Nolan Arenado feels ‘disrespected’ by Rockies GM Jeff Bridich

Nolan Arenado
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UPDATE: On Tuesday morning Jeff Passan of ESPN reported that Arenado’s displeasure stems from the Rockies not making any additions to the roster and not expanding team payroll despite last year’s poor finish. Passan:

When the organization signaled early this offseason that it did not intend to expand its payroll this winter, Arenado expressed betrayal, according to sources, believing Colorado was not doing enough to improve a team coming off a 71-91 season.

Monday, 10:13 PM: Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado has been mentioned in trade rumors since the 2019 season ended, but so far he has yet to find a new home. Earlier today, GM Jeff Bridich told The Denver Post he expects the Rockies to start the 2020 season “with Nolan in the purple and black and as our third baseman.”

Arenado wasn’t a happy camper about the news. Per’s Thomas Harding, Arenado said via text message, “There’s a lot of disrespect from people there that I don’t want to be a part of. You can quote that.” Arenado continued, “You ask what I thought of Jeff’s quotes and I say I don’t care what people say around there. There is a lot of disrespect.” The five-time All-Star did not get into specifics about what he found disrespectful. He clarified to Harding that it’s not the trade rumors he finds irritating.

Arenado, 28, signed an eight-year, $260 million contract extension with the Rockies 11 months ago. However, the deal contains an opt-out clause after the 2021 season — something that Bridich, not Arenado, pushed for in the deal, as Marc Normandin noted.

Though the Rockies are not exactly rebuilding, Arenado described to The Athletic last September that the organization’s current situation “feels like a rebuild.” Arenado has wanted the Rockies to show a commitment towards building a competitive team. Thus far this offseason, the Rockies have yet to sign a free agent to a guaranteed major league contract. The Rockies and the Cubs are the only teams that haven’t done so.

This isn’t even the first time in recent memory that the Rockies’ relationship with a star homegrown player has soured. Former shortstop Troy Tulowitzki also had an abrupt exit from Colorado due to tensions with Bridich.

This is a messy situation for the Rockies. Arenado going public with his displeasure significantly weakens the club’s leverage in trade negotiations. The Cardinals, Rangers, and Braves have been most commonly linked with Arenado in trade talks throughout the offseason. It sounds like Arenado’s days in Colorado are numbered even if only one half of the equation wants it that way.

Report: Mike Clevinger agrees to 1-year deal with White Sox

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox bolstered their rotation, agreeing to a one-year contract with right-hander Mike Clevinger, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was subject to a successful physical.

The 31-year-old Clevinger went 7-7 with a 4.33 ERA in 23 games, including 22 starts, for San Diego this year. He missed the 2021 season after he had Tommy John surgery.

Chicago is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2022 season, when it went 81-81 and finished 11 games back of surprising AL Central champion Cleveland. Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa stepped down in October and Pedro Grifol was hired on Nov. 1.

The White Sox got a big lift from Johnny Cueto this year, but the 36-year-old right-hander is a free agent after going 8-10 with a 3.35 ERA in 25 appearances. Clevinger slots into a rotation that likely will include Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech.

The move puts the 6-foot-4 Clevinger back in the AL Central after he made his major league debut with Cleveland in 2016. He went 42-22 with a 3.20 ERA in four-plus seasons with Cleveland before he was traded to San Diego in a multiplayer deal in August 2020.

Clevinger was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the fourth round of the 2011 amateur draft. He was traded to Cleveland in 2014.

Clevinger is 51-30 with a 3.39 ERA in 128 career big league games. He also has 694 strikeouts in 656 2/3 innings.