Third baseman Nolan Arenado revealed to The Athletic why he decided to remain with the St. Louis Cardinals. 

The St. Louis Cardinals‘ postseason run came to an earlier-than-expected end, as they were swept in the Wild Card Round by the eventual NL champion Philadelphia Phillies. They then had to pivot to the offseason, and they had one huge question, and that was the status of third baseman Nolan Arenado.

After the 2022 season, Arenado had one final opt-out clause in his contract, given to him by the Colorado Rockies. Considering that he would have been the best third baseman available if he were to hit free agency. Instead, Arenado decided to opt-in for the remainder of his contract, where he will be paid $144 million through the 2027 season.

In an interview with The Athletic’s Katie Woo (subscription required), Arenado was asked about why he decided against testing free agency to remain with the Cardinals. Arenado cited admiring the St. Louis organization, and his trade from the Rockies, which he called “a pain in the butt.”

Nolan Arenado explains why he opted into Cardinals contract

“It’s a mixture of things. I’ve said before, for me to get traded to St. Louis, it was extremely complicated. To be quite frank, it was really a pain in the butt. Once I got here, I didn’t feel like I wanted to leave. I wanted to be here. This is an organization that I had always admired from afar.”

Back in 2021, the Rockies dealt Arenado to the Cardinals and $50 million in cash considerations in exchange for Austin Gomber, Elehuris Montero, Toney Locey, Mateo Gil, and Jake Sommers.

Arenado has recorded back to back 30+ home run, 100+ RBI through his first two seasons with the Cardinals. That, and he made it to the All-Star Game and won a Gold Glove award in both campaigns as well.

St. Louis will now look to build off of their 2022, while watching Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina retire. However, Adam Wainwright will be back for one last season. As for Arenado, he will be under contract with the Cardinals for the next five seasons.

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