It has been an awkward few months between the Rockies and franchise player Nolan Arenado. Although the superstar third baseman signed a club-record extension worth $234MM over seven years almost exactly 12 months ago (Feb. 26, 2019), there’s already friction between the two sides.
Arenado has frequented trade rumors and felt “disrespected” by the Rockies over the fact that they’ve done almost nothing to improve since a 71-win showing last year. Rockies bigwigs “felt assaulted” as a result of that revelation from Arenado, Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports writes. And when Arenado met with owner Dick Monfort and general manager Jeff Bridich during the offseason, the two organizational higher-ups took offense when the player questioned how much they want to win.
Had Arenado known the Rockies wouldn’t make a legitimate effort to better themselves, he may have turned down the extension, played out last season and tested the free-agent waters this past winter.
“Of course, I look back,’’ Arenado told Nightengale of his decision to stay in Colorado for the long haul. “I’m human, man.’’
Bridich, the executive responsible for constructing the Rockies’ roster, said last week that he expects to sit down with the disgruntled Arenado sometime this spring in an effort to repair their frayed relationship. That hasn’t happened thus far, though, per Nightengale. The two aren’t even speaking at all right now, according to Nightengale, who adds that Arenado’s only “nodding [Bridich’s] way when they’ve cross paths.”
Despite his unhappiness with those running the franchise, Arenado’s not going to serve as a behind-the-scenes distraction or put in any less effort if he stays with the Rockies, as he stated a couple weeks ago. It continues to appear less and less likely he’ll wind up on the move before the season starts in a month, but Nightengale reports that the Rockies are expected to put him back on the block before the July 31 trade deadline.
Between now and the deadline, the hope for both sides is that the Rockies will return to their playoff-caliber ways of 2017-18, thus negating the desire for a trade. If not, though, Arenado told Nightengale: “Then, the whole organization has to look at themselves and say, ‘Ok, what’s the next step?’ I guarantee I’ll be part of that conversation.’’