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Rockies agree to trade Nolan Arenado to Cardinals, according to source

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Nolan Arenado’s golden era in Colorado is over.

The Rockies’ slugging, five-time, all-star third baseman is going to be traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, a source close to the negotiations confirmed Friday night. Details are still emerging, but according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, who broke the story, the Rockies will send around $50 million to the Cardinals in the deal.

While a number of Cardinals players are involved in the deal, the names have not emerged yet. Pitcher Austin Gomber, however, is expected to be one of the players coming to Colorado.

The deal has not been finalized and it’s still pending approval of Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association. An official announcement was not expected Friday and might not come until Monday.

Arenado will reportedly defer money to make the trade work.

The long-speculated trade ends Arenado’s spectacular career with Colorado during which he won eight consecutive Gold Glove Awards, beginning with his rookie season in 2013.

The Rockies, faced with a money crunch following the pandemic-shortened 2020 season played without fans in the stands, found a way to unload a large chunk of Arenado’s large contract. They also resolved the dispute between Arenado and general manager Jeff Bridich that has been going on for more than a year.

For their part, the Cardinals added a powerful, right-handed bat and took a big step toward winning the National League Central.

In order to make the deal work, Arenado waived his no-trade clause. The third baseman has often expressed his admiration for the Cardinals’ baseball tradition and commitment to winning.

Arenado, 29, hit .293, launched 235 home runs and finished with an .890 OPS in his eight seasons in Colorado. He’s hit 40 or more home runs three times, including 41 in 2019 when he also hit .315, the best average of his career.

Raw numbers, however, don’t begin to tell Arenado’s story.

“Nolan once again this year proved why he is the premier third baseman in all of baseball,” Rockies manager Bud Black said in November when the third baseman won his eighth Gold Glove. “He continues to make plays that set him apart from all others. This eighth Gold Glove is a result of hard work and a desire to be the best he can be.”

The trade had been brewing for more than a year and came less than two years after Arenado signed an eight-year, $260 million contract during spring training 2019. The deal was consummated after the Rockies made the playoffs in 2017-18 — the first time in franchise history the club made the postseason in back-to-back years.

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