Nolan Arenado has not made it a secret how much he loves being with the St. Louis Cardinals.
After seeing only 21 postseason at-bats in eight years with the Colorado Rockies, Nolan Arenado is ready to play for a contender. It is something that Arenado, widely considered to be the best third baseman in baseball, immediately thought of when he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals earlier this winter.
Arenado, 29, has already said that he does not plan to exercise the opt-out clause in his nine-year, $275 million contract. The pandemic and the uncertain market has a lot to do with that. But the Cardinals’ deep history of being a perennial contender has a lot to do with that, and he stated that once again in an interview with Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“I want to be a part of a group like this,” Arenado said. “The expectations are high. The fans’ expectations are to get there, to the playoffs. It seems like, ‘We’re the Cardinals. We should be there.’ I like that. That’s a cool feeling to be a part of.”
Arenado has long been part of a Rockies organization that has been the laughing stock of baseball, trading away stars and continually being toward the bottom of the National League West. Moving from the Rockies to an organization like the Cardinals is a dramatic shift in culture, specifically with the expectation of winning, and Arenado clearly values that.
Also being surrounded by established stars and/or future Hall of Fame players such as Yadier Molina and Paul Goldschmidt helps, too. No longer will Arenado be asked to carry the load for a franchise. Instead, he will have ample help around him, with Goldschmidt offering protection in the lineup and Molina being the clear leader of the franchise.
So it is no surprise that Arenado wants to be in St. Louis. After all, it is where he will likely end his career. And by all accounts, he is completely OK with that.