Getty Images

St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado will not use his opt-out clause this offseason, the club announced on Sunday. The seven-time All-Star has five years and $144 million remaining on his contract. He could have opted out and tested free agency, but instead will remain with St. Louis.

"I would just say that I'm optimistic that this will have a positive resolution, and like I said, I hope that's something we get some news on sooner rather than later. I don't think it's about re-working the deal. He's just trying to use him time and sort through some things," Cardinals present of baseball operations John Mozeliak said earlier this week when asked about Arenado's opt out (per "He asked questions on how we're thinking about the club, what we're thinking about in the future, and topics like, 'How are we going to deploy our resources?' It was a very positive conversation. Again, I'm hopeful and optimistic that we can come to a place where we're both very happy and have that understanding. He just wants a little time to think through that."

The 31-year-old Arenado recently completed his second season with the Cardinals after disagreements with the Colorado Rockies' front office led to his trade out of Denver. As per the terms of the trade, the Rockies will pay $16 million of Arenado's $35 million salary in 2023. Arenado will be Colorado's second highest paid player behind Kris Bryant next season. 

Nolan Arenado
STL • 3B • #28
View Profile

Arenado authored a .293/.358/.533 batting line with 42 doubles and 30 home runs in 2022. He also played his typically brilliant defense at third base -- Arenado has won the past nine NL Gold Gloves at the hot corner and he is again a finalist this year -- leading to 7.9 WAR. Only New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge (10.6 WAR) was better among position players.

The free-agent third base market is rather thin this offseason, with Brandon Drury and Jace Peterson representing the best available players now that Arenado has taken himself off the market. The five years remaining on Arenado's contract cover his age 32-36 seasons. For reference, Anthony Rendon will make $188 million during the same five-year chunk of his career. Arenado at $144 million is good value for the Cardinals.

Adam Wainwright announced he will return for one more season earlier this week. Now that Arenado is coming back as well, the Cardinals will shift their focus to replacing the retired Yadier Molina behind the plate, and perhaps adding a shortstop. More pitching depth, particularly in the bullpen, could be on the offseason shopping list as well.

St. Louis went 93-69 and won the NL Central this season, they were swept in two games by the eventual NL pennant-winning Philadelphia Phillies in the Wild Card Series. Arenado went 1 for 8 in the two games.