Black, Players Downplay Any Clubhouse Impact from Arenado Feud with Front Office
Days after Nolan Arenado said he felt he had been disrespected by the Rockies, the third baseman did not take part in the Rockies Fan Fest on Saturday.
But that's nothing new. He didn't attend the Rockies off-season fan event a year ago, either, and shortly thereafter he agreed to a record-setting eight-year, $260 million contract.
He was missed by the fans, teammates and management, but the incident was downplayed by manager Bud Black and key players during a post-Fan Fest media session.
"There are things that can get a life of their own, and snowball" said manager Bud Black. "That's how I look at a lot of things."
Black said he was confident that there were be no black cloud lingering over the clubhouse.
“Players are wired to play," said Black. "They have all been around instances when things have been not smooth, but players focus on playing. Once we get to camp, I think the focus will be on the field.”
The Rockies off-season took a wild turn earlier in the week. After five weeks of allowing other teams to kick tires on the availability of Arenado, and not hearing anything of interest in return, general manager Jeff Bridich said it was time for the focus to turn to getting ready for the 2019 season, and put an end to trade talks concerning Arenado.
"Back in San Diego, during the winter meetings, we decided to at least listen to what teams had to say," said Bridich. "We had enough clubs tell us if we were to look to trade him to let them now. We decided we might as well listen in.
“With the season coming up and spring training on the horizon, we are going to start focusing on that. We have listened to teams regarding Nolan and really nothing has come of it. We are going to move forward pretty much as we expected — with Nolan in the purple and black and as our third baseman. So we can put this to bed and collectively look forward to the upcoming season and work toward that.”
That did not sit well with Arenado, who told Thomas Harding of MLB.com. “There’s a lot of disrespect from people there that I don’t want to be a part of. You can quote that. ... 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.”
Declining to expand on his concerns, Arenado did issue several other tweets before on Thursday saying he was done discussing the matter and ready to focus on spring training.
His teammates seem to share the same feeling.
Lefthander Kyle Freeland, looking to regain his Cy Young-caliber ability of 2018 after a major fall off in 2019, said he isn't concerned about the Arenado situation affecting the team.
“Everything that has gone on with that is between Nolan and Jeff,” Freeland said. “But think Nolan, no matter what the situation is, he’s going to show up, on time, every single day, ready to play. He’s going to work his (butt) off.”
Shortstop Trevor Story, who is in the midst of finalizing two-year, $27.5 million deal with the team said he is confident Arenado's situation won't impact the plaeyrs.
“We are just worried about trying to win games," said Story. "You can only control what you can. For me, I try to focus on what I can control.”
Ditto outfielder David Dahl.
"I love Nolan, but I can't speak for Nolan," he said. "My focus right now is getting ready for the season and helping the team however I can."