It hasn’t even been a full 12 months since third baseman Nolan Arenado signed a whopper of an extension with the Rockies, but the relationship between the two has already grown frosty. Arenado said late last month that he felt “disrespected” by the Rockies. Trade rumors were swirling around Arenado at the time, but that wasn’t the problem. Rather, he was reportedly irked because the Rockies made little effort to improve in the offseason after winning just 71 games in 2019.
With spring training in its early stages, there remains a “disconnect” between Arenado and the Rockies, he admitted to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports. While Arenado isn’t thrilled with Rockies higher-ups, the relationship isn’t necessarily irreparable, nor will Arenado be a disruptive force behind the scenes if the team does retain him.
On the contrary, Arenado said to Brown: “To be honest with you, there is a disconnect right now, right? There’s a little bit of a disconnect. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed. It doesn’t mean that I’m not gonna go out there and play hard for my teammates. Or be a negative presence in that locker room. That’s just not me. It’s not how I’m going to do things. I’m not going to be there trying to show them I don’t want to be there. I’m not going to be that way. That’s not fair. That’s drawing attention to me.”
That’s good news for the Rockies, who inked Arenado to a franchise-record seven-year, $234MM contract before last season. However, Arenado noted that he doesn’t regret anything he has said this offseason. The bottom line remains that the five-time All-Star wants to play for a contender.
“I’ve been to All-Star Games. I’ve done some special things, you know? I’ve won Gold Gloves,” he told Brown. “Those all mean a lot to me. At the end of the day the goal is to win. They signed me to win. And I want to be on a winner. If that’s in Colorado or somewhere else, I want to win.”
The Rockies made playoff appearances in 2017 and ’18, the first two of Arenado’s career, but they’ve fallen flat since then. The club, led by owner Dick Monfort and general manager Jeff Bridich, has signed just one major league free agent (unproven righty Jose Mujica) since last season ended. Thanks in part to that, the Rockies aren’t favored to push for a playoff spot this year.
While there’s certainly a case that Arenado’s within reason to be upset, that doesn’t mean he’ll be going anywhere before the season opens. Among his potential suitors, the Cardinals have indicated they don’t have payroll space for such a mega acquisition; the Rangers don’t expect anything to come together right now; the Nationals like their third basemen; and the Cubs probably aren’t moving Kris Bryant for Arenado.