Having completed the 2022 season within the top three of the National League MVP voting, third baseman Nolan Arenado clearly had his options when it came to a potential move away from the Saint Louis Cardinals, but the 31-year-old has made it abundantly clear that his decision to remain at the Busch Stadium team was a ‘pretty easy’ one.
Arenado, who came to St. Louis in 2021 as part of an exchange that saw Austin Gomber, Mateo Gil, Tony Locey, Elehuris Montero, and Jack Sommers going in the other direction (as well as $51 million), had spent the previous seven years at the Colorado Rockies and was a five-time All-Star pick before becoming a Cardinal.
In other words, he’s a player who has more than realized his obvious potential since moving to Missouri.
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The 11-time World Series winners came out of 2022 with a hugely impressive 93-69 regular season record, the franchise’s best return since 2015, before they then limped out in the National League wildcard clash with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Nolan Arenado racked up some strong figures during that campaign, hitting .293 (18th in the overall MLB betting stats), hitting 30 home runs (joint 21st with Kyle Tucker of the Houston Astros and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins), and accumulating 103 RBIs (joint seventh with Atlanta Braves first baseman Matt Olson).
Comments made by Arenado since the end of the season give off the impression of an individual who has some unfinished business to take care of at the Cardinals;
“I never really felt any other way towards this place. This is the place I’ve always wanted to play,” Arenado commented.
“I said this many times, I came here to win, and I came here ’cause I wanted to stay here. I’ve fell in love with the place since I’ve been here.” Arenado added.
The remainder of his current deal will earn him $144 million, and that no doubt is part of the reason that his decision to stay isn’t a tough one, Arenado continued;
“Pretty easy decision,”
“I got a lot of support from my teammates, got some threats and stuff like that, but it was all out of love, I think,”
That disappointing loss to the Phillies is also part of Arenado’s motivation to stick with St. Louis;
“It’s been tough to get over, and I mean it’s probably been the hardest loss series I’ve been gone through in my baseball career,”
“We just didn’t play great baseball that series, so it’s been hard to swallow, but at the end of the day, it is what it is, and I’m excited for the new year. I’ve moved on,”