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Elephant Rumblings: Cardinals acquire Nolan Arenado; Phillies re-sign J.T. Realmuto

MLB news roundup

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Miami Marlins v Colorado Rockies
Arenado and Realmuto (then on the Marlins)
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Good morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!

It’s been four days since our last Rumblings, and there’s been a ton of news since then. The MLB offseason market didn’t really get going until January, and now it’s humming at full speed as teams rush to make their final moves before spring training begins in a couple weeks. With February now upon us, let’s catch up on the end of last month.

The biggest blockbuster was not a free agent contract but a trade, as the Colorado Rockies finally parted with superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado. He’s the NL’s answer to Matt Chapman, but with a much longer track record, so really Chapman is the AL’s answer to him. They were essentially created in the same Skynet lab (El Toro High School) and are similarly superhuman specimens at the same position.

The difference is, Arenado is still signed for six more seasons at a total of $199 million (for ages 30-35), and his relationship with the Rockies had publicly been sour for a while. So they moved him to the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, along with something like $50 million, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Arenado will get an extra year on his contract as part of negotiations, which include him waiving his no-trade clause, reports insider Jon Heyman.

Colorado’s return package hasn’t yet been announced, but Rosenthal suggests some prospects who might be involved. The point is, it sounds like the deal is happening, and Arenado is going to the Cardinals — where he’ll line up across the diamond from star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who was once the face of another NL West franchise before being dealt to St. Louis.


Next up is one of the top remaining free agents, catcher J.T. Realmuto, who re-signed with his old club. He returns to the Philadelphia Phillies on a five-year, $115.5 million contract, reports insider Jon Heyman. It’s complicated, so here’s the whole tweet (note: it should say “5 years” at the beginning):

That surpasses Joe Mauer for the highest annual salary for any catcher in MLB history, though Mauer got more total money on an eight-year deal.


One final bit of major news before we get on to the links

Remember, there’s not any need for a deal, as the season is already set. This is just MLB trying to negotiate some things it wants.

A’s Coverage

MLB News & Interest

MLB Transactions

The final big name in the shortstop market is now off the board

In addition to the Arenado trade, the Cardinals also kept one of their longtime stars

Wait so the Indians do have money to spend? I’m confused.

... And the Cubs do too? I thought both these teams were too broke to even keep the stars they already had, but they can afford luxury corner outfield bats. (Note: Part of Joc’s money is a buyout for a 2022 mutual option.)

Blue Jays add another player

Moore’s last decent season was in 2016

Next up are a few relievers, but not any I was specifically hoping the A’s would go for, and all for more than I need Oakland to spend on its bullpen

Also a couple catchers find homes

DeShields always finds his way back to the majors, so I’d bet we see him in Texas this summer

And hey, the A’s signed a free agent, technically!

Best of Twitter

Worth mentioning as the A’s try to figure out their middle infield

Yes, yes they are

A more detailed take from one of the team’s loyal customers (and longtime AN community member)

“Tearing down” is a bit strong since they’ve only lost free agents and not traded anyone away, but the larger point still stands — and Susan Slusser’s response to the tweet was, “Basically.”

I’m not a fan of tiny-sample platoon OPS as any kind of meaningful measure, but in this case Diekman and Turley also had strong K/BB rates in the same split to back it up


Rajai will work with Nick Hundley and Gregor Blanco in his new role with MLB

The pride of Woodland, CA

This is the NBA equivalent of if they let Ramon Laureano into the TV booth for an inning against the Astros