The Colorado Rockies traded Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals, and the return they got was less than stellar.
For the past year, it seemed as though it was only a matter of time until the Colorado Rockies and Nolan Arenado would reach an amicable separation. The third baseman felt disrespected by the Rockies front office last offseason and demanded a trade. After a year of uncertainty, the Rockies and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a trade involving Arenado. But, the specifics still needed to be worked out.
On Monday, the trade became official, as the Rockies are sending Arenado and cash considerations to the Cardinals in exchange for left-handed pitcher Austin Gomber and prospects Elehuris Montero, Tony Locey, Mateo Gil and Jake Sommers, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. The Cardinals officially announced the trade shortly afterwards.
Rockies not getting a premium return to Arenado
As part of the trade, the Rockies sent $51 million to cover some of Arenado’s six-year, $199 million contract, per Feinsand. Additionally, Arenado now has two opt-out clauses added to his deal. One after the 2021 season and another at the conclusion of the 2022 campaign, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Colorado’s return is, how to put it, not the greatest. Sure, they’re getting four prospects, but only three were ranked in the top 30 of the Cardinals farm system. To make matters worse, none of them are in the top five. Montero, the third baseman, ranked eighth in St. Louis’ farm system. Locey ranked 19th in the pipeline and Gil is listed at No. 22., while Sommers ranks just outside the top prospects list.
Gomber was selected in the fourth-round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Cardinals, where he made his pro debut with the team in 2018. In 29 appearances in his first season, Gomber recorded a 4.44 ERA, a 1.507 WHIP and 67 strikeouts over 75.0 innings of work. In 14 games this past season, Gomber posted a 1.86 ERA and 1.172 WHIP while striking out 27 batters in 29.0 innings.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals are getting a five-time All-Star, eight-time Gold Glove winner, four-time Silver Slugger and four-time Platinum Glove winner. Oh, and he gets to team up with Paul Goldschmidt to make possibly the best corner infield duo in the entire league. Putting this past truncated season aside (.253 batting average, .738 OPS, eight home runs and 26 RBI) aside, Arenado will provide a spark in St. Louis’ batting order.
This is a trade sending two franchises in different directions. The Rockies appear destined for a rebuild, while the Cardinals look to contend for the World Series as early as 2021.