Nolan Arenado
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Nolan Arenado feels ‘disrespected’ by Rockies GM Jeff Bridich


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.

Maddon: Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again for Angels this year

Shohei Ohtani
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Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again this season for the Los Angeles Angels after straining his right forearm in his second start, manager Joe Maddon says.

Ohtani likely will return to the Angels’ lineup as their designated hitter this week, Maddon said Tuesday night before the club opened a road series against the Seattle Mariners.

The Angels’ stance on Ohtani is unsurprising after the club announced he had strained the flexor pronator mass near the elbow of his pitching arm. The two-way star’s recovery from the strain requires him to abstain from throwing for four to six weeks, which covers most of the shortened 2020 season.

“I’m not anticipating him pitching at all this year,” Maddon said. “Any kind of throwing program is going to be very conservative.”

Ohtani was injured Sunday in the second inning of his second start since returning to the mound following Tommy John surgery in late 2018. Ohtani issued five walks during the 42-pitch inning against the Houston Astros, with his velocity dropping later in the frame.

The arm injury is another obstacle in Ohtani’s path to becoming the majors’ first true two-way player in decades. He made 10 mound starts as a rookie in 2018 before injuring his elbow, but he served as the Angels’ regular designated hitter last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Ohtani has pitched in only three games since June 2018, but the Angels still believe in Ohtani’s ability to be a two-way player, Maddon said.

“I’m seeing that he can,” Maddon said. “We’ve just got to get past the arm maladies and figure that out. But I’ve seen it. He’s just such a high-end arm, and we’ve seen what he can do in the batter’s box. Now maybe it might get to the point where he may choose to do one thing over the other and express that to us. I know he likes to hit. In my mind’s eye, he’s still going to be able to do this.”

The veteran manager believes Ohtani will benefit from a full spring training and a normal season. Ohtani wasn’t throwing at full strength for a starter when the coronavirus pandemic shut down spring training in March because he wasn’t expected to pitch until May as he returned from surgery.

“Going into a regular season with a normal number of starts and all the things that permit guys to be ready for a year, that’s what we need to see is some normalcy before you make that kind of determination,” Maddon said.

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