By Patrick Kelly
Entering the offseason, the Colorado Rockies were under no pressure to move third baseman Nolan Arenado. However, after comments that have come out over the last couple of days, the timer to move the California native probably just started.
On Monday, Arenado said things that stunned a lot of Rockies fans and put every team interested on high alert. He stated that he felt “disrespected” and “crossed” by the team. Although he made it clear that this frustration isn’t with the trade talks slowing down, these comments come at a very inopportune time if his frustration lies elsewhere with the team.
One thing that Arenado might be frustrated over is the fact that the team hasn’t improved at all over the past two years. Despite the addition of Daniel Murphy last offseason, the Rockies haven’t done much else and adding Murphy did not make any real significant changes to their record, mainly because a lot of their problems are on the mound. When you look at the Rockies’ 2018 season compared to the 2019 season, the first thing you notice is the giant drop off in wins, basically flipping their record from 91-72 (including a tiebreaker against Dodgers) to 71-91. The main culprit for the dropoff seems to be pitching. From 2018 to 2019 the Rockies saw a big decrease in pitching numbers starting with the team ERA that went from 4.33 to 5.56. They also managed to allow 86 more home runs while striking out 145 less batters. Meanwhile, on the hitting side, they did not experience much of a change at all. In fact, the Rockies improved in almost all hitting categories including a .09 improvement in batting average.
With the Rockies having pitchers and catchers report for spring training in exactly three weeks, it looks like they are going into 2020 with virtually the same team, signing Carlos Estevez, Kyle Freeland and Jon Gray to one-year contracts. That means that unless the Rockies can stay 100 percent healthy, they will have a repeat of last year. Now with the Rockies aware that Arenado is frustrated and feels “crossed by the team,” it appears he has an expiration date in the Mile High City. The pressure is now on the Rockies. The club is now tasked with possibly working out all the complications of a deal because the longer this drags on the less of a haul they will get for their highest-paid player.