Over the last couple of days, I have struggled to keep track of my reactions to the Nolan Arenado trade that became official last night, chaotically bouncing all over the emotional spectrum. In the days leading up to the initial announcement, I told myself I was ready, and in one sense, eager to get it over with to extinguish the tension that has come with the last year of trade rumors. I knew, of course, that I would be heartbroken at losing another franchise face and irate with the perpetual incompetence of the team’s ownership that got us to this place again, but I was certain there would be a sense of relief.
After spending the better part of 48 hours processing the news, I can’t say that relief has surfaced, and I find myself mostly feeling...incomplete? And I’m not the only one.
If you read the byline on this article, then you know I’m not Trevor Story (surprise!) and I can’t say what’s going on in his head, but you can’t imagine he’s very happy. He spoke to Patrick Saunders immediately following the news and issued this statement:
#Rockies Trevor Story: Nolan’s one of my best friends, baseball aside, so this hurts. He’s the best 3B in the game. I’m sad and a little frustrated to be honest. All I can do is focus on playing the best baseball I can for my teammates and the fans, they deserve it.— Patrick Saunders (@psaundersdp) February 2, 2021
If his true wish is/was to stay in Colorado long term, he just lost his infield partner in crime, and in the short term, saw his team take a big hit to their ability to win baseball games. You have to think Story’s desire to stay in Colorado is dwindling.
He’s seen how the team handles their superstars and I wouldn’t blame him for not wanting to follow in the footsteps of Arenado and Troy Tulowitzki as wrongly being made the bad guy by ownership—under a general manager who, following the Tulo debacle, didn’t show a strong ability to learn from the situations and improve.
The unfortunate reality is that at this point, the team would probably be best suited by going for a full rebuild and shipping Story off, like Nolan, to another club. (Note: this would be the ‘normal’ path a team would take, but the Rockies can sometimes be ‘normal-averse’ when it comes to organizational decisions.) Although the details of the Arenado trade are still coming into focus, it appears the Rockies should be able to get a better package for Story.
What he may lack in on-field value (which isn’t much) he makes up for in his age, a relatively strong health profile (minus some thumb issues), and a much lower salary. If the Rockies continue to go full steam ahead with a rebuild and trade Story, they don’t have to look back far to find a benchmark trade option after Cleveland shipped their own superstar shortstop, Francisco Lindor, to the Mets just a few weeks back.
My apologies for painting a relatively bleak picture of Story’s potential Rockies future — I must admit I have a bitter taste in my mouth from the Arenado fallout, but I also believe that the above scenario probably isn’t all that far from the truth. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t include a glimmer of hope: Purple Row’s very own Adam Peterson reminded me that a large portion of the fan base thought Carlos González would want out after the Tulo trade, and he was still around come the 2017 Wild Card Game. The situations are by no means identical: Story is a free agent at the end of the 2021 season and González had another two years post-Tulo before his free agency, but maybe Trevor likes the idea of being “the guy” on this Rockies team and will follow in CarGo’s footsteps.
In all honesty, I still haven’t quite found the right words to describe my emotional state. While the devastation of watching Arenado go to St. Louis is crushing and there aren’t enough expletives or angry emojis to capture my resentment for this continued cycle of disrespect from Rockies ownership, I feel as if all the anguish I’ve reserved for Arenado’s future has simply been transferred to Trevor Story’s uncertainty. After spending months putting our primary focus into “what Nolan Arenado’s future holds,” the Rockies and their fanbase do not simply have the benefit of figuring out the road map and timeline for a rebuild. They just have to scratch out Arenado’s name, put in Story’s, and begin the whole process over.
Sound off below with what you’d be looking for if the Rockies do trade Story, or why you think the team will keep him.