Jack Etkin/Forbes.com: Arenado Uncertainty Hangs Over Opening of Spring Camp
By Jack Etkin/Forbes.com
Hovering over the Colorado Rockies is the fate of star third baseman Nolan Arenado and the rift between him and general manager Jeff Bridich. Arenado has seven years and $234 million remaining on the contract extension he signed last February. But he is unhappy with the Rockies after they plummeted to 91 losses last year following consecutive postseason appearances and have not upgraded the roster.
Arenado, who turns 29 in April, has a full no-trade clause and can opt out of his contract after the 2021 season. So dealing him will be difficult. Will Arenado’s desire to be traded dissolve once he is around his teammates, working out daily and again playing the game and getting ready for another season? And can Arenado and Bridich make peace in spring training? If not, the question then becomes when the Rockies will trade Arenado.
It’s been a humdrum off-season for the Rockies, who have been remarkably inactive and have not signed one free agent with major league experience. They signed free agent pitcher Jose Mujica, who was sidelined last year while recovering from Tommy John surgery in September 2018. He’s an enticing 23-year-old with a big arm and on the Rockies’ 40-man roster but has yet to pitch in the big leagues.
Infielder Chris Owings, catcher Elias Diaz and lefty reliever Tim Collins signed minor league contracts and could provide depth. The Rockies claimed hard-throwing reliever Tyler Kinley off waivers. And last week, they extended a non-roster invitation to camp to 36-year-old Ubaldo Jimenez, who began his career with the Rockies, threw the only no-hitter in franchise history but last pitched for them in 2011 and last pitched in the majors in 2017. It would be heartwarming and helpful if could enhance their rotation. But none of the Rockies’ offseason moves have generated much interest or hope among their fans.