The future of Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado has been one of the dominant stories in baseball this week. Arenado has been the subject of trade speculation for weeks, but Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich shot down the possibility of a deal Monday, saying the Rox “have listened to teams regarding Nolan and really nothing has come of it.” Bridich added that he wants to put the Arenado rumors “to bed” and look ahead to 2020, though the five-time All-Star reignited the fire shortly after with some scathing comments regarding the Rockies.
Arenado stated that the Rockies have “disrespected” him this offseason, reportedly because he’s unhappy with the higher-ups’ lack of effort to improve a roster that suffered through a dismal 2019 season. Now, though, Arenado says he’s done talking about his relationship with Bridich or the ongoing trade rumors.
In a texted statement issued to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post, Arenado wrote: “There has been a lot of stuff going on that nobody knows about and I was reacting to what was said, and (that) was out of character for me because I’m very private with my life. The Rockies have been talking to my agent and me this offseason about a number of things that will remain between us. I will not speak on these things anymore. I’m getting ready for the upcoming season. I’m working hard to get better for my teammates and fans.”
Whether this means the two sides will move forward together heading into the season remains to be seen. Arenado’s the Rockies’ franchise player, so even though he’s on a seven-year, $234MM contract with an opt-out clause after 2021, they’re not just going to give him away. Jon Morosi of MLB.com reported Tuesday that the Rockies have informed clubs they aren’t trading Arenado if a deal doesn’t improve their roster this year. The odds of that happening seem very slim, needless to say.
In the event the Rockies do get an offer to their liking, the soon-to-be 29-year-old Arenado – despite his full no-trade rights – might jump at the chance to play for a contender. Several playoff-caliber teams, including the Cardinals, Braves, Dodgers, Cubs, are among those that have shown interest in Arenado in recent weeks.