The Colorado Rockies and Nolan Arenado need to dig in for what is sure to be a tense 2020 season.
Pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training this week, and the media was given the opportunity to speak with Rockies‘ General Manager Jeff Bridich for the first time since Arenado’s issues with the organization became public.
When pressed about the subject Tuesday, Bridich declined to address the issue.
“There is no comment,” he said. “I haven’t had any comment to this point, so we’ll move past that. Next question.”
— 9NEWS Sports Denver (@9NEWSSports) February 11, 2020
The exchange left a sour taste in the mouths of Rockies’ fans. Bridich’s comments, or lack thereof, only adds fuel to the fire as Spring Training is set to ramp up.
Arenado has been relatively quiet about the situation throughout the offseason. The only public comments the 28-year-old superstar has made came after Bridich announced the Rockies would cease trade talks involving the third baseman back in January.
Arenado reached out to the local media, saying:
“There’s a lot of disrespect from people there that I don’t want to be a part of,” Arenado told Thomas Harding of MLB.com. “You can quote that. You ask what I thought of Jeff’s quotes and I say I don’t care what people say around there. There is a lot of disrespect.”
Position players are scheduled to report to Spring Training on February 16th with the first full-squad workout set for the 17th.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported Arenado has made a “silent statement” leading up to Spring Training by opting to workout at Arizona State University as opposed to the team’s complex.
There is sure to be plenty of media coverage at Salt River Fields next weekend when Arenado reports, especially from national outlets.
National reporters like Jonn Morosi, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman have been on top of the Areanado situation all offseason and will continue to monitor it throughout Spring Training.
While Arenado is expected to start the season with Colorado, there will be plenty of trade chatter leading up to the start of the season and beyond.
The Chicago Cubs are one club that has been linked to Arenado for some time. Les Shapiro of Mile High Sports reports that Chicago will continue to pursue a trade throughout Spring Training centered around an Arenado-Kris Bryant swap.
(2/2) the direction of the @rockies organization. I'm told he would warmly welcome a trade to the @cubs. The @cubs will continue to pursue this throughout spring training. (The @cubs also are fearful he could end up w/the division rival @Cardinals.) #rockies #cubs #mlbnetwork
— Les Shapiro (@LesShapiro) February 12, 2020
The critical part of Shapiro’s report is that Arenado would welcome a trade to Chicago. The biggest hurdle in any deal for Arenado is his control. Arenado is still owed over $200 million, has a full no-trade clause and an opt-out after the 2021 season.
The Cubs are just one of many teams that have expressed interest in trading for the All-Star.
Arenado is a household name and one of the best players in the sport who is entering the apex of his career. Given his stature as a player, there is sure to be trade interest so long as his relationship with the Rockies remains fractured.
At this point, the relationship is at a breaking point, and all signs point to Arenado’s departure from the franchise, whether that be during this season or after the 2021 campaign.
Until there Arenado’s future is made clear, there will be a constant media circus surrounding the situation.