While the entirety of the Chicago Cubs roster is reporting to spring training, it’s possible the front office isn’t done making additions to or subtractions from the team. A new report surfaced on Thursday morning that claims Theo Epstein and company are still “absolutely motivated” to acquire Nolan Arenado from the Colorado Rockies. As has been the case when these rumors first surfaced, it appears the best way to make such a deal happen is sending Kris Bryant back in return.
David Kaplan reported a conversation he had with a member of the Rockies’ press corps earlier this week on ESPN 100, per Bleacher Nation. First, Kaplan confirmed the phone calls between the two teams have been ongoing, even while some have been content to think any Kris Bryan trade talks would be shelved until midseason.
“I was on the phone with somebody in Colorado last night who covers the Rockies, and he said to me, ‘Hey dude, let me just tell you, these discussions are real. Nolan Arenado … absolutely wants out of the Colorado Rockies organization, and he’s made it clear to ownership. I don’t want to be here. Get me outta here.’ He said, ‘I’m telling you, the Cubs are absolutely motivated to try to get him. Absolutely, 100%.'”
Bleacher Nation’s Brett Taylor pointed out this was one of the first times Colorado media confirmed Nolan Arenado wants out of Colorado. Until now, those reports had largely been national media reading into statements he made. A beat writer saying it lends some credence to the idea the Rockies’ third baseman isn’t happy in his current home.
It’s worth pointing out again that Arenado also holds a full no-trade clause, so he absolutely can dictate where he goes. Reports earlier this month claimed the Chicago Cubs are one of the teams he’d like to play on.
Adding fuel to the fire that the Rockies have to get something done sooner, rather than later, is the fact that Colorado media is noticing Arenado is keeping himself separate from the Rockies at the moment. Joel Sherman tweeted out what he noticed as a sign of problems between the two sides. Sherman said Arenado is usually hitting and working out at the team complex as pitchers and catchers start to report.
This time around, the third baseman is working out by himself at Arizona State’s complex. Sherman expects the player to join his team when the rest of the position players are required to be in attendance this weekend, but his solo workout regime is still a “silent statement.”
The question now is whether the Chicago Cubs, even if they are “absolutely motivated,” are comfortable parting with Kris Bryant in a deal that would bring Nolan Arenado to the Windy City.