Cardinals rumors: Could St Louis trade Nolan Arenado to the Dodgers?

With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, there are lots of crazy rumors floating around Major League Baseball these days. Could this one be the craziest? Or could it be downright rational?
St Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers
St Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers / Harry How/GettyImages
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Why the St Louis Cardinals would be crazy to do this trade

The Cardinals undoubtedly are having a rough 2023 season, their worst year in a long time. The Cardinals also want to win in 2024. How do you do that? By having a strong group of players, and Arenado certainly fits that description.

Arenado demonstrated a will to win in St. Louis by choosing not to opt out of his contract over the winter. Given the deals top players signed last offseason, it's conceivable he chose to forego $100 million or more to remain in the Gateway City. Considering the Cardinals' winning ways this century - just one losing season since 1999 - Arenado must have felt like the team was going to remain in contention for the foreseeable future.

With the way the front office has been able to build a playoff-caliber team season after season, a return to contention next year isn't a given, but it's certainly the expectation. With Paul Goldschmidt across the diamond for what could be his final year wearing the birds-on-a-bat jersey, a group of young position players joining them, and President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak's stated deadline focus on adding "pitching, pitching, and pitching," things look promising for next season, as they so often do.

Winning requires talented players. Arenado is one of the most talented players in the game. If St. Louis wants to win, they should keep him and build around him in pursuit of the postseason berth that's a yearly target of everyone involved with, or cheering for, the Cardinals.