We wish Randy Arozarena was never traded from the Cardinals.
Before Arozarena became a postseason legend and cemented his name into the record books, he was a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Now 28, he signed with the club as an international free agent back in July 2016 for just $1.25M. Oh, what the team would do to have him on that kind of contract now.
Arozarena, much like Sandy Alcantara, did make his big league debut as a member of the Cardinals but he only spent a part of one year on the major league squad. In that time, he made 19 appearances in the 2019 campaign, going six-for-20 with a double, a home run, two RBI, two stolen bases, and .300 batting average.
That year, he just didn't have enough behind his name to warrant significant playing time over incumbent starters Marcell Ozuna, Harrison Bader, and Dexter Fowler with José Martínez and Tyler O'Neill on hand as well.
Heading into 2020, the Cardinals were set to roll with O'Neill, Bader, and Fowler with youngsters Tommy Edman and Dylan Carlson also making their big league debuts. Once again, there just wasn't a spot for Arozarena. Before the season even began, he was flipped to the Tampa Bay Rays (along with Martínez) in exchange for Matthew Liberatore, Edgardo Rodriguez, and a Competitive Balance Draft Pick.
Liberatore has performed well on his way through the ranks while Rodriguez has yet to produce much in parts of two seasons in the low minors.
Arozarena on the other hand, has turned into a Tampa Bay icon thanks to his incredible postseason play and impressive regular-season performances. He won the AL Rookie of the Year in 2021 thanks to a 20-home run showing in 141 games. He then followed that up with a just-as-solid 2022 season in which he played in 153 games, hit 41 doubles and 20 home runs with 89 RBI and a 124 OPS+.