ST. LOUIS – Nolan Arenado has called St. Louis home the last two years, and it appears he will stay many more.
According to a report from Katie Woo of The Athletic, Nolan Arenado will not exercise an opt-out clause in his current contract and retain a deal that will pay him $144 million over the next five years. The St. Louis Cardinals have yet to officially confirm the move as of Saturday afternoon.
Arenado is coming off one of his strongest seasons ever in his second St. Louis Cardinals campaign, hitting .293 with 30 homers, 103 RBIs and a career-low strikeout rate. His 7.9 WAR ranked best among National League position players last season.
When the Cardinals acquired Arenado and inherited his contract, it came with possible opt-out clauses after the 2021 and 2022 season. After deciding not to opt out last season, Arenado looks to be leaning toward a similar decision in his last possible chance to do so and seek a new contract.
John Mozeliak, President of Baseball Operations with the Cardinals, met with Arenado earlier this week over the contract situation.
“I went out and met with him on Monday to discuss the situation, and very hopeful there is some resolution shortly,” said Mozeliak in a season wrap-up news conference Wednesday. “I’m optimistic that this will have a positive resolution.”
Arenado has been adamant on winning since joining the Cardinals. He’s coming off back-to-back postseason bids and his first division title in 10 MLB seasons. Despite a tough postseason, 1-for-8 with 1 run scored, some analytics believe Nolan Arenado could have commanded more on the open market right now than what he is owed in the remainder of his contract.
Since Arenado originally signed a contract extension with the Colorado Rockies in 2019, four infielders have signed deals with higher annual values. It’s possible he could have tried to exceed the current leading third-base money maker, Anthony Rendon, at his current $35 million annual clip. For how many years, given Arenado will turn 32 next season, would be unknown.
Arenado offered the following insight when asked about his time with the Cardinals on Oct. 8, the night they were eliminated from the 2022 postseason.
“I love it here. I love the guys and I feel like I fit well with this organization. … I feel like I fit well here. I feel like the city appreciates me. I’ve really loved it here.”
Arenado has a .293 batting average, 235 home runs and 760 RBIs over 10 MLB seasons, his first eight with the Rockies and his last two with St. Louis. He won a Gold Glove in each of his first nine years and is nominated for one again for this past season’s defensive accomplishments.