It’s a day that has been rumored to occur for a few years now. On Friday night, the worst fears of an entire time zone came true.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Colorado Rockies have agreed to trade Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals.
There’s more to the deal, but it doesn’t matter that much. The franchise player has been sent packing by the franchise.
Colorado is also reported to be sending around $50 million to St. Louis to take their Hall of Fame bound third baseman.
While the exact players coming back in the deal have yet to be finalized, Rosenthal has suggested the package could include LHP Austin Gomber, OF Jhon Torres, 1B Luken Baker and possibly either RHP Jake Woodford or RHP Angel Rondón.
A fourth-round selection by the Cardinals in 2014, Gomber is major league ready after 104 innings split between 15 starts and 28 games out of the bullpen over two seasons. He reached as high as the 18th best prospect in the organization before his debut with St. Louis in 2018, according to Baseball America.
If the deal goes through as suggested, the returning trio of prospects have not approached the system’s top 10 and were mostly entrenched in the teens following BA’s 2020 midseason rankings: Woodford, 16th; Torres, 17th; and Rondón, 19th. Baker was 23rd on MLB Pipeline’s list last season, but did not feature in the top 30 for BA.
If that’s not inspiring, it shouldn’t be. If that doesn’t breed some semblance of hope, you’re normal.
Some Rockies’ fans may say that they’ve been waiting for this day, but it doesn’t make it any easier losing the greatest player in team history.
The deal isn’t finalized, which only makes what is about to transpire all the more difficult. It will be a story and narrative that lives a long life before those affected most by it can move on.
Both MLB and the MLB Players’ Association need to approve the deal, which is usually the case for high-profile transactions. Arenado’s opt-out following the 2021 season comes with the potential of leaving $166M remaining on the table. With many negative ramifications for his union brethren should he simply favor a World Series championship over finances, it’s not a decision Arenado can necessarily make on his own.
By waiving his no-trade clause, Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting that the soon-to-be 30-year-old will receive an additional $15 million for the 2027 season. As such, Arenado’s full-contract now becomes a nine-year, $275 million pact that is tied for the fourth-highest in the history of the sport. The MLBPA will not strike down this deal.
Of course, Arenado will still keep his no-trade rights and the opt-out after the 2021 season, according to Nightengale. A second opt-out following the 2022 has also been reported in the negotiations.
After eight years of Gold Glove Awards, decked out in purple and black for two postseason runs and one seismic feud with the General Manager, he’s off to the heartland of America for seven years in Cardinal red in search of multiple pennants and rings.
Nolan Arenado may deserve what’s coming next for him, but in the wake of his trade Rockies fans simply do not.