Colorado Rockies: Unpacking how they don’t “have the budget” to extend Trevor Story

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network on Twitter, the Colorado Rockies “are said not to have the budget for any big signing … so barring some big change there won’t be an extension coming anytime soon for superstar SS Trevor Story.”

Just out of that one tweet, there’s a lot to unpack from it.

First off, that’s not surprising that the Rockies are said to not have the budget for a Story extension. Whether this came from a source Heyman has with the Rockies or from a different source not in the organization will determine their ulterior motive behind it.

If it’s somebody within the Rockies organization, they could be saying it just to try to get a “hometown discount” from Story and his agent. If it’s from someone outside of the organization, they may just be looking at how the Rockies have spent their money on free agents in recent years (no guaranteed MLB contracts via free agency in the last two seasons). If it’s from Story or his agency, it could be just to rile up the other teams to get trade and free agent interest moving.

But taking the information as we know it and not knowing who it’s from, once again, makes the Rockies look like a deer in the headlights.

Just two years ago, the Rockies extended third baseman Nolan Arenado to an eight-year deal for $260 million. However, they inexplicably added opt-out clauses in the contract when Arenado didn’t ask for them.

Less than two years later, they non-tendered David Dahl because they seemingly don’t have the roughly $3 million to tender Dahl a contract, a guy who, when healthy, was the Rockies third- or fourth-best offensive player. A few weeks later, they have so much money that they trade Arenado along with $50 or so million to the St. Louis Cardinals for little in return because they think that he will exercise the opt-out clause coming after the 2021 season.

Less than a month after that, the Rockies seemingly don’t have enough money to sign Trevor Story long-term.

So how are fans supposed to interpret this?

This new development (which isn’t really new but it is confirmed more now) seems to indicate one thing: Colorado never intended to keep Nolan Arenado around regardless of how he played or even if the pandemic (and the Rockies reported financial losses) didn’t happen.

Mind you, they also signed a new TV deal (that should have been able to keep Arenado and Story on the Rockies for years to come) that starts this season so the Rockies aren’t as poor as they’d have you believe. They are just not spending money on bettering the MLB team and, arguably, not spending much of anything on bettering the minor league teams.

Instead, they are expecting you to spend money watching a mediocre team at Coors Field and if you can’t get into Coors Field due to the limited seating capacity, they are expecting you to spend your money at McGregor Square, where the Rockies have truly been investing their money. But Dick Monfort says that there’s “no tie” between the team trading Arenado and the McGregor Square project.

Arenado said that he probably wouldn’t have opted out because of the pandemic but the Rockies thought he would and that’s why they decided to go with the pennies on the dollar trade, a trade that made the Cardinals President feel “nauseous” that it wouldn’t go through and a trade that the Rockies ownership thought wouldn’t go through either for a week prior to the trade.

If the Rockies truly planned on giving Arenado the money going forward, why can’t they reallocate it to Trevor Story? It’s understandable that he wouldn’t want to stay considering how things have unfolded but the team now doesn’t have the money to afford him … but they don’t seem to have a plan to trade him either.

As has been known about the Rockies front office for a while now, whether it’s about Arenado, the plans for Story, or things in general, the lack of communication and transparency with the Rockies is astounding. And one of, if not, the biggest things needed for leadership is communication. That lack of leadership and communication is why the Rockies are where they are today: projected to be dead last in the NL West.