SAN DIEGO — Trevor Story was in his hotel room, a 15 minute walk from Petco Park, on Friday, staring at his phone when the trade deadline came and went.
For the past three days, he jumped every time he got a notification, a basket case of nerves as the uncertainty weighed over his head. They were the longest days ever, he said. He tried to stay off twitter, but was drawn in as trade rumors involving him circulated.
Back in Denver, interim general manager Bill Schmidt sat in his office at Coors Field. While the rest of the league was a flurry of activity at the deadline, Schmidt sat idly by. He had already taken Daniel Bard and Jon Gray off the market. Story was the last piece that could be moved, but the team did not come close to making a deal.
A few minutes past the 1 p.m. deadline, Story’s phone rang. His heart leaped. He thought Schmidt was calling him to tell him where his new home was. Instead, Schmidt informed him that he was still on the Rockies.
The call was very short, and there was no mention of his future beyond the next two months. Story, confused and needing time to process, pulled himself out of the lineup Friday night. It was an emotional day, and he needed to clear his mind and re-set.
He was at the ballpark, but everyone, even his teammates, could tell that he needed some space.
“Maybe I was expecting something that wasn’t so real,” Story said. “It was very nerve-racking.”
Schmidt talked to Story 10 days before the deadline, and told him he would keep him informed. They talked again on Friday morning, and the possibility of a trade was up in the air at that point. When asked if he was informed throughout the process, Story paused.
“I guess you could say that,” he said, with a shrug and a sly smile on his face.
Story, a free agent after this season, has seen how other players in similar situations have been treated. He also watched as other teams — like the Nationals, Cubs and Twins — traded away their stars to stock up on prospects to help their futures. At the end of the day, he cares about this team. He’s mentored his younger teammates, and hopes they succeed. If the Rockies had traded him, they could have received key pieces to help them rebuild and be successful in the future.
“I want to see the Rockies do well,” Story said. “I’m not in the position to make any of those decisions about what's best for this organization. I thought that was a chance.”
Instead, if they make Story a qualifying offer, they will receive a compensatory draft pick. Schmidt said they did not receive any trade deals that would be worth more than that extra pick.
"I’d consider it,” Story said if they made him an offer. “I’d consider anything. But I think the writing is on the wall there.”
Teams were on the hunt for pitchers during the deadline, but there were a few out there vying for an experienced shortstop. The Yankees, Brewers, White Sox and Rays reportedly all made offers.
Story’s value likely dropped some after an elbow injury in May hindered his season. He’s batting average is just .240, and he’s missed plays in previous seasons he could make in his eyes closed. Story wouldn’t say that the pressure of the trade deadline impacted his performance. But he did admit that it made it more difficult to focus on playing when his future was up in the air.
“It’s certainly not easy,” he said. “It’s not the most conducive environment to play baseball with those things happening.”