If a team wants to have one of the best players in the game, there is often a price tag that comes with that greatness. That price tag could be one of the biggest sticking points in any Nolan Arenado trade talks between the Colorado Rockies and the St. Louis Cardinals.
According to this article from Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a source inside the Cardinals organization has said, “the Cardinals do not find adding Arenado’s $35 million salary to the payroll palatable at the moment.” It’s the first of two straight $35 million seasons owed to Arenado under the eight-year, $260 million contract extension he inked with the Colorado Rockies prior to last offseason. That $35 million price tag could keep going each season until after the 2024 campaign if Arenado doesn’t exercise the much-discussed opt-out following the 2021 season.
It is one of the biggest contracts in Major League Baseball history. It’s also something that could be a huge obstacle for any team to swallow, including one with the deep pockets and storied history of the Cardinals.
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And it isn’t just the price tag that the Cardinals would have to incur if they could land Arenado in a trade. The Rockies will also be expecting a haul of talent in return for their generational third base talent. We broke down one of the rumored trade packages in this article.
Goold also says in his article that the Cardinals and Rockies have talked about Arenado in the past and that St. Louis has found Colorado’s asking price “prohibitive.”
MLB.com’s Jon Morosi put out an article on Tuesday morning that listed some of the St. Louis names that have been exchanged with Colorado. They include Major League talent and top prospects with Dakota Hudson‘s name likely being the one to bring immediate impact to the Rockies if a trade were to happen. Later in the day, ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan added on Twitter that “talks haven’t gone anywhere” and “the exchange of names has not been productive.” Those are important points for Rockies fans to remember.
While hardly anyone will deny the two teams are talking, Arenado’s contract (including the opt-out) and the return Colorado could receive could very well damn the talks before they go too far, keeping Arenado in purple as spring training begins. How the team plays at the start of the season could determine if the Rockies are battling these same rumors at the trade deadline.