St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado had an arduous decision to make following the 2022 season.
Arenado had an opportunity to opt out of the eight-year, $260 million extension deal that he signed off on in 2019 while with the Colorado Rockies. In the end, the nine-time All-Star decided against hitting free agency, electing to stay put with the reigning National League Central champions. He currently has five years left on his contract.
The San Diego Padres’ call to sign Manny Machado to a blockbuster 11-year, $350 million extension deal has prompted some to ponder whether Arenado made the right decision to not opt out of his contract. The Padres and Machado came to terms on a $31.8 million average annual value deal, while Arenado’s AAV for the remainder of his contract is set at $28.8 million.
For Arenado, he sees that at the end of the day, he makes “more than enough money.”
“I wouldn’t say regrets, I love being here,” Arenado told MLB Network Radio. “I came here, I got traded here. I wanted to stay here. I know the whole situation kind of makes me look kind of bad, but at the end of the day, Manny deserves it. He’s a great player, and he deserves to get paid a lot of money.
“I love being here, and I make more than enough money, more than I deserve, so I’ll be alright.”
Arenado took his time when it came to making a final call on this matter. Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak noted in October that he touched base with Arenado following the team’s exit in the National League wild-card round, and the 10-time Gold Glove winner inquired about St. Louis’ plans for the future.
“He’s just trying to use his time and sort through some things,” Mozeliak said in October. “He asked questions of how we’re thinking about the club, what we’re thinking about in the future, and topics like, ‘How are we going to deploy our resources?’ It was a very positive conversation.”
Arenado is coming off of a 2022 campaign where he recorded 30 home runs and 103 RBI in 148 regular season games played.