ST. LOUIS, Mo- Days after word first leaked that the Cardinals had come to an agreement with the Colorado Rockies to bring star third baseman Nolan Arenado to St. Louis, the trade was officially announced Monday night.
Arenado, who turns 30 in April, comes to the Cardinals along with cash considerations from Colorado.
In exchange, the Cardinals are sending a package of 5 players to the Rockies, but none of the organization’s elite prospects. Included in the deal are left-handed pitcher Austin Gomber, right-handed pitcher Tony Locey, infielders Mateo Gil, Elehuris Montero, and right-handed pitcher Jake Sommers.
Gomber rebounded from an injury-mired 2019 season and emerged as a reliable reliever in leverage situations as well as a candidate for the starting rotation if needed. Montero rated as the highest prospect surrendered in the deal, eighth overall in the organization, and could end up replacing Arenado at third base for Colorado in the near future.
The deal took reportedly took several days to get entirely nailed down, due to approvals needed from Major League Baseball, the Players Association and Arenado himself, because of the amount of money changing hands between teams, changes to Arenado’s contract, and his ability to veto any trade.
Arenado will have player options for the 2022 and 2023 seasons, and agreed to extend his current contract through the 2027 season.
Earlier reports had Colorado sending the Cardinals as much as $50 million as part of the deal. MLB Network’s Mark Feinsand reports the Rockies will pay $51 million.
While Arenado slumped in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, his 8 home runs would have paced the Cardinals and his 26 RBI would have tied for the team lead. From 2015-2019, Arenado averaged just under 40 home runs and 124 RBI, and even if his numbers away from the atmosphere in Denver decline, he instantly plugs a power hole in the St. Louis lineup.