With Nolan Arenado’s free-agent option after 2021, it’s time for the Rockies to break-up with their franchise player
There’s no two ways about it: breakups are terrible.
Nonetheless, that’s the situation Nolan Arenado and the Colorado Rockies face after another disappointing season.
Arenado, who can opt out after 2021, had a very public feud with Rockies GM Jeff Bridich last off-season, putting his future with the club in doubt. His disappointing, injury-riddled 2020 season also doesn’t help matters.
“THERE’S A LOT OF DISRESPECT FROM PEOPLE THERE THAT I DON’T WANT TO BE A PART OF” – ARENADO ON GM JEFF BRIDICH
It’s never a good sign when a franchise player feuds with management. It’s even worse when that player has an option looming.
If you’ve kept up with the NBA in recent years, you know how this ends.
Nolan Arenado, 29, had a disappointing season. In 48 games, he batted .253 with only eight home runs, and ended the season on the IL due to AC joint inflammation.
To Arenado’s credit, he’s been blunt about his performance this season and made a point not to blame injuries for his poor production. He’s been a consummate professional on top of being one of the best hitters in Rockies history.
But this isn’t about history. This is about the future.
Arenado is due $35 million next season and is still considered one of the leagues best hitters; but if Arenado’s struggles continue in 2021, he’ll be borderline un-tradable.
That’s why the Rockies must act now.
The Rockies without Arenado
Charlie Blackmon. Trevor Story. David Dahl.
That’s the only thing that needs to be said when asked how the Rockies offense will fare without Nolan.
Charlie Blackmon is a fan-favorite and an MVP candidate. Trevor Story and David Dahl are both All-Stars. Their offense will be fine.
Simply put, the Rockies don’t need Nolan Arenado. They need pitching.
All eyes on Jeff Bridich
Between failed free agents, drafting poorly and upsetting Nolan Arenado, Jeff Bridich’s job should be in jeopardy. Since making back-to-back postseasons in 2017-2018, virtually everything he has done as Rockies GM has backfired.
Brendan Rogers. Wade Davis. Jake Mcgee. David Murphy. Bryan Shaw. The list goes on.
If the Rockies still plan to keep Arenado to start the 2021 season, it’s hard to imaging Jeff Bridich sticking around. The Rockies can fire Bridich in good faith, and still be tempted to keep Arenado in hopes things get better. That would be a mistake.
Nothing the Rockies have shown these last few seasons implies they’re even close to contending; and anything short of that, leads to a very-likely Arenado opt out.
The Rockies have trade leverage this off-season. Perhaps they should use it while they can.