Blackmon's been in Arenado's contract shoes
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon can identify with third baseman Nolan Arenado, which puts him in position to offer support rather than advice.
Arenado recently signed a one-year, $26 million contract -- the richest one-year deal ever for an arbitration-eligible player. But he and the club are attempting to negotiate a multi-year deal, with Arenado eligible for free agency at season's end. Last year, Blackmon avoided arbitration at $14 million, then hammered out a six-year, $108 million agreement that was announced during the regular season's first week.
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"I was excited for Nolan to see him reach a one-year agreement," Blackmon said Tuesday. "Having been in his position, it's a very difficult position. A lot of times you don't want to talk about it. So I just try to be super-positive and supportive, because I know he's going through a time where he's got to make some big decisions. And the same with the Rockies organization."
Having Arenado locked, rather than worrying about him leaving as a free agent, certainly would make future years more comfortable for Blackmon. The two of them in the lineup would enhance the Rockies' championship hopes.
However, Blackmon doesn't believe he should be delivering a recruiting pitch to his teammate.
"I'm not really trying to pry into any of that business," Blackmon said. "I want Nolan to do what Nolan thinks is best for Nolan. I really care about him as a person. I also really care about the Rockies organization, because that's where my future is.
"If I were to come up and say, 'Hey, you have to sign with the Rockies,' that's just me not caring about Nolan. I want to care about both the Rockies and Nolan. That's the best way to be a good teammate. I'd like him to know that, and know that I care about his future, not just be selfish and care about my future."
Blackmon's contract last year and Arenado's current negotiations are against a backdrop of massive change in the free-agency landscape. This year, the two most-watched free agents, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, are unsigned.
"Free agency has definitely changed; players are noticing it, the teams have noticed," Blackmon said. "It's not as great in my opinion as it used to be. That's not great for baseball. That's going to need to be addressed at some point. I'm glad I don't have to worry about it for a while. I'm happy where I am and feel lucky that it worked out for me."
Having viewed what was happening in the market, Blackmon saw staying with the Rockies as not just a viable option but the best one.