Nolan Arenado, Who Can Opt Out, Reportedly Not Expected to Leave St. Louis

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Nolan Arenado, Who Can Opt Out, Reportedly Not Expected to Leave St. Louis

Chicago Cubs

With five years and $144 million remaining on his contract after this season, it was never a lock that Nolan Arenado would opt out of his deal with the St. Louis Cardinals in any case. But the 31-year-old third baseman has put together one of the best seasons of his career, making it a lot easier to see him thinking he could get a better deal on the open market.

On the year, Arenado is hitting .296/.359/.540/153 wRC+, and his defensive metrics are through the roof. His 7.0 WAR is already a career high. If not for his teammate Paul Goldschmidt, Arenado would probably be the current MVP favorite.

So, will Arenado be a free agent after this season or not? It’s been made clear that he’s happy with the Cardinals, but this might be his last crack at a bigger deal, or at least adding another year or two to the current one.

I tend to think Arenado will use the lever of the opt out in order to get the Cardinals to tack on an extra year or two, or somehow otherwise improve his deal. I would be more surprised if he fully opts out and just pursues a new free agent deal.

To that end, Jon Heyman is hearing the same: “Nolan Arenado is said to love St. Louis so much he will remain with the team despite his opt-out. He bought a house there and appreciates having a great relationship with the front office after Colorado. They could alter his deal, but friends say he’s going nowhere.”

You could craft an argument that Arenado would actually be a good fit for the Cubs this offseason, as they could stand to add a big bat and/or glove to the left side of the infield one way or another, and the team clearly had interest in Arenado a couple years ago. Hey, maybe the Cubs could at least backchannel some interest to talk up the re-signing price on the Cardinals …

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.