On the same night that Rockies GM Jeff Bridich said that star third baseman Nolan Arenado wouldn’t be traded, the third baseman laid bare his less-than-positive feelings towards the organization. Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post was on the story in both cases.
“I really don’t care what’s being said,” Arenado stated to Saunders. “I just know that I feel disrespected over there.” He offered similarly antagonistic words to MLB.com’s Thomas Harding, writing in a text that “there’s a lot of disrespect from people there that I don’t want to be a part of.”
Arenado declined to elaborate initially. But he noted in a follow-up statement to Harding (Twitter link) that he isn’t upset at being mentioned in trade chatter. Per Arenado: “I’m not mad at trade rumors. There’s more to it than that.”
The source of Arenado’s frustration still isn’t entirely clear. But there’s little doubt the Rockies’ downturn in 2019 features prominently. And his expression of anger coincides with — even if it doesn’t specifically relate to — the trade speculation that has hovered over his name this winter.
The star third baseman has no-trade rights, meaning he’d have to be involved at some point in any trade scenario. Whether and to what extent he has been in communication with the Rockies about trade scenarios is entirely unknown. There has been no public indication that he was specifically pressing the organization for a trade. Arenado’s pointed phrasing from late last season — “it feels like a rebuild” — drew attention, but seems to have been taken out of context.
Whether these new comments will have any practical impact remains to be seen. The sides remain bound by a seven-year deal, unless and until Arenado opts out (after 2021) or approves a swap orchestrated by the team. Bridich’s comments seemed designed to bring this month-long trade drama to a close. But now Arenado has given a tantalizing look into his thinking that’s sure to draw even greater scrutiny to his relationship and future with the Colorado organization.