Posted on January 21, 2020, by Bryan Zarpentine
It’s been a quiet winter for the Colorado Rockies, but now trouble is brewing in the middle of January. After the team kicked the tires on trading star third baseman Nolan Arenado, Rockies GM Jeff Bridich made it known that he wouldn’t be traded before the start of the season. When asked about his feelings on the situation, Arenado said he felt “disrespected” by the team for reasons that go beyond his name being in the rumor mill.
“There’s a lot of disrespect from people there that I don’t want to be a part of. You can quote that,” Arenado said via text to an MLB.com reporter. “You ask what I thought of Jeff’s quotes and I say I don’t care what people say around there. There is a lot of disrespect.”
When asked to expand on what he found disrespectful, Arenado declined to go into detail, only indicated that it wasn’t just the recent trade rumors. However, he told another reporter that Bridich, in particular, is “very disrespectful.” Bridich, meanwhile, declined to respond to Arenado’s comments.
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The tension between Arenado and the Rockies comes less than a year after he signed an 8-year, $260 million extension with the club. But the Rockies have done next to nothing this offseason. The club indicated early in the offseason that they wouldn’t be adding to their payroll this offseason. That reportedly upset Arenado, who is fearful of the Rockies entering a rebuilding phase while he’s in the prime of his career and received assurances from the front office that they would make an effort to be competitive in the years ahead.
Colorado made the postseason in both 2017 and 2018, only to finish 71-91 in 2019. Without any notable moves this offseason, it figures to be difficult for the Rockies to make a significant improvement in 2020. On the bright side, the Rockies will bring back almost the same roster as last season. After underperforming in 2019, Colorado having a bounce-back season isn’t out of the question.
That being said, it’s worth noting that Arenado’s extension comes with a full no-trade clause and an opt-out clause after the 2021 season. The money left on his contract and the reportedly high asking price the Rockies have for him, Colorado never got close to pulling the trigger on a trade for Arenado this winter.
“We have listened to teams regarding Nolan, and really nothing has come of it,” Bridich said Monday with regard to the trade rumors. “We are going to move forward pretty much as we expected, with Nolan in the purple and black as our third baseman.”
The recent trade talks and tension between Arenado and the Rockies makes for an uncertain future for both player and club less than a month before the start of spring training. It might make Arenado more likely to consider using his opt-out after the 2021 season. In turn, the Rockies could revisit the possibility of trading Arenado. If not now, trade rumors could easily resurface this summer or next winter. How these issues get resolved remains to be seen. But there’s clearly a disconnect between the Rockies and Arenado, which doesn’t bode well for Colorado’s chances heading into the 2020 season.