There have been plenty of recent trade rumors centering on Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado, but the saga took a particularly interesting turn Monday. Shortly after general manager Jeff Bridich indicated the Rockies don’t plan to part with Arenado prior to the season, the third baseman made it known that he’s displeased with the organization.
Arenado revealed that he feels the Rockies have “disrespected” him, but not because the team has listened to offers for him. He noted he’s “not mad at trade rumors. There’s more to it than that.” However, Arenado didn’t go into detail on how the Rockies have damaged the two sides’ union.
It turns out the Rockies’ offseason inactivity has been the immediate source of the newfound friction, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports. And it appears. the star third baseman has particular ire for the organization’s general manager. He told Troy Renck of Denver7 last night that Bridich specifically “is very disrespectful.”
Check out today’s Trade Rumors video, where Jeff Todd discusses Arenado and much more:
The Rockies, then coming off a playoff berth, locked up Arenado to a seven-year, $234MM contract extension prior to last season. The team struggled immensely in 2019, though, and it hasn’t done anything since then to improve its chances of bouncing back this year. Owner Dick Monfort suggested after last season that the Rockies would not further expand payroll and indeed they haven’t signed any free agents to major league contracts this offseason. That inactivity doesn’t sit well with Arenado, who had received assurances that the organization would keep working to put out a contender, Nick Groke of The Athletic writes (subscription link). Arenado and Monfort even had an in-person meeting sometime this offseason, but that sitdown wasn’t able to quell the former’s growing discontent with the franchise. The Rockies, for their part, indicated to Passan that they are “puzzled” over Arenado’s stance so soon after he signed his long-term deal.
Despite what Bridich said Monday, it still seems possible that an Arenado trade will come together – if his relationship with the team has become irreparably damaged. As those who have followed the rumors know, though, there are complicating factors that have stood in the way of a swap and could continue to prevent one. Not only does Arenado’s pact include a whopping amount of cash, including $35MM in 2020, but it also features full no-trade rights and an opt-out decision after 2021. The latter issue probably hasn’t done his trade value any favors, but as Passan notes, the Rockies have still held out for a huge return for their franchise player. They were “exchanging proposals with teams” as recently as this past weekend, but an agreement hasn’t come close to materializing.
In yet another intriguing aspect of this story, the Cubs are among the clubs that have shown some level of interest in Arenado this winter, Passan relays. The Cubs, like the Rockies, have been hesitant to spend this offseason, so it would be a shock to see them add Arenado (and it’s unclear just how interested they’ve been in doing so). They also already have an elite-caliber third base option in Kris Bryant, who has joined Arenado in the rumor mill of late. It’s unclear where either player will open the 2020 season, but Arenado’s situation in particular has become increasingly fascinating as spring training approaches.