BY RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball writer
The St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to acquire Nolan Arenado, the third All-Star baseman, from the Colorado Rockies in a deal that requires permits before it can be completed, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity on Friday evening as the deal was still ongoing.
Arenado, an eight-time gold glove winner, signed an eight-year contract for $ 260 million with Colorado in February 2019 and owes $ 199 million for the six remaining seasons.
Colorado would pay St. Louis a large amount of cash in trade, the person said, and Major League Baseball is required to clear a cash transaction in excess of $ 1 million.
Arenado’s contract contains a no-trade provision that requires its consent for any assignment.
He could restructure his contract through a deal, the person said, which may require approval from the players’ association. The trade deal was first reported by The Athletic.
The 29-year-old Arenado has scored a 0.293 hit with an OPS of 0.890 in eight seasons, averaging 35 home runs and 114 RBIs per 162 games. Partly supported by the hitter-friendly Coors Field, he led the National League three times in home runs and twice the majors in RBIs.
The Cardinals finished second in NL Central last season and lost a playoff matchup in the first round against the San Diego Padres. Arenado will oust Matt Carpenter from his role as third baseman and play in an infield with all-stars Paul DeJong on shortstop and Paul Goldschmidt on first base.
Arenado slumped during the 2020 season shortened by the pandemic, hitting a value of 0.253 in eight games with eight home runs and an OPS of 0.738. He earned prorated wages of $ 12,962,963.
Jeff Bridich, general manager of Colorado, admitted last off-season that he heard trading offers for the five-time all-star, and Arenado said in February 2020 that “there is a lot of disrespect there” and “there is no longer a relationship” he and Bridich.
Like Troy Tulowitzki and Matt Holliday before him, Arenado got tired of losing, especially in an NL West division ruled by the Los Angeles Dodgers every year when playing in the major leagues.
Arenado’s contract saw salaries of $ 35 million per year between 2021 and 24, $ 32 million in 2025 and $ 27 million in 2026. His contract included a provision that allowed him to opt out as a free agent after the 2021 season.
St. Louis is bringing back much of the team that made it through last year’s postseason, including veteran pitcher Adam Wainwright, who signed a $ 8 million one-year deal on Friday. Wainwright returns for his 17th season with St. Louis, facing Bob Gibson (1959-75) for the second most seasons with the Cardinals pitching, one behind Jesse Haines (1920-37).
Wainwright was 5-3 with a 3.15 ERA last season, hitting 54 in 65 2/3 innings. He is 167-98 with a career ERA of 3.38 and has earned three All-Star selections and two gold gloves.
All-star catcher Yadier Molina remains a free agent. The 38-year-old was able to return for an 18th season at the Cardinals after beating .262 with four home runs in 2020.
In the ten years since the Platinum Glove Awards were introduced, which honored the best outfield player regardless of position in each league, Molina and Arenado are the most tied at four each.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.