"At the end of the day my heart was here," he said Wednesday, a day after agreeing to an eight-year, $260 million contract.
Arenado's deal has a $32.5 million average annual value, second behind the $34.42 million for pitcher Zack Greinke in a $206.5 million contract with Arizona that began in 2016.
Arenado has a full no-trade provision.
Arenado says the cold free-agent market the past two seasons wasn't a big factor but "obviously it's in your head."
"I don't go off what everyone else is doing. I never have," Arenado said.
He agreed in January to a one-year, $26 million contract with the Rockies. His new deal keeps that salary, calls for $35 million annually from 2020 to 2024, $32 million in 2025 and $27 million in 2026. He must decide after the 2021 season whether to opt in for the remainder of the contract.
He can earn an additional $25,000 each time he is an All-Star or wins a Gold Glove, $50,000 for Silver Slugger award, $75,000 for league championship series MVP, $75,000 for World Series MVP, $100,000 for MVP and $50,000 for second through fifth in the voting, and $100,000 for comeback player of the year.