Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story

Arenado trade throws Cardinals into inner circle of National League contenders

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The St Louis Cardinals are close to completing a trade for Nolan Arenado.

An Arenado trade has been speculated of for some time – those rumors are set to come to fruition this weekend.

According to Jeff Passan, this is an incredibly complicated deal. The Colorado Rockies are sending almost $50 million to St Louis. Colorado is also receiving multiple players, and there is a significant restructuring of Arenado’s contract.

Additional opt outs will be put in Arenado’s deal. He still has to sign off the trade due to a no-trade clause. Per Jon Heyman, the All-Star third baseman will get an extra year and $15 million from the Cardinals.

Trying to win is the market inefficiency in MLB. The Cardinals are getting arguably the game’s best third baseman for minimal prospect cost. Arenado has leveraged his no-trade clause (which he’s set to retain in St Louis) to land on a contender and escape the Rockies, who continue to get things wrong.


Cardinals become contenders

Only four players have hit more home runs than Arenado since the start of the 2018 season. He’s the best defensive third baseman outside of Oakland. His 12.7 fWAR over that span is good for 12th among hitters. Arenado is a true superstar, a superstar who leaves a team of dysfunction to join the ever-contending Cardinals.

The prospect of Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt together is terrifying for pitchers across the Majors. If Matt Carpenter can rediscover his 2018 production, the Cardinals could have the scariest two through four in the National League. National League Central teams have all focused on shedding payroll until this trade. This puts St Louis as firm favorites to win the division.

There’s not much to be said about the Rockies here. This is the latest in a long line of peculiar decisions. The Cardinals have stepped in, and by doing so, they become a legitimate threat in the National League. It would be a shock if they don’t win their 11th division title of the 21st century in 2021.

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