Colorado Rockies: Jeff Bridich on payroll and its impact on Nolan Arenado
By Kevin Henry
LAS VEGAS — With Day One of the Winter Meetings officially in the books here at Mandalay Bay, it’s clear that the Colorado Rockies will do some spending this offseason on free agents. It’s just a matter of how much and how that impacts an upcoming decision on their All-Star third baseman.
Colorado Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich met with Rox Pile and other media members on Monday and the subject of his franchise’s payroll was a big topic of discussion. Will what the Rockies spend this offseason make a difference with anything they will be offering to Nolan Arenado with his contract set to expire after the 2019 season?
One of Bridich’s main themes in recent months has been Colorado using “responsible growth” when it comes to their payroll. Part of that responsible growth was a big contract for Charlie Blackmon and a revamped bullpen. Part of that growth is also the reason why DJ LeMahieu and Adam Ottavino are currently being discussed as “former members” of the franchise.
“Responsible growth” was once again a message used by Bridich during his impromptu media conference on Monday.
"“Our payroll has grown a lot over the last five years, the last half decade. And we will plan on, as I’ve said in the past, responsible growth,” Bridich said. “We are not in a holding pattern or we are drawing back on our payroll. We believe we can continue to grow responsibly. It’s not going to grow by huge, huge, huge jumps every single year.”"
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Now what does that mean for this offseason? Seemingly, don’t believe the rumors about Bryce Harper coming to Colorado any time soon. Colorado invested in Ian Desmond two seasons ago and Wade Davis, Bryan Shaw and Jake McGee last offseason. This offseason, the Rockies will invest again in a free agent … but it’s not going to be in a huge way with a huge number.
And one of the reasons for that is Arenado and what is happening with his contract. Bridich said the Rockies and Arenado’s camp have been talking about the contract but didn’t give an indication of any movement.
However, Bridich stated his franchise wants to keep Arenado at the hot corner for years to come.
"“As I’ve stated in the past, we would love to have Nolan around for a long, long period of time,” Bridich said. “We have had a great relationship with him and he’s had a great one … I don’t want to speak for him. .. but he’s a had a great relationship for many, many years, ever since he was drafted with the Rockies. He’s come to this point in his career, and he’s earned it. He’s become one of the top three or five players in the game. Now it’s time to make adult decisions.”"
Those “adult decisions” include a contract that could be among the largest ever signed for a talent who has set records at his position since coming into the league in 2013. They will also likely impact other decisions the franchise will make in terms of personnel this offseason.
There is still plenty to come from Las Vegas this week. However, it’s also very clear that the decision regarding Arenado and his future with the Rockies is a big factor in this offseason.