Cardinals’ Updated Lineup, Payroll After Reported Nolan Arenado Trade

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Cardinals’ Updated Lineup, Payroll After Reported Nolan Arenado Trade
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Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) in the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 19, 2src2src, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Colorado Rockies agreed to trade third baseman Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday pending MLB and MLBPA approval, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic and Fox sports.   

Rosenthal mentioned some possible names going the other way, though the deal will likely take days to be completed given all of the moving parts:

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

Names possibly going to Rockies include LHP Austin Gomber, 1B Luken Baker, OF Jhon Torres. Return also might include RHP Jake Woodford or RHP Angel Rondón. Exact package not confirmed. https://t.co/QJaMyyxLwP

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

Deal unlikely to be official tonight and maybe even not this weekend. Arenado will need to formally waive his no-trade clause and his opt-out after 2021 also must be addressed. Approvals from mlb and union necessary as well, as reported in initial tweet. https://t.co/xuCNkaD5kq

In other words, the Cardinals may be getting Arenado without dealing anyone who is currently slated to be in their 2021 starting lineup.

Here’s how St. Louis’ lineup and payroll could look with Arenado.    

This projection presumes that catcher Yadier Molina will re-sign with the Cardinals as expected, as reported by Jon Morosi of Fox sports and mlb Network earlier in the day. FanGraphs’ Roster Resource was also taken into consideration.

Projected St. Louis Batting Order

1. 2B Tommy Edman

2. SS Paul DeJong

3. 3B Nolan Arenado

4. 1B Paul Goldschmidt

5. LF Dylan Carlson

6. RF Dexter Fowler

7. C Yadier Molina

8. CF Harrison Bader

9. Pitcher

Bench

C Andrew Knizner

INF Matt Carpenter

INF Edmundo Sosa

OF/1B Austin Dean

OF Tyler O’Neill

OF Justin Williams

Payroll

Prior to the reported Arenado trade, Cot’s Baseball Contracts projected the Cardinals’ 26-man Opening Day roster as having a $134,912,500 payroll, the 11th-highest in the league.

Arenado is reportedly due $35 million in 2021. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that St. Louis is expected to pay Arenado roughly $25 million a year, with the Rockies covering the $10 million.

That would put the payroll at $159,912,500, although the Cardinals will have to drop someone on the projected 2021 roster to stay at the 26-player mark. It’s also unclear if anyone listed is headed to Colorado.

Ultimately, the Cardinals’ payroll should not be any more than $159,912,500 and will likely be a bit less when final roster transactions are made.

Notes on Arenado

Arenado, 29, is an eight-time Gold Glove winner, five-time All-Star and four-time Silver Slugger. He hit 41 home runs with 118 RBI, a .315 batting average and a .962 OPS during the 2019 season.

The third baseman’s batting numbers dipped during the shortened 2020 season, as he had eight home runs, 26 RBI, a .253 batting average and a .738 OPS in 48 games.

However, Arenado is usually fantastic at the dish and in the field. He notably averaged 40 home runs and 124 RBI a season from 2015 to 2019. He hit .300 with a .937 OPS during that stretch.

The lifelong Colorado star will now be making the switch to St. Louis, which now looks like a serious contender for the National League pennant despite being in a stacked league with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres, among others.                          

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