DENVER – The Colorado Rockies and General Manager Jeff Bridich have agreed to part ways 21 games into the 2021 season, the team announced Monday.
Bridich’s departure comes after he was widely panned for the trade of All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals and with the Rockies currently owning the worst record in the National League, at 8-13.
The separation is effective immediately, the Rockies said. In addition to the GM role, Bridich also served as the club’s executive vice president.
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
Greg Feasel, the team’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, was named the team’s new president and COO and will oversee baseball operations and business operations, including helping facilitate this year’s All-Star Game at Coors Field. The Rockies will appoint an interim general manager for the rest of the 2021 season and search for a permanent GM after the playoffs.
Bridich had been general manager since October 2014, but previously served as the Rockies’ senior director of player development, senior director of baseball operations and inside the team’s baseball department.
The Rockies made playoff appearances under Bridich in 2017 and 2018, winning 87 and 91 regular season games in the respective years, but losing early in the playoffs.
The team followed up their 91-72 2018 regular season, in which they finished one game out of first place in the NL West, with a 71-91 performance in 2019 and a 26-34 record in last year’s shortened season.
Fans’ thoughts about him soured even more quickly after the 20`19 season, when Arenado called Bridich “very disrespectful” and said he questioned whether the organization was trying to rebuild around him and his longterm contract. Bridich has also received criticism for major free-agent relief pitching signings that never panned out.
In a testy news conference following the trade, Bridich said he could be blamed for the Arendo trade. Owner Dick Monfort said he’d “probably feel the same way” about how the team handled Arenado and the trade.
Bridich released a statement Monday afternoon thanking the Monforts for his 17 years with the team.
“After recent conversations with Dick and Greg Feasel regarding the organization and its future, it became abundantly clear that ushering in a new leadership structure is critically important. With that in mind we arrived at this decision to part ways, and ultimately it will be what is best for the Rockies and for me. Change can be a great thing for an organization and for the individuals who comprise it.
“Dick has a clear vision for the Rockies, and after nearly 7 seasons as General Manager I believe it is time for someone else to help lead that vision. Working in professional baseball is not just a job, it’s a round-the-clock lifestyle. There are innumerable people in the Rockies organization who are committed to that lifestyle, and I want to thank all of those folks for their volume of work, their care and concern for each other and their collective belief in the organization.
“Finally a big THANK YOU to Rockies fans for loving our players and for consistently showing up in support of the team through thick and thin.”
Monfort said in a statement that he, Bridich, and Feasel came to an agreement over the past week it would be best for Bridich to step down. Read the full statement from Monfort below:
“I’m saddened by this, but I have accepted the fact that we must move on. Jeff has dedicated the last 17 years of his life to this organization. He has been a great Rockie and been part of many memorable moments, including being the general manager for our first back-to-back playoff appearances in 2017 and 2018. I’m grateful for his leadership, professionalism and hard work. I wish Jeff and his family nothing but the very best
“I’m excited to name Greg as our team president. We appreciate the focus and structure he has provided to the day-to-day business side, and I am confident he will bring that same leadership to the baseball side. Right now, we are focused on naming an interim general manager as quickly as possible and working our way back to postseason baseball.”