Colorado Rockies: Nolan Arenado salary swap with the St. Louis Cardinals?

Mar 11, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter (right) walked to the pitchers mound to talk with starting pitcher Carlos Martinez (center) as catcher Yadier Molina (left) listen in during a spring training game against the New York Mets at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter (right) walked to the pitchers mound to talk with starting pitcher Carlos Martinez (center) as catcher Yadier Molina (left) listen in during a spring training game against the New York Mets at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 18, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Carlos Martinez (18) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 18, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Carlos Martinez (18) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Carlos Martinez

Salary notes: $11.7 million in 2021. It’s the final year of a five-year, $52 million deal. There are options for 2022 and 2023 that include a $500,000 buyout.

Last season was one to forget for the 29-year-old right-hander, who went 0-3 in just five starts and posted a 9.90 ERA and 2.100 WHIP. Martinez not only battled COVID-19, but also an oblique strain in September that prematurely ended his season.

That tough year on and off the field followed a 2019 season when Martinez moved to the bullpen from the rotation and performed well, earning 24 saves as he logged a 3.17 ERA and 2.86 FIP. He started the year on the injured list, and shoulder issues and concern about him handling long innings pushed him to the bullpen.

If Martinez were part of the deal for Arenado, would he be used as a piece in a Rockies bullpen that is already quite full because of a lack of minor league options? It’s likely he would be pushed into the back end of the rotation where the Rockies do have a need for starting depth.

Andrew Miller

Salary notes: $12 million in 2021 and a no-trade clause. Unrestricted free agent in 2022.

This will be Miller’s 16th Major League season and he saw action in 73 games for the Cardinals in 2019, but was even better for the Cardinals in the shortened 2020 season. A 2.77 ERA in 13.0 innings across 16 games that included 16 strikeouts and a 1.077 WHIP.

A quote from this article that sums up the last two seasons and what Miller could bring to Colorado. Again, the Rockies would have to find room for him in the bullpen.

"“At times, Miller has been inconsistent and struggled with his command — a big reason for his 4.45 ERA in 2019. But other times, he has been the veteran reliever the Cardinals signed him to be before the ’19 season: A high-leverage arm and veteran presence in the bullpen looked to for late-inning outs against hard-hitting lefties. That’s who he and the Cardinals hope he can continue to be this season and next season.”"

Next. Our prediction on when and if Nolan Arenado is traded. dark

Note: There is also a possibility that pitcher Miles Mikolas and his $17 million salary could be included. However, he is due $51 million over the next three seasons, making that a far less attractive option for the Rockies.

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