Nolan Arenado Rumors: Cardinals 3B Not Planning to Opt Out of Final $144M in Contract

Doric SamSeptember 2, 2022

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The 2022 MLB free agent class has the potential to be filled with superstar players, but St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado is not expected to be one of them.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports that the 31-year-old is not expected to opt out of his contract with St. Louis.

"Even with NL MVP candidate Nolan Arenado planning not to opt out of his Cardinals dealβ€”'he will stay a Cardinal,' a friend saysβ€”no less than six opt-outs and player options for stars will bolster a solid free-agent list and make it special," Heyman wrote.

Arenado signed an eight-year, $260 million contract with the Colorado Rockies in 2019 before being traded to the Cardinals two years later. Per Spotrac, he is set to make a base salary of $35 million in 2023, but if he doesn't opt out after this season, Colorado will have to pay $20 million of his salary to St. Louis in $4 million increments from 2023 to 2027.

The seven-time All-Star also had the opportunity to opt out of his deal at the end of the 2021 season, but he sounded like he was content in St. Louis when he told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he was "absolutely coming back."

There hasn't been much to deter him from re-upping with the team again. St. Louis is in first place in the NL Central with a 76-55 record and Arenado is amid another strong season. The nine-time Gold Glove award winner is slashing .307/.370/.571 with 28 home runs and 89 RBI. He hit a two-run blast in Wednesday's victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

This year's free agent class will be headlined by New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge and Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner. But Heyman noted that several stars are expected to exercise the opt-out in their contracts, including New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom, Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander, San Francisco Giants hurler Carlos Rodon, Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa and Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts.


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