Five-time All-Star Nolan Arenado wants to hit the ground running with the St. Louis Cardinals.
“I’m very thankful to be a Cardinal,” Arenado said Tuesday in his Zoom-call welcome to St. Louis.
“It’s a great organization with a great history. Me and my family are really excited to be a part of it. As a kid, you dream of winning the World Series, and that’s still the dream now. To join this organization, they care about winning and they want to get things done. It’s really exciting. They’re always competitive, and that’s something that got my attention.”
The Cardinals completed a six-player trade for Arenado on Monday, sending left-hander Austin Gomber, right-handers Tony Locey and Jake Sommers and infielders Mateo Gil and Elehuris Montero.
The Cardinals announced that they reached an agreement with Arenado on a one-year contract extension carrying his deal through the 2027 season. He retained opt-out clauses that can be exercised after the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
The team did not divulge the cash going from the Rockies to St. Louis, but multiple media outlets reported that the Cardinals will get $50 million to pay part of the $199 million that Arenado is guaranteed through the 2026 season.
“This was not an easy deal to put together,” Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said. “There were multiple levels of complications, multiple levels of hurdles that were hit, but we continued to do it. The feeling that we have of making this happen is some level of relief, some level of exhaustion — but we think it’s worth it.”
The 29-year-old Arenado led the National League in home runs three times with the Rockies. He’ll team up with Paul Goldschmidt, a former division foe with the Arizona Diamondbacks, to restore the thump in the middle of the Cardinals’ batting order. He’s also an eight-time Gold Glove winner at third base.
Arenado had a down season in 2020, batting .253 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs in 48 games.
But he’s embracing a new start in St. Louis and plans to report to Florida in just two weeks with his new teammates.
“This team has more playoff experience than I’ve ever had. I’m just a piece of the puzzle here,” Arenado said. “I’m excited to be a part of this group. I know they’re going to help me and guide me along, just like I can help them in this game also. So it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
–Field Level Media