Cardinals: “Good chance” Nolan Arenado doesn’t opt-out after 2022 season
A legendary baseball writer believes there is “quite a good chance” that Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado doesn’t opt-out after 2022 season.
Even before the 2022 season, which is arguably the most important year in recent St. Louis Cardinals history, a pressing question looms over the franchise: will Nolan Arenado opt out after the season?
Arenado, of course, had the right to opt out of his contract after 2021, but few expected him to consider doing so. He spoke to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Sept. 30, 2021 and made it clear that St. Louis is where he wants to be and that was “always the plan.”
2022, however, is a different story. There are some people in baseball – writers, executives, others – who believe that Arenado will become a free agent after this season. But Rick Hummel, the legendary Cardinals writer of over 50 years, believes there is “quite a good chance” that Arenado will *not* opt out of his contract after 2022.
The only thing that Hummel believes could change Arenado’s mind? “Well better than 50-50 (chance that Arenado returns), unless something drastic happens to the Cardinals this season and they do not offer signs that they will contend for the next half-dozen years.”
This appears to be more of a prediction rather than a report, but considering Hummel’s knowledge of everything Cardinals, his opinion carries significant weight. And if Arenado does indeed stay in St. Louis, it drastically changes their long-term outlook and lengthens their window of status as World Series contenders.
Arenado, 30, was very good in his first season with the Cardinals, hitting .255/.312/.494 with 34 home runs and 105 RBI. His power remained elite and his defense was sublime. There is an expectation – perhaps even a hope – that he will be even better in 2022, having spent a year in Busch Stadium and learning what does/doesn’t work.
Arenado was already an All-Star caliber player. Just imagine what he can do with adjustments and being more comfortable in St. Louis. Then imagine him doing that for the next half decade with the Cardinals. Pretty, pretty good.