Rockies GM Jeff Bridich made what frankly felt like an overdue statement late Monday afternoon, saying that he’s not going to trade franchise cornerstone Nolan Arenado and that the five-time All-Star will still be with the team when it begins spring training next month. Bridich made that declaration to the Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders:
Arenado responded later Monday by saying he felt disrespected by the Rockies. In a text to MLB.com’s Thomas Harding, Arenado wrote that “there is a lot of disrespect from people there that I don’t want to be a part of.” While Arenado didn’t get particularly specific about who he thought was disrespecting him, he made it clear that the recent rumors about him being on the trade block aren’t a factor in why he feels the way he does.
While Arenado’s statement isn’t an outright request for a trade, it certainly has to send a message to Bridich about the way his team’s best player feels. The Rockies’ situation isn’t great right now — their roster suddenly fell apart as they struggled to a 71-91 record in 2019, they have very little talent to complement Arenado, they haven’t signed a major-league free agent this offseason, and they seem reluctant to spend after giving Arenado a new seven-year, $260 million contract last spring. But things would be even bleaker without Arenado on the roster, and that has to concern the GM, especially if the situation escalates to the point where Arenado is viewed as disgruntled, thus reducing his trade value.
Arenado — a seven-time Gold Glove winner and four-time Silver Slugger who hit for a career .962 OPS last season (.315/.379/.583) — had been mentioned as a possible fit for the Cardinals in recent weeks, though Redbirds owner Bill DeWitt Jr. seemingly put the kibosh on that talk on Monday, saying that a payroll addition as big as the one that would be required to accomodate Arenado would not be viable for the franchise. Other teams that have been talked about as potential fits for Arenado include the Rangers, Braves, and Phillies — and if a player as good as Arenado is eminently available, it figures that more teams would jump to enter the bidding.