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Nolan Arenado Says He Isn't Planning to Exercise Opt Outs in Cardinals Contract

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2021

Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) in the fifth inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Nolan Arenado has opt-out clauses after the 2021 and 2022 seasons as part of his reworked deal with the St. Louis Cardinals

He doesn't plan on using them.

The new Cardinals third baseman spoke to reporters Tuesday and made it clear he plans on being in St. Louis long-term.

"I plan on sticking around. That's my goal. I plan on staying here for a long time. I said that once in Colorado, but I truly mean it," Arenado said.

The trade sending Arenado to St. Louis in exchange for Austin Gomber, Mateo Gil, Elehuris Montero, Tony Locey and Jake Sommers was completed Monday. Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported the Rockies are covering Arenado's entire $35 million salary for this season, so the Cardinals could theoretically get away with acquiring him without ever spending a dime

Arenado originally had an opt-out clause in his contract after this season and another one was added after the 2022 campaign to get him to waive his no-trade clause. The Cardinals will reinstitute a no-trade clause as part of the new deal.

Arenado originally signed an eight-year, $260 million deal with the Rockies in February 2019. He is coming off a frustrating 2020 campaign that saw him hit .253/.303/.434 with eight home runs and 26 runs batted in. His downturn, combined with his exorbitant salary amid teams struggling financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic, led to a seemingly tepid market as the Rockies shopped him.

Colorado's haul for a player of Arenado's caliber has drawn overwhelmingly negative reviews, with none of the prospects being considered surefire future MLB studs. 

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