The St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to acquire All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado from the Colorado Rockies in a trade needing approvals before it can be finalized, a person familiar with the swap tells The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Friday night because the trade had not yet been finalized.
Arenado, an eight-time Gold Glove winner, signed a $260 million, eight-year deal with Colorado in February 2019 and is owed $199 million for the six remaining seasons.
Colorado would pay St. Louis a large amount of cash as part of the trade, the person said, and Major League Baseball must approve a cash transaction of more than $1 million.
Arenado's contract has a no-trade provision that requires his approval for any assignment.
He may restructure his contract as part of a trade, the person said, which could require approval of the players' association.
The 29-year-old Arenado has hit .293 with an .890 OPS over eight seasons, averaging 35 home runs and 114 RBIs per 162 games. Aided in part by hitter-friendly Coors Field, he’s led the National League in home runs three times and led the majors in RBIs twice.
The Cardinals finished second in the NL Central last season and lost a first-round playoff matchup against the San Diego Padres. Arenado will bump Matt Carpenter out of his role as the starting third baseman and play in an infield with All-Stars Paul DeJong at shortstop and Paul Goldschmidt at first base.
Arenado slumped during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, hitting .253 with eight home runs and a .738 OPS over 48 games. He earned $12,962,963 in prorated pay.
Colorado general manager Jeff Bridich acknowledged last off-season that he was listening to trade offers on the five-time All-Star, and Arenado said in February of 2020 that “there's a lot of disrespect around there” and “there is no relationship anymore” between him and Bridich.
Arenado's contract called for salaries of $35 million annually from 2021-24, $32 million in 2025 and $27 million in 2026. His deal included a provision allowing him to opt out after the 2021 season to become a free agent.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Ronald Blum, The Associated Press