For the past few months, rumors have been swirling that the Rockies were going to trade Nolan Arenado. Seemingly every week, another national baseball writer was putting another team into the sweepstakes, fueling speculation that the All-Star third baseman’s time in Colorado would soon be coming to an end.
Through it all, however, a big part of the equation was missing. Neither the club or the player had commented on the topic. That all came to an end on Monday, when both spoke to Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post.
First, Bridich offered a ray of hope to Rockies fans. The team’s general manager came out early in the day and seemed to put an end to the rumors about Arenado getting traded before spring training.
“With the season coming up and spring training on the horizon, we are going to start focusing on that,” Bridich told the Rockies beat reporter. “We have listened to teams regarding Nolan and really nothing has come of it.”
That sounds positive. Colorado listened to offers, as they should have, but they weren’t blown away by anything put on the table.
“We are going to move forward pretty much as we expected — with Nolan in the purple and black and as our third baseman,” Bridich added. “So we can put this to bed and collectively look forward to the upcoming season.”
That sounds perfect. The time for considering trades is over. It’s now about getting down to the business of playing baseball.
Who wouldn’t be happy with that response?
“I really don’t care what’s being said,” Arenado told Saunders later in the day. “I just know that I feel disrespected over there.”
Uh oh. That doesn’t sound good.
Any time a player uses the “disrespected” card, something bad has happened. Some sort of trust was broken. Some bond between the franchise and the star has been weakened.
Later in the day, the third baseman doubled down on his comments, speaking to Thomas Harding of MLB.com.
“There’s a lot of disrespect from people there that I don’t want to be a part of,” Arenado said in a text to the writer. “You can quote that.”
Arenado chose not to elaborate on how he felt disrespected, but he’s clearly upset. One year after signing an eight-year, $260 million contract extension, the five-time All-Star will be entering spring training as an unhappy camper.
“I’m not mad at the trade rumors,” the third baseman said to Harding. “There’s more to it.”
Can he and Bridich mend the fences? Anything is possible, but history suggests that’s unlikely.
Once the general manager got sideways with former shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, the relationship continued to go downhill. The breakdown in communication between the two created a rift that remains to this day.
In terms of his contract, Arenado got everything he wanted from the Rockies. He received a truckload of money, has a no-trade clause and can opt out of the deal after the 2021 season. One would think that would keep the superstar happy.
That assumption seems to be Bridich’s mistake. And now, the general manager may have alienated the third baseman to the point of no return.
What’s next in the ongoing saga? Stay tuned.
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