One of the best third baseman and a nemesis to the rest of the National West, especially the SF Giants, is reportedly on the move.
According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, the Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a trade that would send star third baseman Nolan Arenado to St. Louis. Given the size of his contract, it is a complicated deal with some of the smaller details still being hammered out.
Colorado is expected to receive a bevy of prospects, including Austin Gomber, Luke Baker, and John Torres. Other prospects might be included as well, but it is difficult to replicate the value that Arenado brings to the table. The Rockies will receive substantial salary relief as Arenado was due $199 million over the next six years, but they will still pitch around $50 million to the Cardinals.
SF Giants Nemesis on the Move
Arenado was drafted by the Rockies in the second round of the 2009 draft out of El Toro High School in Lake Forest, California. He rose through the minor league ranks while being recognized as one of the better prospects in baseball before debuting with the club as a 22-year-old in 2013.
In eight seasons, the star third baseman has slashed .293/.349/.541 (120 OPS+) with 235 home runs and 760 RBI while being worth 39.1 WAR. It does seem like all of that damage was done against the SF Giants.
However, Arenado did not only pick on the Giants. He hit well against nearly every team that crossed his path. That said, division rivals never figured out how to pitch to him. Of course, this assumes that there is actually a way to pitch to Arenado. There may not be. He is just that good.
NL West pitching will not miss facing the 29-year-old 19 times a year. Below are his stats against each team in the division.
- Giants: .291/.354/.556 with 31 home runs and 104 RBI
- Diamondbacks: .306/.368/.582 with 27 home runs and 94 RBI
- Dodgers: .283/.339/.510 with 28 home runs and 86 RBI
- Padres: .292/.361/.525 with 26 home runs and 76 RBI.
Arenado has not limited his damage to the NL West. Cardinals pitching must be enthusiastic that he is now on their side given that he has posted a .993 OPS with 11 home runs and 33 RBI against them over the years.
Arenado joins a team that features slugging first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and is now the favorite to win the NL Central. On the other hand, the Rockies are likely entering a rebuilding phase with Arenado gone and shortstop Trevor Story one year away from free agency.
The SF Giants along with the rest of the division must be thrilled that they will not have to see Arenado as frequently. However, I think I will plan my vacation time right around when the Giants play the Cardinals. Arenado and Goldschmidt in the same lineup is the stuff of nightmares.