The St. Louis Cardinals have finally decided to wave the white towel, as the team’s president of baseball operations, John Mozeliak, announced that the team will, in fact, be sellers at this year’s trade deadline.
He said he didn’t know if it would be household names or guys on expiring contracts, but he made it clear that this year is a wash, and the team is looking ahead to 2024.
Cardinals president of baseball ops John Mozeliak in the interview below: “Right now, I can tell you we’re going to trade people. I just don’t know if it’s going to be household names or more of guys who are just not likely to be here next year.”https://t.co/CbNTk7eidN— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) July 12, 2023
The Cardinals have tons of great options that the Dodgers could target this deadline, which I’ll discuss in another article. But in this one, I want to hone in on one guy, and that’s Nolan Arenado.
I want to start by saying Arenado seems unlikely to be traded at the deadline, and especially to LA. However, he did tell Jon Heyman of the New York Post earlier this week that he wouldn’t be surprised if it happened.
“It is a business, right?” Arenado said. “I’ve been traded once … I think that shocked a lot of people at that time. I guess it doesn’t surprise me anymore what happens in this game. It would still be surprising seeing some things happen. But I understand there are certain things that probably should.”
So, it sounds like he’s ready for anything, which means a trade could be on the table. And if Arenado is moved, the Dodgers would not only be the best landing spot for him, but they would also be able to put together the greatest package to St. Louis.
Arenado is an eight-time All-Star, a five-time Silver Slugger, a 10-time Gold Glove Award winner and a six-time Platinum Glove Award winner at third base. He has a career OPS of .879 and a career bWAR of 53.5 in 1,470 games, and seems to be on a Hall of Fame trajectory.
The Dodgers have a clear need at third base right now with Max Muncy struggling, and he could move back to second base with Miguel Vargas now back in Triple-A. Arenado would bring instant offense and the highest level of defense to the Dodgers and, in my opinion, make them World Series favorites.
On the year, Arenado is slashing .283/.332/.518 with 19 home runs and 62 runs batted in. He was named an All-Star for the eighth consecutive year, as 2020 didn’t have an All-Star Game.
Additionally, Arenado is one of the most likable guys in the MLB, and has been a great teammate in both Colorado and St. Louis.
Finally, Arenado is on a very reasonable deal for the next five years, as this offseason he opted into the remaining five years and $144 million on his deal. The All-MLB caliber player wouldn’t be too much of a strain on the finances, and would be the perfect cornerstone player alongside Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Will Smith.
And for what it’s worth, Arenado, who spent eight years in the NL West with the Colorado Rockies, has 17 career home runs at Dodger Stadium, and a .827 OPS against LA.
If he’s on the table, the Dodgers should go all in on making him their third baseman of the future. This would be the type of all-in move that LA needs to catapult them to the top of the National League this year.
Photo Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
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