Arenado staying put, Cards 'building for our future success'

July 30th, 2023

ST. LOUIS -- A night after wondered aloud about his future with the Cardinals as the MLB Trade Deadline approaches, team president John Mozeliak said the club never asked the superstar third baseman to waive his no-trade clause and won't be trading him anytime soon.

“We are not trading him, have not asked him to waive his no-trade clause, so at this time we are working on building for our future success,” Mozeliak said on Saturday night before the Cardinals' 5-1 loss to the Cubs at Busch Stadium.

Weeks earlier, Mozeliak said the club had no plans to trade 2022 NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt or Arenado, but he did say that no player on the roster was fully untradeable. With the Cardinals at 46-60 and already casting their focus toward 2024 instead of trying to add pieces for a playoff run this season, Arenado’s future in St. Louis came into question with his hometown Dodgers looking to improve their roster.

On Friday night, following a 3-2 loss to the Cubs, Arenado said he had not been approached about potentially waiving the full no-trade clause in his contract. Last fall, Arenado waived an opt-out clause in his contract so that he could remain with the Cardinals, a franchise he has said gives him the best chance to someday win a World Series.

While upset about how the Cardinals have failed to meet expectations this season, Arenado said he is focused on how the club can return to playoff contention next season.

“I mean, we’re losing, so I don’t know right now,” Arenado said on Friday of his confidence in the rebuilding Cardinals. “I don’t look at the future; I look at right now, and that’s what I’m paying attention to. I mean, it’s hard for me to look beyond this year because you never know what happens in a year and you don’t know what happens tomorrow.”

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said prior to Saturday’s game that he has kept the lines of communication open to the eight-time All-Star third baseman, who is hitting .282 with 22 home runs and 77 RBIs. Marmol said there is no scenario where the Cardinals would be a better team without Arenado, and he has expressed that sentiment to the 10-time Gold Glover repeatedly.

“My communication with Nolan has been phenomenal,” Marmol said. “Nolan Arenado knows exactly where he stands in my eyes. I want to compete with this guy for a very long time. There's zero question there, and he knows that. He’s been told that. I want to compete and win a championship with Nolan Arenado at third base.”

What Marmol is unhappy about is the franchise's position of building for the future instead of fighting to get back into the playoffs this fall. The Cardinals' streaks for consecutive winning seasons (15) and playoff appearances (four) will almost certainly end this year.

Keeping key players like Arenado and Goldschmidt while retooling the pitching staff will give the Cardinals the chance to bounce back next season, Marmol said.

“I'm in conversation with everybody above me [in the Cardinals' front office] and I’m highly confident we will be extremely competitive in ’24,” Marmol said. “We’re not going through this again.”