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Inbox: Is Arenado's future in Denver?

Beat reporter Thomas Harding answers fans' questions
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

With Spring Training rapidly approaching, Rockies fans have a lot on their minds, especially in the wake of the announcement that the club and Nolan Arenado are heading to what could be a record-setting arbitration hearing. We will look at Arenado's long-term outlook and more in the latest Inbox.

With Spring Training rapidly approaching, Rockies fans have a lot on their minds, especially in the wake of the announcement that the club and Nolan Arenado are heading to what could be a record-setting arbitration hearing. We will look at Arenado's long-term outlook and more in the latest Inbox.

Tweet from @malone_dts: How realistic is a deal with Nolan? Will he want to test free agency

Players and teams exchanged figures Friday as part of the arbitration process, and it's expected that Arenado could end up with around $25 million for 2019. But that's a starting point to what the Rockies hope is a multi-year contract.

All along, I've said the contracts of Bryce Harper and, especially, Manny Machado will help color Arenado's market value.

:: Submit a question to the Rockies Inbox ::

What I won't say is Arenado's signing is contingent on his love for Denver or whether the Rockies show him they want to contend. Building a pitching staff answered the latter question. It comes down to whether they can agree on a deal for one of the top players of this generation.

Tweet from @mtromero: What name in the pipeline should we be talking about that hasn���t come up yet (i.e not Rodgers, Dahl etc), but could make an impact in 2019?

Right-handed pitcher Peter Lambert, the Rockies' No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, went 10-7 with a 3.28 ERA at Double-A and Triple-A last season. While there is pitching depth, if Lambert can fully master a mid-80s slider to go with a 92-94-mph fastball and a changeup (currently his best pitch), he is part of the starting rotation's depth picture.

Tweet from @Dirtydanbath: Does Tom Murphy get another chance at being a regular catcher?

Tom Murphy flashed a power bat on occasion, but he got into some bad swing habits and let some defensive flaws show up at key times in games. The chance is still there, as the Rockies haven't added a veteran catcher to the Major League roster. But he'll have to make clear steps forward without backsliding.

Tweet from @LucaDomenighini: Thought on Jeff Hoffmann?

The most-touted piece in the 2015 trade that sent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to the Blue Jays, Jeff Hoffman hasn't gained Major League footing. In 2018, Hoffman had a shot to push his way into the starting rotation, but a right shoulder impingement that he suffered in Spring Training scuttled that chance. Hoffman couldn't find consistency in stints with Colorado, during which he was used as a starter and a reliever.

The Rockies didn't call him up at season's end, believing that he would not be used out of the bullpen, and needed a full offseason to regroup. It's an interesting time for Hoffman. He enters camp in his last year of Minor League options as a big part of the Rockies' depth picture, but if he turns heads or if injuries occur, he could find himself as a member of the rotation.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, Nolan Arenado