Nolan Arenado should have say on next St. Louis Cardinals manager. Their future might depend on it.
Oliver Marmol appears to be the favorite to be the St. Louis Cardinals’ next manager. The younger players seem to like him. Even the veterans, too.
But the Cardinals need to make sure Nolan Arenado is okay with Marmol or any other candidate being the manager. If not, it could cost them everything.
Arenado, TK, is the face of the Cardinals’ future. He’s signed through 2027. He has already indicated that he will not exercise an opt-out clause after the 2021 season, but another opt-out opportunity looms after 2022, and there’s a realistic chance he exercises it. By hiring a manager that he likes, and giving him the chance to sign off on the hire before making it official, ensures that both sides are on the same page and allows the team to show Arenado just how much they value him and his input.
It may seem like a small step, but with star players, it’s crucial. Especially when you want said star player to be the face of the franchise for the next half decade. Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright are entering their last leg with the organization. Paul Goldschmidt is signed through 2024. Arenado will be in St. Louis longer than most, if not all, of the players currently on their roster as long as he does not opt out.
And keeping him happy will maximize the Cardinals’ chances of keeping Arenado in St. Louis.
All indications are the Cardinals want to move quickly with this managerial search. Marmol is a strong internal candidate and so is Stubby Clapp. It’s unclear how Arenado feels about them, or any external candidate, but president of baseball operations John Mozeliak needs to find out and keep Arenado in the loop on what is happening with the search to replace Shildt.
The Cardinals’ future could depend on it.