The drama reached an all-time high in Denver on Monday night. Trade talks about the Rockies’ third baseman star, Nolan Arenado, have been peeking in and out of the mind of baseball fans for about two months. According to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post, Rockies GM Jeff Bridich made it clear about the team’s intentions of Arenado. “We have listened to teams regarding Nolan, and 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.” Later on Monday, Nolan reacted to Bridich’s comments. “There’s a lot of disrespect from people there that I don’t want to be a part of.” Arenado told MLB.com, “You can quote that.” Arenado didn’t want to elaborate on the Birdich comments.
I'm not sure if I'm witnessing the 2020 MLB offeseason, or a season of Degrassi- MLB edition. https://t.co/pcUkouUACf
— Alex Plinck (@aplinckTX) January 21, 2020
During the Winter Meetings, the Rangers, Cardinals, and Braves all inquired about a deal that would include the Rockies’ superstar third baseman. However, some roadblocks ensued, and according to sources, there was little to no momentum towards a trade. Now, if the Rockies spiral out of control in the standings by mid-July, Colorado would be more open in dealing with Nolan. After back-to-back Wild Card appearances in 2017 and 2018, the Rockies plummeted to twenty-games under .500 in 2019. It’s not the first time Arenado vented his frustration with the organization. When expectations became high in 2016, the Rockies scuffled and Nolan, being a good leader in the clubhouse, tried to fire up his teammates. Years later, it’s the same story (pardon the player pun).
What does this mean for the Rangers?
There isn’t much that changes between now and mid-July. The Rockies are in an unknown position that sees improvements from all of their NL West counterparts. I’d say the smart decision is to let the first half of the season play out, and if things start going downhill, start putting Nolan’s name on the table. The Rangers are continuing to build their farm system, and if they do decide to take another crack at Arenado, they’ll have to unload a decent amount of prospects to Colorado. Another factor will be negotiating his opt-out, which comes into play after the 2021 season. I assume the Rockies would require the trade partner (or partners if it becomes a trio-team deal) to finish the remaining $234 million that remains in his contract. Is it worth acquiring the seven consecutive gold glove winner? It absolutely is.
— Intentional Talk (@IntentionalTalk) January 14, 2020
Nevertheless, it becomes a sticky situation for the Rangers. There’s no denying that Arenado is a leader in the Rockies clubhouse and the issues stem from the Rockies management rather than Arenado himself. The Rangers signed Todd Fraizer to a one-year deal, which means the club is eyeing a different approach to third base. It could be that the Rangers capitalize on Arenado’s displeasure of the Rockies organization and makes a hefty deadline offer, or the drama in Denver is still playing out. I’ll say this, from watching the MLB 2020 offseason unfold, you’ll undoubtedly need more popcorn than Michael Jackson in his “Thriller” music video.
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