It is clear the relationship between the Colorado Rockies and All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado is fracturing.
This offseason has been a disaster for the Rockies, and now is bordering on catastrophic with Spring Training just a few weeks away.
Rumors circulated about Arenado’s availability the moment the hot stove season kicked off.
However, Rockies’ General Manager Jeff Bridich decided to put an end to the rumors Monday when he spoke with Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post and said the organization has stopped trade talks centered around Arenado.
“With the season coming up and spring training on the horizon, we are going to start focusing on that,” Bridich told Saunders. “We have listened to teams regarding Nolan, and really nothing has come of it. We are going to move forward pretty much as we expected — with Nolan in the purple and black and as our third baseman.
“So we can put this to bed and collectively look forward to the upcoming season and work toward that.”
The news did not sit well with Arenado because later in the day, he reached out to MLB.com to express his displeasure.
“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.”
Arenado elaborated when asked about his relationship with Bridich, saying:
“You ask what I thought of Jeff’s quotes and I say I don’t care what people say around there,” Arenado said. “There is a lot of disrespect.”
That said, Areadno later clarified that his frustration is not centered around the constant trade rumors, but rather with the direction the organization is heading.
“I’m not mad at the trade rumors. There’s more to it.” Arenado said.
Arenado’s relationship with Bridich is nearing a breakpoint, but just how bad is it? The timing of the comments from Bridich and Arenado is interesting given what Altitude Sports Radio host Scott Hastings said on air Monday.
Hastings reported that Arenado and Bridich got into a heated argument at the end of the season that almost came to blows over Arenado’s comments about the state of the franchise.
The report has not extended beyond Hasting’s comments, but he is an established and well-connected local media personality.
The rumor alone is bad news for the Rockies as it adds more tension to an already delicate situation.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan elaborated on Arenado’s frustration, stating that it stems from the Rockies’ “inaction” this offseason. Passan added that Arenado feels “betrayed” given the Rockies’ lack of activity this offseason.
Arenado feels that the Rockies are not doing enough to improve a team that finished with just 71 wins last season. When Arenado inked an eight-year, $260 million contract last offseason, he did so under the impression that the team would continue to invest in their future and remain competitive.
At this point, it appears that the Rockies completely duped Arenado, given the comments from owner Dick Monfort at the start of the offseason and Colorado’s lack of action in free agency.
The Rockies are just one of two clubs that have not spent any money on their major league roster this offseason.
Arenado has not made his desires public, but this situation has clearly changed how the 28-year-old superstar views the only franchise he’s ever played for.
Regardless of what the future holds, Arenado holds all power and control given his full no-trade clause, and player option following the 2021 season.
Arenado’s situation has been compared to that of Giancarlo Stanton, who was traded by the Miami Marlins a couple of years after signing a monster contract similar to Arenado’s.
Stanton shut down deals that would have sent him to the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants with his no-rade clause and essentially forced his way to the New York Yankees.
It’s unknown what the future holds for Arenado at this point, but the ball is in his court to decide if he wants to stay in Colorado or play elsewhere moving forward.