Following a rather quiet offseason, the St. Louis Cardinals have finally made a splash for the betterment of their ballclub, and it’s a major one at that. Nolan Arenado, the third basemen in Denver who Mike Schmidt says is the best defensive hot corner defender he’s ever seen, is going to St. Louis.
Arenado inked an eight year, $260M extension just two seasons ago with an opt out after the 2021 season. Arenado is a five time All-Star, having a 39.1 lifetime WAR, eight gold gloves, 235 homeruns and a .293/.303/.434 slashline. It’s worth noting that a bulk of those games come at Coors Field, which is known for its inflated offensive statistics. Arenado’s home/road splits aren’t the most pretty thing in the world. In addition to his defense prowess (four platinum gloves as the best defender in the NL at any position), he has won multiple homerun crowns.
Having said that, Arenado is a top three third baseman in baseball with a ceiling of being the top third baseman in the game. It’s an instant improvement to a Cardinals team that went to the NLCS in 2019 but finished second in 2020 and losing to the Padres in the first round of playoff play. The Rockies will send around $50M and Arenado will restructure his deal to include deferments to make it more cost effective for St. Louis.
Nolan is expected to waive his no trade clause, with the players union and commissioners office needing to file the paperwork before a deal is official. It is not confirmed which players will be going to Colorado in the swap but PSE will keep you updated on this development.
UPDATE: The Rockies and Cardinals deal, should it be confirmed, includes an additional opt out for Nolan that comes in 2022 should he choose to stay after the 2021 season. He will also keep his full no trade protection. Danny Vietti of CBS Sports is reporting that major league arm Austin Gomber, Cardinals #23 prospect Luken Baker, Cardinals #9 prospect Jhon Torres and perhaps two other minor leaguers are going to Denver. The Rockies sold low to shed the most possible payroll.