Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado reported to spring training on Sunday, ready to address a difficult offseason that left the All-Star feeling "disrespected" as trade rumors ran rampant.
And among the remarks he had for reporters at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Ariz., he had a message for Rockies fans.
"I'm here, I'm ready to go. I'm going to go compete," he said. "There's nothing that has changed. I know a lot of things have been swirling around, but nothing's changed with me. And I'm going to do the best I can. And I'm going to work hard and help this team win."
While it was clear the 28-year-old wants to enter the 2020 season on solid footing with the fans, it undoubtedly will take time to repair his relationship with the team, particularly with general manager Jeff Bridich, who declined to discuss the third baseman as recently as last week.
Arenado signed an eight-year, $260 million contract extension last spring training and was supposed to be the cornerstone for the franchise for years to come. Then reports emerged the Rockies wanted to trade him, and that he, in turn, no longer wanted to play in Denver.
He declined to say Sunday whether he had asked for a trade.
"There were different talks," he said. "I wouldn't say it went to those lengths, but there were different things we did talk about, for sure, about where we're headed. Other than that, I [won't] get into details about what was said from them or from me. I don't think that's fair."
He said he didn't regret any comments he made over the winter that were critical of the team and was ready to move forward.
"It's about going out there and winning games," he said. "I don't hold grudges; that's not really me. I'm not trying to hold grudges against anybody. But I also have to be who I am and stand up for what I believe in. I'm not going to change a whole lot."
Arenado, a five-time All-Star, is a career .295 hitter with 227 home runs and 734 RBIs. He led the NL in home runs in 2018 with 38 and tied for the lead two other times -- 42 in 2015 and 41 in 2016. He also has won seven Gold Glove awards in seven seasons.
--Field Level Media