photo: Nolan Arenado via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
On Tuesday, February 2, the St. Louis Cardinals hosted a welcome and question and answer session for members of the media. Perhaps as he will be in the team’s lineup on Opening Day, the subject of the session, third baseman Nolan Arenado, batted third.
Leading off was Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr., followed by President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak.
Those interested in the video can view it in its entirety below. Here are also some of my notes from the event.
Bill DeWitt, Jr.
Has an obligation to bring fans the best team and the best players possible. Fans make it possible. Always wants to thank them when making a major financial commitment.
For 25 years, ownership has been committed to winning. They made a lot of big deals, some that worked and some that did not.
They make every effort to get premium players because they stay premium players. But it is hard to do from the outside by trades and free agent signings.
This was a perfect storm from the position player standpoint. Good defense, pitching, young players coming.
They have “never stopped trying and will not as long as I’m here.”
Feels relief and exhaustion (that the trade is done). It is worth it.
The Cardinals first expressed interest in Arenado last off-season. Current talks started gaining momentum in December (2020).
Every time a deal felt close, another hurdle arose. Felt nauseous the last week. Took a lot of patience.
The team “may not be done this offseason”. “We’re still looking at some things.”
The Cardinals “went from a good team to a great team”.
Reputation preceded him. That Arenado can be seen on the web playing wiffleball shows how much he loves playing the game.
On the negotiations, they were trying to determine what was fair. Both teams were good at keeping the names of the other players involved out of the press.
“A lot of teams would like to be where we are today.”
Name is pronounced “r-en-AH-do”.
Admired Cardinals from afar for a long time. Connections include having taken vacations with Matt Carpenter and his family, talking with former Cardinals Mark Reynolds and Daniel Descalso when they were Rockies and he considers Paul Goldschmidt a good friend, having played against him back in rookie ball.
Last few years have been tough, but will miss friends and brothers on the Rockies.
His shoulder made it not easy to play last year. Couldn’t hit, lift or do anything for first month of the off-season. Worked with trainers and feels good now. Does not expect it to be a problem.
He asked to be traded nine months ago. With a team constantly losing, contracts like his get moved. Things change.
Cardinals are a competitive team with great traditions.
When asked about his second opt out (after the 2022 season), he said, “I plan on staying here for a long time.” (He also acknowledged he said and felt the same way when he signed his extension with the Rockies.)
What was originally announced to be a 30-minute session, the participants were kind enough to field our questions for 40.
Enjoy what follows, courtesy of Cardinals media relations and hosted by director Brian Bartow, and pick out your own favorite quotes from what Mr. DeWitt coined a “Red letter day for the Redbirds.”
Join the ongoing and lively Arenado trade discussion at The Cardinal Nation’s free message board. See you there!
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