A few months after trading away Nolan Arenado, a couple months before they will unexpectedly host the 91st MLB All-Star game, and 5-6 months before their other face of the franchise, Trevor Story, is set to become a free agent is one tough time to deal with significant organizational change. But that’s just what the Rockies will now endure, as GM Jeff Bridich has stepped down according to the team.
Here’s a statement on the immediate fallout within the organization:
Rockies General Manager Jeff Bridich steps down and Greg Feasel has been named Club President. pic.twitter.com/nk3HyHYBu8
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) April 26, 2021
The highlights there are pretty straightforward: (1) Bridich is out effective immediately. (2) Gregory Feasel will get a bump from “Executive Vice President” (and COO) to “President.” He’ll oversee the baseball operations department, at least for now. (3) The Rockies will be appointing an interim GM (my guess is that’ll be someone internal, who can more swiftly step in and navigate the next several months). And (4) the Rockies will then undergo a true GM search at the end of the season.
How or where that new GM will file in with respect to Feasel is unclear, but if he will have to report to another guy higher up on the baseball ops food chain, it will change the pool of candidates significantly. More and more teams have shifted to the Pres/GM dual route, which means being the “GM” doesn’t exactly mean what it used to.
And I’ll remind you, the Cubs are still operating without a GM. Jed Hoyer replaced Theo Epstein as Cubs president, but never replaced himself. That search was supposed to happen around now, but I’m guessing it’ll also happen at the end of the season, which means this role with the Rockies could be some direct competition.
As for the attractiveness of that gig just generally speaking, well, it’s not looking great. The Rockies just had a ton of bad press with Arenado’s desire to escape and Story’s lack of an extension. And their owner, Dick Monfort, is not the most popular owner in MLB. On top of that, they’re in a division with the still-dominant Dodgers and the increasingly dominant Padres. They may be picking high in the next draft (or two), but their farm system ranks as one of the absolute worst in MLB.
And, again, the Trevor Story dilemma cannot be overlooked. If he’s not going to sign an extension (seems even less likely now), wouldn’t the Rockies be wise to trade him at the deadline? And if so, can the interim GM even make such a significant long-term decision in either direction? The Rockies will probably be better in the long term for moving away from Bridich, but the short-term hurdles are significant.
And the immediate past is haunting.
Jeff Bridich traded Nolan Arenado and then stepped down 21 games into the season. Just think about that.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) April 26, 2021