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Making sense of the recent Nolan Arenado trade rumors

Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images

A few days ago, Alden Gonzalez of ESPN revealed something that caught my attention.

He wrote a piece about each eliminated team’s offseason strategy. When he got to the Dodgers, he mentioned something that is going to make Cardinals fans heads spin.

The report indicated that the Dodgers were planning on trading some of their pitching prospect to add either a top-end starter or get some help on the offensive side.

Gonzalez then proposed the idea of the Dodgers making a play for Nolan Arenado.

While I don’t expect Arenado to actually be traded, since he has constantly stated that he wants to be here, we do have to at least acknowledge this report.

Cardinals fans were feeling a certain amount of angst when these reports came out at the trade deadline. I found myself almost having a panic attack before John Mozeliak came out and said that an Arenado trade wouldn’t be happening.

But if the Cardinals were to trade Arenado to the Dodgers, what would that look like. Below, we’ll discuss what a potential trade could entail and whether or not it makes sense for the Cardinals.

What would an Arenado trade look like?

Whether you think this is a good idea or not, you can’t deny that the Cardinals would have a chance to receive a massive haul from Los Angeles. The Dodgers have some solid young pitchers in their pipeline, Bobby Miller, Emmet Sheehan, Gavin Stone, Michael Grove, and Ryan Pepiot just to name a few.

We know the Cardinals need three starters, and this could help them accomplish that. But it would certainly hurt to make this deal. I would imagine that the Cardinals would try to get at least two of the pitchers listed, with Miller being one of them. That would be my hope if this comes to pass.

The aftereffects would be pretty major. There would be an uproar from the fanbase, and people would be calling for Mozeliak’s head like never before.

As for how this would shake up the roster, the Cardinals could potentially find an everyday spot at third base for Brendan Donovan, Nolan Gorman, Tommy Edman, or even Jordan Walker.

By moving Walker to third base, the Cardinals could alleviate the outfield logjam.

St. Louis does have solid offensive players, but losing Arenado would hurt. The pitching was so bad that it masked the issues with the offense. Many will say that the offense wasn’t the problem for the Cardinals. I beg to differ.

The Cardinals could not hit with runners in scoring position this year. The amount of one-run losses was also staggering, to say the least.

Their team average was just .250. They were also in the bottom six in runs scored, having pushed across 719 during the regular season. If you take Arenado out of the picture, you lose a key component of an offense that truly needs his production.

Does it make sense?

In my mind, trading Arenado would be foolish. The Cardinals have constantly stressed that they plan to contend again in 2024. This would not be a win-now move. Even if the Cardinals have to pick up a pitcher via trade, they shouldn’t try to trade away Arenado. It’s just not a “win-now” move in my opinion.

If Mozeliak is smart, he doesn’t make this deal, unless he gets a true ace to bolster the rotation. Bobby Miller is an intriguing young pitcher with ace potential, but he’s not quite there yet. The Dodgers won’t give up Walker Buehler either.

So, I think I share the opinion of the vast majority of the fanbase in thinking that trading Arenado would be pointless and risky.

The Cardinals just shouldn’t do it. If they do, they had better make sure they get proven Major League talent in return.