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Arenado not distracted by extension whispers

Rockies, third baseman haven't engaged in contract talks yet
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado said there have been no talks about a contract extension, but if any did arise he does not want them to distract him from the season.

Arenado and general manager Jeff Bridich each said they will not comment publicly on negotiations if they occur.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado said there have been no talks about a contract extension, but if any did arise he does not want them to distract him from the season.

Arenado and general manager Jeff Bridich each said they will not comment publicly on negotiations if they occur.

Arenado is set to make $17.75 million this season to complete a two-year, $29.5 million deal, and will be eligible for his final year of arbitration in 2019. Whether the Rockies can lock him up for a multiyear contract -- he's just 26 -- is a hot subject on fans' minds.

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"My comment is there's nothing going on and honestly, I'm not worrying about any of that; I'm not going to worry about that during the season," Arenado said. "I'm just going to focus on playing ball. If something was happening, I wouldn't talk about it too much, if you know what I mean. I'll keep that private. But nothing's going on right now."

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Bridich said it would be disrespectful to comment on talks or potential talks, not only with Arenado, but also with center fielder Charlie Blackmon and second baseman DJ LeMahieu, who are both in the final season of their contracts.

"Publicly, I think these players know how much we respect them, how much we appreciate them," Bridich said. "We've had good relationships and solid professional relationships with these guys. They are people we appreciate and those relationships, it's worthy to have these types of conversations. Apart from that, it's not going to be anything publicly that we'll comment on."

With Rawlings Gold Glove Awards in each of his five seasons in the Majors, and with all-time offensive numbers (130 or more RBIs for three straight years, the first third baseman and 11th player overall to accomplish the feat), Arenado could be one of the most-desired free agents should he hit the market before the 2020 season. With the Rockies not among the highest payrolls in baseball, a large contract is a careful decision.

Video: Arenado is Wilson Defensive Player of the Year at 3B

Bridich said the Rockies don't have a policy in regards to negotiating during a season, but want to work with the player and his representatives.

"It's case by case," Bridich said. "Is there concern that it becomes a distraction? Yes. That's natural for human beings.

"If you do get involved in contractual conversations like that, it's something to talk about up front. You have to be on the same page and say, 'Is this something we need to talk about in terms of time?'"

Bridich also said the length of a contract is case by case, even though some believe avoiding lengthy contracts will become a trend. If it already is a trend, the division-rival Padres bucked it this week by signing first baseman Eric Hosmer for eight years and $144 million, with an opt-out after five years.

Arenado said this year's tight free-agent market -- with many accomplished players still unsigned -- is not a factor in whether he will push for talks or sign a contract.

"Obviously, free agency has been weird this year," Arenado said. "That's the way it goes, I guess. Some of them will end up getting great contracts. But it's not like it scares me watching it. It was a weird free agency. I'm just hoping everyone out there still gets jobs, because they're good players and they deserve it.

"I don't worry about those things at all. It's not really in my control. I'm just worrying about making sure I'm going to be ready to go out there and compete. That's all I'm worrying about."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, Nolan Arenado