The trade rumors will not stop. Reports of the relationship between the Rockies front office and superstar Nolan Arenado being beyond repair abound. It seems like more and more reports and commentary is giving up on any diplomatic solutions and announcing that Arenado wants out of Colorado. It’s hard to know how much truth to put into these reports, but here we go.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the Rockies and Cubs are talking about a trade with Kris Bryant coming to Colorado and Arenado going to Chicago. ESPN’s Jesse Rogers went on NBC Sports Chicago and said this:
“This is something I heard very recently. That, yes, Arenado would love to play for the Cubs, I agree with Jeff [Passan] on that. I’ll go one step further. That they’ve even discussed a one-for-one deal, Kris Bryant for Nolan Arenado, where the Rockies pick up a good portion of Arenado’s salary over the length of the contract. I’m talking $7 or $8 million per year. That’s how much they need to get rid of Arenado and he wants out.”
Bryant is not happy with the Cubs after losing his grievance case where he accused the organization of starting the 2015 season with Bryant in the minors in order to control his contract an extra year. It basically amounts to trading two disgruntled All-Star third basemen as the solution to the issues.
The usual problems still manifest in this deal with Nolan having an opt-out after 2021 and Bryant becomes a free agent at the same time. The deal, with the Rockies sending cash and their best player to Chicago, would still make the Cubs go over the luxury taxes and force the team to make more cuts to the payroll elsewhere.
If you are in the camp that has given up hope of keeping Arenado, Passan believes Arenado would be glad to be a Cub. This could at least give the Rockies a proven, All-Star player to help the Rockies now instead of prospects who may or may not pan out, but could help rebuild the farm team and help in the future.
If you are in the camp that wants to keep Arenado, the good news, if there is any, comes from Rogers who thinks that Bryant definitely won’t be a Cub in 2020, but doesn’t think the Arenado-Bryant trade will come to fruition.
Patrick Saunders explains what he knows and thinks about the Nolan situation:
1) He’s heard the from sources that a deal is being discussed, but he’s not sure on progress. He believes lots of the reports are “unfounded” rumors.
2) He believes the beef is between Jeff Bridich and Arenado, but not Dick Monfort and Arenado. Arenado feels “disrespected” because the Rockies aren’t doing anything to improve the team from 2019’s 71-91 performance. Monfort is not trying to “dump salary,” move on from Nolan, or blow the team up to build up prospects instead of win now.
3) Saunders echoes how many fans and media feel in being upset that the front office didn’t meet with the media and Fan Fest. It was a missed opportunity for the Rockies to explain their point of view, and now the rumor mill is swinging so fast it’s like a mall parking lot carnival Tilt-A-Whirl: It’s not trustworthy and it will still make you sick.
4) Saunders ends with a prediction:
“I predict Arenado will be traded before he reaches his opt-out at the end of the 2021 season, and I’m certain that Arenado will take the opt-out, unless something dramatic happens.”
In other news that’s not to new, fans are wondering if they should renew season tickets and if there will be fallout in the clubhouse regardless of how NolanGate ends. There are musings about which starting pitchers will shine at spring training to fill out the rotation. Finally, Saunders says that he thinks Monfort still trusts Bridich and he doesn’t think Bridich will be fired even after potentially causing the most drama-filled and depressing Rockies offseason for seemingly no better reason than Nolan spoke out about his frustrations when the team that promised him they would win and wasn’t winning, and it hurt Bridich’s ego and unquestioning loyalty expectations.
Rumors, reports, and now the odds. These aren’t odds of how likely it is that Arenado gets traded, but instead odds of how likely it is that certain teams will get him, according to betonline.ag.
So there’s that.
Rockies offseason mantra this year has been dominated by a hope that players who had down years in 2019 will rediscover older, better forms in 2020, as opposed to acquiring free agents or making many significant moves at all. In Wednesday’s Rockpile, Bud Black’s remarks from Saturday’s Fan Fest that we will see a “different” Daniel Murphy, but then the manager’s follow-up commentary of “We’ll see how that plays,” were presented in less than optimistic terms. I share that sentiment, but Rox Pile’s Aaron Hunt seems to be a little less pessimistic.
There are a lot of maybes in here. Maybe Murphy will be better? Maybe he never recovered from the broken finger at the beginning of the season and that’s why he hit .279/.328/.452 with 13 homers, 78 RBI, and 56 runs while we watched DJ LaMahieu light it up (.327/.375/.518 with 26 homers, 102 RBI, and 109 runs scored) in New York for the same price tag (each signed two-year deals worth $24 million with their new clubs)? Maybe?
Hunt is right on when he says that if Murphy is a good “different,” like his 2016 and 2017 Silver Slugger Seasons, or even just his career line of .298/.343/.458, that it would make a big difference for the Rockies. He even hopes that Murphy be the first significant first baseman since Justin Morneau in 2014. I just can’t tell if the tone of the maybes are in a really high pitch with a question mark (Think “I’m Ron Burgundy?”) or if they are hopes with a stronger and deeper-pitched foundation.
Just as a side note, I stopped by the Diamond Dry Goods store at Coors Field on my way out of Rockies Fan Fast on Saturday. While looking through the sales rack, there were jerseys for Pat Valaika, Tyler Anderson, DJ LaMahieu, and …. Daniel Murphy. He was the only current Rockie on the clearance rack. Doesn’t sound like the retail part of the organization believes “different” will be better.
Three Colorado minor league teams will have new coaches this season with former Double-A Yard Goat manager Warren Schaeffer replacing Glenallen Hill at the helm of the Triple-A Isotopes. Former player Chris Denorfia, who suited up for the Rockies Triple-A affiliate in his last year playing in 2017, will manage Double-A Hartford. After serving as an assistant for Short-season Boise for the last two years, Cesar Galvez will now be the team’s manager.
A town hall hosted by Tracy Ringolsby and featuring Rockies GM Jeff Bridich has been postponed until April 2, the night before the home opener, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Sam’s No. 3 in Glendale. Do you think this will bet the first time the public hears from Bridich? That’s 63 days away. Seems like an eternity in this offseason.
Fans are welcome and the event will be streamed live on Inside the Seam’s YouTube Channel.