With almost all high-end free agents having signed since free agency opened in November, the trade market has become the best avenue for securing star-level talent. It’s up in the air whether any standouts will change hands in the coming weeks, granted, but rumors have persisted regarding the likes of MVP-caliber players such as Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant, Francisco Lindor and Mookie Betts.
In Arenado’s case, Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich came out Monday and admitted he has listened to offers for the all-world third baseman, but no team has made a compelling enough pitch to pry him out of Colorado. As such, the Rockies expect to open 2020 with Arenado as the centerpiece of their roster.
According to Bridich, “we can put this to bed and collectively look forward to the upcoming season and work toward that.” Arenado may have other ideas, though. Shortly after Bridich’s statements became public, the 28-year-old Arenado broke his silence on the constant trade rumors surrounding himself and took aim at the Rockies in the process. Arenado said he feels the Rockies have “disrespected” him, adding that “there’s a lot of disrespect from people there that I don’t want to be a part of.”
Arenado didn’t name names, but the fact that he’s calling out the organization is nonetheless jarring. After all, just before last season, the Rockies signed Arenado to a franchise-record contract extension worth $234MM over seven years. That massive dollar figure is probably one of the reasons they haven’t found a trade to their liking for Arenado yet. Moreover, Arenado’s pact contains an opt-out clause after 2021 – yet another cause for teams not to present an enormous offer to the Rockies for him – as well as full no-trade rights. Of course, if Arenado’s this fed up with high-level members of the Colorado organization, and if it’s true that winning is his top priority (the Rockies didn’t do much of that in 2019, nor do they look likely to contend this year), the no-trade clause may not pose a problem.
So far this winter, the Cardinals, Rangers, Braves, Dodgers and Nationals have all been linked to Arenado in the rumor mill. Aside from the Rangers, each of those teams made the playoffs last year. It stands to reason Arenado would have interest in joining the majority of those teams, but one of them (or another club) will first have to entice the Rockies to give up the “disrespected” face of their franchise. Do you expect that to happen?
(Poll link for app users)