Nolan Arenado breaks his silence on the Cardinals' clubhouse issues from last year

Nolan Arenado was candid about his view of the Cardinals' clubhouse in 2023, indicating why it was necessary to bring in veteran voices this offseason.
St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles
St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

The St. Louis Cardinals were a mess last year, which prompted the club to prioritize bringing in veteran leadership to the clubhouse this offseason.

John Mozeliak indicated that both Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado desired more veteran leadership in the clubhouse last year when they signed Matt Carpenter, so it's not exactly "breaking news" that Arenado would double down on that now that camp is beginning. But when asked by Jeff Jones of The Belleville News-Democrat to comment further on requesting more leadership, Arenado was pretty clear about his concerns with the lack of veterans in the clubhouse last year.

Arenado alluded to feeling like the clubhouse had too many "young guys" in an exclusive Q/A he did with The Athletic's Katie Woo this offseason (subscription required), but he was much more candid in his quotes at Spring Training when asked by Jones.

It's important to read the full quote (in the embedded tweet above) to understand Arenado here. He said multiple times that he wasn't trying to speak ill of the young talent on the team, but that in his opinion, they kind of ran the clubhouse, something that veteran leaders tended to do.

Arenado did touch on the fact that both he and Goldschmidt are leaders in that clubhouse, something that many fans have pointed to as a reason why veteran leadership should not be an issue. Arenado seemed to indicate there was only so much the two of them could do, especially since they are not very vocal guys in general.

Something I think needs to be said is that it's not a bad thing that Goldschmidt and Arenado are not vocal people by nature. Both guys know they have a responsibility to speak up, but leadership is not just confined to people who speak the most often and the loudest. The less vocal leadership of Goldschmidt and Arenado is valuable as well, and it's who they are, so it's not fair to ask them to change.

Now, it does bring into question "how many more voices" do they truly need in that clubhouse? If things are going well in 2024, I don't think that'll be much of a concern. But if the team is struggling during the year and some of these new veteran voices are not performing on the field, people will have serious questions.

We'll be sure to cover Goldschmidt's comments on clubhouse culture when we finally get those, but for now, it's helpful to hear Arenado's perspective on this and it'll be interesting to see how it shapes the Cardinals roster as the season inches closer.