Rockies GM Jeff Bridich resigns amid team struggles

Liz Roscher

Two months after trading homegrown superstar Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies general manager and executive vice president Jeff Bridich is stepping down. 

The Rockies made the announcement on Monday, releasing a statement that says the move was mutual. 

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Greg Feasel, formerly the executive vice president and chief operating officer, will be taking over baseball operations and is getting his title bumped up to president and chief executive officer. Feasel, a former NFL player, has been with the Rockies for over 25 years. His executive biography on the team website contains a litany of off-the-field responsibilities, including ticket sales, communications, marketing, customer service, merchandising, human resources and ballpark operations. 

What Feasel's biography doesn't include is anything related to baseball operations. It's not clear if he's had any experience running the on-field side of a baseball team. 

The Rockies plan to name an interim GM soon, and will begin their search for a permanent GM when the MLB season ends in six months.

How the Rockies got here

Bridich had been GM since 2014, and was promoted after spending years in both the player development and baseball operations departments. The peak of his tenure came in 2017 and 2018 when the Rockies made the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time in franchise history. Before the 2019 season he helped negotiate an 8-year, $260 million contract extension with Arenado, promising to build the team around him. 

That didn't happen. In January 2020, less than a year after Nolan's extension, Bridich was publicly contemplating trade options. After watching the Rockies sign just one free agent that winter, Arenado also seemed ready to cut ties. When Bridich told the media that Arenado wouldn't be traded, Arenado then texted local ABC affiliate Denver7 with a biting comment about his GM. 

"Jeff is very disrespectful. I never talk trash or anything," Arenado texted to Denver7. "I play hard, keep my mouth shut. But I can only get crossed so many times."

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 27: Colorado Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich, left, speaks during Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado's press conference at Salt River Fields February 27, 2019. Colorado Rockies owner, Dick Montfort, right, sits next to Nolan. The Colorado Rockies and Arenado signed a 8-year, $260 million dollar deal, largest in franchise history,  with a opt-out clause after three years. (Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Jeff Bridich is stepping down as the GM of the struggling Rockies. (Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Bridich traded Arenado to the Cardinals in February, getting five players in return. Bridich also agreed to send $50 million to the Rockies to complete the trade, essentially paying the Rockies to take one of MLB's most dynamic players off their hands. 

Fan reaction to the trade was terrible, and things only got worse in March when The Athletic published a damning report about Bridich and owner Dick Monfort's role in sinking the franchise. Bridich was described as distant and uncommunicative, frustrating both employees and players. On the baseball side, his failures were particularly noticeable on free agent signings. Collectively, his biggest free agent acquisitions cost a lot of money while providing negative wins above replacement. 

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Since the season began, the Rockies have been one of the worst teams in baseball. It would have been easy to predict that as soon as Arenado was traded, but it took Monfort 21 relatively uninspiring games to make the decision to finally move on from Bridich.

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