What the ... Nolan Arenado is NOT Opting Out of His Cardinals Deal?!

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What the … Nolan Arenado is NOT Opting Out of His Cardinals Deal?!

Chicago Cubs

What on earth is going on. I did not think Nolan Arenado’s opt-out decision this offseason was even a QUESTION. Obviously he could get more on the open market, and so, even if he wanted to stay with the Cardinals, obviously he would be opting out of his deal to add an extra year or some extra scratch. As in, we knew he wanted to stay, but at least get paid in the process.

So. Yeah. Wut:

There aren’t any real details yet on what led to the decision to stay on his current contract – are the Cardinals seriously not having to add anything? – but as it stands, Arenado will make just $144 million over the next five seasons. At 31, Arenado is coming off one of the best seasons of his career (7.3 WAR, 151 wRC+, stud defense), and in free agency, it’s not the least bit difficult to imagine him being able to land a SUBSTANTIALLY larger guarantee.

Not only that, but my understanding of his deal was that he got a $20 million payment from the Rockies if he opted out of this deal, otherwise that $20 million goes to the Cardinals to cover future salaries for Arenado. So did he just opt into, what is effectively, a five-year, $124 million deal?

I am completely perplexed. Angry, even? I suppose it’s possible there are some extenuating circumstances of which we’re not aware, but the Cardinals and Arenado are (an injury or something? something else totally wild?). But as it stands, there is no logical explanation for why Arenado would not opt out. Did the Cardinals tell him, unequivocally, that they would not re-sign him after this season if he opted out? And he was THAT DESPERATE to stay with the Cardinals that he left, what, $70 million on the table? Surely not, right?

I’ve gotta be missing something. There has to be more to this story.

But here’s one thing we know: by opting into his deal, Arenado is saving the Cardinals a relative fortune, and giving them even more money to work with in the season ahead. Maybe he’s just the greatest team guy in the history of the universe.

Also: I am as enraged today as ever that the Cubs did not pounce when the Rockies dumped Arenado. This all could’ve been the Cubs’ situation. But, no, they (allegedly) insisted that the Rockies take back Jason Heyward’s contract a couple years ago, and that was that. My fingers feel like flames.

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.