Cardinals To Acquire Nolan Arenado (www.baseball-reference.com)

The Cardinals and Rockies have swung an enormously impactful trade centering on Colorado third baseman

, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was among those to report. The Rockies will send around $50MM to the Cardinals in the deal, according to Rosenthal, who adds that it likely won’t be official tonight and perhaps won’t go through this weekend.

Arenado has a full no-trade clause, though Ken Rosenthal and Nick Groke of The Athletic reported earlier this week that he is likely to waive it in order to join the Cardinals. The five-time All-Star also has an opt-out clause in the seven-year, $234MM extension he signed with the Rockies before the 2019 campaign. But Arenado would still be able to opt out after 2021, he’d get an additional opt-out after ’22 and he would keep his full no-trade clause, Rosenthal tweets.

This has been a low-profile winter for St. Louis and the rest of its competition in the National League Central competition, but the Cardinals have suddenly awoken from their slumber. Before agreeing to acquire Arenado, they re-signed right-hander Adam Wainwright, and indications are that they’ll bring back catcher Yadier Molina. Of course, Wainwright and Molina pale in comparison to Arenado, one of baseball’s highest-profile stars. The well-rounded Arenado, who will turn 30 in April, has batted .293/.349/.541 with 235 home runs in 4,558 plate appearances since he debuted in 2013. Arenado has also totaled a whopping 120 Defensive Runs Saved and a 56.4 Ultimate Zone Rating at third base, where he has won eight straight Gold Gloves.

While Arenado was hugely successful in Colorado, his relationship with the team was – in a word – rocky over the past couple years. The Rockies were a playoff team from 2017-18, but they’ve fallen off drastically since. After the club fell well shy of a playoff spot in 2019, Arenado made it known he was unhappy with the direction of the franchise, saying he felt “disrespected.” Arenado frequented trade rumors then, but the Rockies retained him during what turned into another subpar year for the organization. It was also a disappointing campaign for Arenado, who slashed a career-worst .253/.303/.434 with eight homers in 201 PA.

More to come



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