The St. Louis Cardinals are pursuing a Nolan Arenado trade.
It looks like the St. Louis Cardinals are continuing on their everlasting quest to acquire Nolan Arenado. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported yesterday that talks between the Cardinals and the Colorado Rockies about the star third baseman have continued this offseason. While there has been no concrete progress yet, a report from a reliable source like Rosenthal can’t be ignored.
Just in case you forgot, we’ve written about a Nolan Arenado trade before. You can check out the incredible amount of Nolan Arenado content we’ve produced here. I don’t know what the record is, but how can someone be in this many trade rumors for two whole years! Truly, this courtship is getting ridiculous.
Cardinals fans have been begging for a big move this offseason, and Arenado would certainly satisfy that desire. While his large contract and ability to opt-out after the 2021 season are large roadblocks to a potential deal, it seems as if John Mozeliak and the front office are still looking at every opportunity to improve the St. Louis offense.
If you’re like me, this news fills you with hope and is also incredibly annoying. Enough already! Trade for him or don’t, right? Well, if history can teach us anything, patience is the best virtue when dealing with the Colorado Rockies. As much as I love seeing Arenado connected to the Cardinals again, my gut tells me that this saga still has a few more chapters left.
I believe the most likely time for an Arenado trade is this summer at the trade deadline. By that point in the season, the Rockies front office will no longer be able to convince their All-Star third baseman that the team has improved, and they will have no choice but to listen to his demands to be traded. There is precedent for this move, as well– general manager Jeff Bridich followed this will-they/won’t-they pattern six years ago with Troy Tulowitzki.
While Tulowitzki had some injury problems, his situation is similar to Arenado in three main ways. First is the strained relationship with Bridich. Like Arenado, Troy Tulowitzki and Jeff Bridich didn’t see eye-to-eye over the competitiveness of their supporting cast. Second, both middle-infielders signed extensions that rank in the top five in Rockies history. Lastly, Tulowitzki was 30 years old and a five-time all-star when he was traded to the Blue Jays. It shouldn’t surprise you, then, that Arenado turns 30 in April, and has made the all-star game five times.
Along with veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins, Troy Tulowitzki was traded for Jose Reyes, former top pitching prospect Jeff Hoffman, and two smaller pitching prospects. The Arenado deal could be structured in a similar manner, with the Cardinals sending one of their many top pitching prospects to Colorado as a headliner. And as the Rockies move into a rebuild, the Cardinals can spare some offense, too. The Cardinals’ minor league system isn’t at the top of too many lists, but they boast strong prospect depth at catcher and third base– not to mention the many outfielders on the 40-man roster. I won’t attempt to make a complete offer, but it’s not hard to see that the pieces for a trade are all there.
The indecision in the Colorado front office is frustrating for fans of the Rockies and Cardinals alike. The good news is that John Mozeliak still holds all the best *cards* in this negotiation. If he can hold firm and resist the temptation to overpay for a superstar, the Rockies’ struggles will force Bridich to make a move. We might have to wait until July, but Arenado will be traded.
Hang in there Cardinal fans. We’ll get through this painfully slow offseason and before you know it, the Redbirds will be back in the hunt for October.