Cardinals: Nolan Arenado’s future in St. Louis far from set in stone

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St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado’s future is far from set in stone, as he has an opt-out in his contract set for the 2022 offseason.

The initial expectation was that Arenado would opt out of said deal, hoping instead to get a larger payday and more years added to his contract. Yet, after the Cardinals clinched a playoff spot last season, Arenado did the unthinkable and claimed he was happy in St. Louis, and didn’t need to opt out for a better opportunity elsewhere.

He wouldn’t even flirt with the idea of a greater payday. At least not in 2021.

“I’m not opting out,” Arenado said in late September, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We can put that out there. I will not be opting out. I will be coming back. That was always the plan. I’m absolutely coming back. I feel like this year has been special in a lot of senses. I want to play with all these guys. I’m excited I’ll be back.”

Cardinals: Could Nolan Arenado change his mind, opt out in 2022?

Arenado has another chance to opt out after 2022. Assuming nothing goes astray in the Cardinals’ campaign, it’s a good bet he’ll opt in again.

“Well better than 50-50 (chance that Arenado returns), unless something drastic happens to the Cardinals this season and they do not offer signs that they will contend for the next half-dozen years,” Cardinals beat writer Rick Hummel wrote.

So of course, there is still a chance Arenado opts out if the Cardinals have a disastrous season, while he still delivers on an individual basis. The stars would have to align perfectly, or perhaps imperfectly from St. Louis’ point of view.

Arenado loves the Cardinals organization. He’s happy in St. Louis, as is his family. The Cardinals committed to him long-term when they freed him from the Rockies, and now he wants to repay the favor.

Should he opt in, Arenado will be tied to the Cardinals through 2027.

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