By the standards of reigning division champions, the St. Louis Cardinals have had an uncommonly quiet winter. Right now, their notable moves include bringing in Korean lefty Kwang-hyun Kim as a swing man and re-upping with backup catcher Matt Wieters. Despite having an offense in 2019 that ranked 10th in the National League in runs scored and 12th in home runs -- and that got exposed in the NLCS sweep at the hands of the Nationals -- Cards brass has done nothing to improve that particular lot.
One possible solution credibly bandied about in recent weeks has been a blockbuster trade for Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, who remains one of the top two-way threats in all of baseball. While reports have differed in the seriousness of the Cardinals' trade talks with the Rockies, those talks have indeed happened. Now, though, team owner Bill DeWitt Jr. is here to dampen any possible enthusiasm on that front:
Of note is that Arenado is one year into an eight-year, $260 million extension. He's owed $35 million for each of the next five seasons before his annual salary scales down over the final two years of the deal. As well, Arenado has an opt-out after the 2021 season, so his contract in essence comes with just two guaranteed years of control.
In other words, if the Cardinals were to pull off an Arenado swap, ownership would insist that the Rockies either kick in large sum of cash or take on one of the Cardinals' less appealing contracts in return (probably Matt Carpenter or Dexter Fowler). The Rockies, though, are probably looking for maximum payroll relief in an Arenado trade, and such an arrangement may not interest them, especially if there's a potential trading partner that isn't looking for such offsets. All of that adds up to long odds that Arenado winds up with birds on his chest in time for the 2020 season.