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

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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 MLB.com’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.

Rumor: MLB execs discussing 100-game season that would begin July 1

David Price and Mookie Betts
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Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.

In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.

Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.

Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.