The St. Louis Cardinals acquired a superstar on Monday. One could argue that Nolan Arenado of Newport Beach, CA is not just one of the best third basemen in all of Major League Baseball, but one of the best overall players in the game today.
In a blockbuster deal, Arenado was traded from the Colorado Rockies to the Cardinals for five players according to Mark Feinsand of mlb.com. They are lefthanded relief pitcher Austin Gomber of Winter Garden, FL, minor league infielder Mateo Gil of Newport Beach, CA, minor league third baseman Elehuris Montero of Santo Domingo Centro, Dominican Republic, and pitching prospects Tony Locey of Columbus, GA, and Jake Sommers of Hortonville, WI.
What also makes this deal intriguing is from a financial perspective. The Cardinals found a way to not only acquire Arenado for the 2021 season, but not have to pay him this year as well. As part of the deal, Arenado will be paid by the Colorado Rockies in 2021, and Arenado’s contract has been added by an extra season, where the Cardinals will pay him $15 million in 2027. Arenado initially signed an eight-year contract extension worth $260 million on February 26, 2019.
Arenado was an all-star each year from 2015 to 2019 with the Rockies. He has led the National League in home runs thrice (42 in 2015, 41 in 2016, and 38 in 2018). In 2015, Arenado led Major League Baseball in RBIs (130), sacrifice flies (11), and total bases (354). In 2016, Arenado also led Major League Baseball with 133 runs batted in, and the American League in total bases with 352. Then in 2017, Arenado led the National League with 43 doubles.
Arenado is also one of the best defensive third basemen in Major League Baseball. He has won a gold glove at third base in all eight seasons he has been with the Rockies and has a career fielding percentage of .972.
However in 2020, Arenado’s offensive statistics dropped. He only batted .253 with eight home runs and 26 runs batted in. During 48 games, Arenado also scored 23 runs, and had 46 hits, 15 walks, 79 total bases, four sacrifice flies, a .303 on base percentage, and a .434 slugging percentage.
Of the players going to Colorado, only Gomber has Major League Baseball experience, and in 2020, he was excellent for the Cardinals. Gomber pitched in 14 games, and had a record of one win, one loss, and one hold with an earned run average of 1.86. In 29 innings pitched, he gave up 19 hits, six earned runs, and 15 walks, to go along with 27 strikeouts, and a WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of 1.17.
Gomber got the win in a 5-0 Cardinals win over the Kansas City Royals on September 22. His hold also came against the Royals in a 9-3 St. Louis win on August 24.