In the course of the offseason we’ve gone from “randos want to talk about a Nolan Arenado trade” to dozens of team-blogs putting together possible trade scenarios to “reporters ‘speculating’ about what one might look like” to, finally for now, Ken Rosenthal casually referring to Arenado as “on the trade market.” I don’t think there can be much doubt now that the annoying vapor has turned into smoke.
There are two major points in this brief from Rosenthal. First, he considers whether or not the relationship between Arenado and the front office has soured. It was less than a year ago that Arenado signed his eight-year contract with the Rockies. But a lot has changed since then. The Rockies had one of their most disappointing seasons in team history, and in response Jeff Bridich has decided to do absolutely nothing to help the team and instead has said that the current team should just play better. Rosenthal writes: “Does Arenado feel betrayed that the Rockies have failed to build around him? Do the Rockies feel betrayed that Arenado has not come out publicly and said he wants to remain with the team?” I suspect Arenado’s desire to stay with the team is conditioned on the Rockies putting together a winning ballclub.
Here’s the other nugget Rosenthal included: An Arenado trade “is starting to look inevitable, if not by Opening Day, then by the deadline.” I don’t think Rosenthal would say “inevitable” if there wasn’t something behind it, and that something has to be more than the Rockies just doing their due diligence and taking phone calls. A pre-Opening Day trade still feels unlikely to me, but if the Rockies get off to a bad start, those pre-deadline trade rumors are going to make these offseason rumors appear mild.
And Thomas Harding lays out why a trade prior to Opening Day wouldn’t make a lot of sense: The Rockies believe themselves contenders, and “The idea that they could somehow trade Arenado and emerge a better club makes less sense by the day.” Of course, it also makes less sense by the day for the Rockies to sit on their hands all offseason while other teams improve and still expect to compete. It’s as if Jeff Bridich has a bet with himself that 2020 will be the year all of his free agent mistakes get resolved and redeemed, thus negating any need for additional free agent activity. But, I digress.
Ultimately, the Rockies consider themselves contenders, and it doesn’t make a lot of sense for them to trade their best player prior to the season and still expect to contend. But, again, if all of the 2019 red flags continue unabated over the first few months of 2020, that will change things.
And hey, I bet someone’s going to ask about Nolan Arenado at this event! All Denverites should consider going, despite that. Purple Row’s Samantha Bradfield will be joined by a slew of other Rockies media at this January 29th event, which takes place at the Denver Press Club.