SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Nolan Arenado said he never went as far as to request a trade from the Colorado Rockies in the wake of feeling a “disrespect” from the club given he was part of trade discussions this offseason, and the All-Star third baseman is ready to move forward despite frustrations with a quiet winter by his team.
“There was different talks. I wouldn’t say it went to those lengths,” Arenado said Sunday, when he reported to Rockies camp ahead of Monday’s first full-squad workout.
It has nearly been a year since Arenado signed a $260 million, eight-year contract — and now it’s unclear how long he will stay.
“I’m committed here. I’m here and I’m ready to go out there, I’m going to play hard,” he said. “I’m not going to be a negative presence in that locker room. That’s never really been my style. So I feel like I’m going to be me, nothing’s going to change. I want to win.”
Arenado said he sent text messages to teammates and that he is committed to Colorado as spring training begins — “that was good,” manager Bud Black said — even if Arenado is unsure if he will be around for all of 2020. The Rockies went 71-91 last season for fourth place in the five-team NL West.
The uncertainty wasn’t something Arenado let bring him down or distract him from his offseason work, the seven-time Gold Glover said.
“I wasn’t panicking at all about it,” he said. “It is what it is. It didn’t really fluster me or anything. These talks are what they are, they happen. Sometimes there’s a little bit of friction, and that’s OK. It didn’t affect me.”
The slugging third baseman did hear the chatter about a trade to the Cubs for fellow third baseman Kris Bryant, saying “it would have been interesting.”
Arenado worked out in recent days at Arizona State’s Phoenix Municipal Stadium, but insisted it was only because he didn’t want to wait around to get his hitting in at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick but rather have a more efficient batting practice of about 90 minutes with his younger brother, Jonah.
While there are “different things” that frustrated him with the franchise that have been discussed, Arenado didn’t want to go into detail about any discord with general manager Jeff Bridich.
Winning could help repair any issues, too, Arenado said.
“I’m just more concerned to play and play hard and play for my teammates and go out there and compete,” Arenado said. “That’s why I’m here, that’s what my job is to do. I’m excited for that. Obviously there’s some things going on. I’m not too worried about them, I’m worried about going out there and getting ready for the season and just doing the best I can.”
Arenado expects to be in meetings in the coming days but wasn’t sure whether he would sit down one on one with Bridich to discuss his situation. Bridich is expected to talk with reporters Tuesday at Cactus League media day, the Rockies said.
The infielder and Black briefly chatted Saturday and Black said his door is always open for Arenado or any player to talk baseball or life.
Not that Black feels he needs to discuss Arenado’s offseason with him.
“That’s what these guys do best, is play,” Black said. “I’m here for these guys in a lot of different ways. I’m here on the baseball side and I’m also here for a voice of experience, and some of these things that maybe I went through as a player — everybody’s career is different — I might be able to lend some wisdom to all players, whatever they need, and I’m here for them. I think they know that I’m here for them so if they need that, I’m available.”
Arenado said he isn’t one to “hold grudges.” He is ready to get to work.
“I’m in camp so that means we’re trying to win,” Arenado said, noting there were “a few times” he wasn’t sure he would be here this spring. “But at the same time it’s still a business. You never know what could happen. At the end of the day I’m happy to be back. I’m ready to help this team win.”
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports