A mere 11 months after Nolan Arenado signed an eight-year, $260 million contract extension, his relationship with the Colorado Rockies has fractured and his tenure with the organization may soon be coming to an end.
The face of the franchise has been hypercritical over the direction of the team, noting the disparity between the Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers. With the start of Spring Training on the horizon, Arenado broke his silence by accusing the Rockies of being disrespectful.
He declined to elaborate but noted that sentiment was not rooted in trade rumors. Arenado’s comments came soon after Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said the team was backing away from a potential trade to focus on Spring Training.
But in the event Colorado reverses course, they would not trade Arenado simply to start a rebuild and are seeking a young catcher, according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com:
Sources say the Rockies have told other teams that any Arenado trade must improve their 2020 Major League roster. In other words, they don’t plan to begin a rebuild this close to Spring Training and would insist on at least one Major League player in addition to prospects.
The Rockies are interested in acquiring a potential No. 1 catcher for the long term, and an Arenado deal could help them achieve that objective.
The St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers have been identified as clubs most aggressively pursuing an Arenado trade over recent weeks. The Dodgers are thought to have longstanding interest in acquiring the perennial All-Star, but reportedly doubt the Rockies would deal within the National League West; much less trade Arenado to the reigning seven-time division champion.
If the Rockies were amenable to a trade with the Dodgers, it conceivably could net them the young catcher they covet. L.A. appears content moving ahead with Will Smith as their starting catcher, making top-10 catching prospect Keibert Ruiz somewhat expendable.
Furthermore, the Dodgers have an excess of talent and depth beyond Ruiz, both in the form of additional prospects and Major League players.
Arenado holds plenty of leverage in the form of a full no-trade clause and opt-out after the 2021 season. He reportedly is open to being traded to the Cardinals.
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