Rockies owner, chairman and CEO Dick Monfort expressed optimism that the team can reach a multi-year contract with third baseman Nolan Arenado, beyond the one-year, $26 million agreement that was finalized Thursday.
"I think we've gotten it to the point where we're to the finals," Monfort said. "We're to the crescendo."
Monfort didn't reveal the years or dollars the club has in mind, and he was careful not to say anything to box in Arenado or his agent, Joel Wolfe. Monfort even said he told Arenado that if he chooses to explore free agency after the season, "it's not going to change my feeling on him — I love Nolan."
But Monfort is confident the Rockies can work a deal where they won't have to love the All-Star third baseman while he's wearing another jersey.
Prior to arbitration, Arenado requested $30 million and the Rockies countered with $24 million. The deal — negotiated after Monfort and general manager Jeff Bridich visiting Arenado and Wolfe in California — came together on Thursday, the day before arbitration hearings began around baseball.
Monfort said he includes the Rockies among teams with a "file and trial" strategy, meaning that if the club and player can't reach an agreement before the deadline to file salary figures, then the club will cut off negotiations and head to an arbitration hearing.