league talent the Rockies get in return, If they want impact prospects who are closer to the majors, it could be hard for the Mets to pull off a deal. But if Colorado is open to taking prospects who are further away, the Mets have four with blue chip potential: INF Ronny Mauricio, 3B Brett Baty, RHP Matthew Allan, and C Francisco Alvarez.
Mauricio could potentially be ready for the majors in 2021. The other three are much further away.
The potential issues when it comes to an Arenado deal don't end with finding an agreeable trade package, though.
There's also the fact that Arenado has a no-trade clause, the ability to opt out of his contract after the 2021 season, and hundreds of millions left on a deal that runs through the 2026 season.
In order for any interested team to pay full freight for Arenado in terms of major league players and/or prospects, it's fair to believe that the Rockies will have to take on some of the money owed and/or Arenado will have to agree to void his 2021 opt-out.
For the Mets, there's also the question of how they would be able to fit his salary for 2020. That shouldn't be much of an issue in 2021 and beyond, with lots of money coming off the books.
As was noted on Dec. 20, though, Arenado is an ideal fit for the Mets right now. More than Mookie Betts. More than Francisco Lindor. And with GM Brodie Van Wagenen always open to exploring all opportunities, this is one he should be focusing on.