NL Central teams hadn’t been doing much this offseason. The Cardinals came along and changed that Friday night.
St. Louis is reportedly acquiring third baseman Nolan Arenado from the Rockies in a trade. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported that Colorado will also send the Cards about $50 million and that Arenado will defer salary. That’s a strong indication Arenado has agreed not to opt out of his contract after the 2021 season. He’ll make $35 million this year and then have five years and $164 million remaining after that.
Beyond the financial intrigue, there’s a baseball move to go along with it. The Cardinals add one of the top third basemen in the National League and improve an offense that finished 14th among 15 NL clubs in runs scored last season.
The 29-year-old Arenado produced a .937 OPS in the five full seasons immediately prior to the shortened 2020 campaign. He’ll slot right into the middle of the Cardinals’ order alongside Paul Goldschmidt. Arenado’s defense is still a cut above, but his bat is what Cardinals fans should appreciate more.
The return for the Rockies wasn’t known in the initial reports.
This article will be updated.