St. Louis Cardinals star third baseman Nolan Arenado will not opt out at the end of the season. This is a big win for John Mozeliak and company.
The second one came this year, but Arenado will stay with the Cardinals, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today:
"St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado is not opting out of his $144 million over the next five years. He loves St. Louis, and the city loves him."
Arenado’s decision comes at a time when fans fretted if he would actually opt out and test free agency. Those worries can now be put to the wayside.
Arenado will be your third baseman until he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2028. This is wonderful news for the Cardinals organization, but Mozeliak and company should not be done yet.
With the Cardinals’ pitching staff (starting and bullpen) treading water, it is almost imperative that the front office makes moves. Frankie Montas of the Oakland Athletics has been discussed in trade circles, but a deal to the Cardinals appears unlikely, even more now so with his recent injury.
This is important if Arenado and the Cardinals want to catch the Milwaukee Brewers atop the NL Central. Arenado, himself, has made it clear that he wants to win the Central. Not the wild-card.
From Ben Fredrickson in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
"I don’t want to win the wild card anymore. Obviously, you get to the playoffs it’s great. If we get in, great. But you want to win the division. It’s important to win the division. I’ve never won it. I would like to be a part of that.”"
Nolan Arenado’s decision not to opt out is fantastic news for this team, but the job’s not done. For this Cardinals team to become elite, deals need to happen. Arenado has held up his side of the deal.
Can the front office do theirs?