Jeff Bridich out as Rockies general manager two months after Nolan Arenado trade

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The Colorado Rockies and general manager Jeff Bridich “mutually agreed” that he would step down from his position on Monday, according to a team release. Bridich was in the midst of his seventh season as the Rockies general manager, having originally taken over following the 2014 season. In his six full seasons at the helm, the Rockies enjoyed as many 90-loss seasons (two) as postseason appearances. Colorado lost in the 2017 Wild Card Game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The following fall, they defeated the Chicago Cubs in the Wild Card Game before being swept in three games by the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Divisional Series.

Bridich’s tenure was marred by repeated failures in the free-agent market. The Rockies infamously signed Ian Desmond to a five-year deal worth $70 million, and later invested more than $100 million in three relievers — Wade Davis, Jake McGee, and Bryan Shaw — without receiving much return on their investment. Those four players combined for minus-3.4 Wins Above Replacement during their Rockies careers.

More recently, Bridich has been criticized for how he handled star third baseman Nolan Arenado. It was Bridich who insisted on including an opt-out clause in Arenado’s long-term extension. Once the relationship between the sides soured, that opt-out clause hurt the Rockies’ ability to get the best possible return in a trade.

Bridich did deal Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals over the offseason in a trade that CBS Sports criticized at the time. Here’s part of what we wrote:

It’s hard to spin this one as a positive for the Rockies. They’re spending more than $50 million regardless of where Arenado is in 2022, without receiving a legitimate headliner in return, and they’re doing all of that because Bridich was adamant that Arenado’s contract included an opt-out clause after 2021. Woof.

The Rockies intend to name an interim GM for the remainder of the season. The organization will then conduct a search for a permanent replacement “once the 2021 MLB postseason has completed.” 

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