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Nolan Arenado Rumors: Cardinals 3B Not Likely to Opt Out of Final $144M in Contract

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The 2022 MLB free agent class gets the potential to be filled up with superstar players, but St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado isn’t likely to be one of these.

Jon Heyman of the NY Post reports that the 31-year-old isn’t likely to opt out of his contract with St. Louis.

“Despite having NL MVP candidate Nolan Arenado planning never to opt out of his Cardinals deal’he will remain a Cardinal,’ a pal saysno significantly less than six opt-outs and player choices for stars will bolster a good free-agent list and ensure it is special,” Heyman wrote.

Arenado signed an eight-year, $260 million contract with the Colorado Rockies in 2019 before being traded to the Cardinals 2 yrs later. Per Spotrac, he could be set to produce a base salary of $35 million in 2023, but if he doesn’t opt out following this season, Colorado will need to pay $20 million of his salary to St. Louis in $4 million increments from 2023 to 2027.

The seven-time All-Star also had the chance to opt out of his deal by the end of the 2021 season, but he sounded like he was content in St. Louis when he told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he was “absolutely returning.”

There was not much to deter him from re-upping with the team again. St. Louis is in first invest the NL Central with a 76-55 record and Arenado is amid another strong season. The nine-time Gold Glove award winner is slashing .307/.370/.571 with 28 home runs and 89 RBI. He hit a two-run blast in Wednesday’s victory on the Cincinnati Reds.

This year’s free agent class will undoubtedly be headlined by NY Yankees slugger Aaron Judge and LA Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner. But Heyman noted that several stars are anticipated to exercise the opt-out within their contracts, including NY Mets ace Jacob deGrom, Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander, SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Giants hurler Carlos Rodon, Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa and Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts.

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