St. Louis Cardinals: Breaking down the deferrals in Arenado’s contract

Nolan Arenado #28 of the St. Louis Cardinals makes a play during the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Busch Stadium on April 12, 2021 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images)
Nolan Arenado #28 of the St. Louis Cardinals makes a play during the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Busch Stadium on April 12, 2021 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images) /
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The Nolan Arenado trade has been covered in almost every angle imaginable. Almost.

One detail that slipped through the cracks, at least until now, is that Arenado reworked his contract to add a $15 million salary for 2027 that means he is owed $214 million over seven seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, according to a copy of his contract obtained by the Associated Press. 

Arenado will have $50 million of that money deferred and payable through 2024, per the AP. Should Arenado not exercise any of the opt out clauses in his contract, the Colorado Rockies will be responsible for paying $51 million, which remains one of the most laughable parts of any trade in sports history and a gigantic win for president of baseball operations John Mozeliak and the front office.

But Arenado has not shown any indication that he is considering, or will consider, leaving St. Louis early. He has given every sign that he loves the city, appreciates the winning culture surrounding the Cardinals, and wants to be ingrained in it long-term. It would be a shocking, if not stunning development, if Arenado opted out of his contract.

Which means the Cardinals will have a future Hall of Fame player under contract for what should be the best seasons of an already dominant career. Having Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt under contract for the foreseeable future bodes well for the outlook of the franchise and should allow them to remain competitive for the long haul.

Next. The ups and downs of the outfield. dark

Which is exactly what the Cardinals and Arenado both want. The early signs have been positive and it only figures to get better from here as he becomes more comfortable in St. Louis. That should have Mozeliak, manager Mike Shildt and everyone around the organization salivating at what their future holds.