Adam Wainwright says Nolan Arenado texted movies whereas with Rockies about potential commerce to Cardinals
Commerce rumors connecting Nolan Arenado and the Cardinals have bounced round for years, lengthy earlier than the Cardinals and Rockies lastly agreed upon a deal that was finalized Feb. 1.
The Cardinals’ curiosity within the All-Star third baseman was no nice business secret; he has lengthy been seen as an ideal match — Gold Glove third baseman, heart-of the-order energy hitter — for the membership’s wants. What we didn’t know, till Thursday night, was precisely how a lot that curiosity was mutual, how a lot Arenado was wished to change into a Cardinal.
Not lengthy after Arenado’s two-run homer within the eighth inning helped the Cardinals to a 3-1 win of their 2021 dwelling opener in opposition to the Brewers on Thursday — the kind of dwelling debut each participant desires of when becoming a member of a brand new membership — longtime St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright chatted with the media on a Zoom name.
Wainwright had began and pitched 5 innings of one-run baseball, and naturally he was requested a number of questions on Arenado. He advised a little bit story.
“The final 12 months or two, (Arenado) would ship me movies when he was making an attempt to get traded over right here,” Wainwright mentioned.
Let’s cease right here for a second. Um … wow. That’s fairly the revelation. Let’s not be naive and fake issues like that don’t occur, however it’s nonetheless a bit stunning to listen to.
“He would say, ‘Hey, present this to Mo,’” Wainwright mentioned. “And he can be, in the course of the offseason, taking floor balls down the third-base line and doing his little bounce throw from nearly the dugout, making an ideal throw, one after one other after one other.”
“Mo,” in fact, is the Cardinals president of baseball operations, John Mozeliak. He’s been the highest decision-maker within the group for greater than a decade (other than the possession group, in fact). He’s the one who finally constructed the commerce that was seen as an enormous heist for the Cardinals.
This may’t be enjoyable for Rockies followers to learn, that their star participant was fascinated about taking part in for one more membership. And it’s honest to say that these people within the Colorado entrance workplace, from proprietor Charlie Monfort to common supervisor Jeff Bridich, are most likely fairly upset by the revelation.
Let’s be tremendous clear about one factor: There’s zero proof that these offseason textual content messages had any influence in any respect on Arenado’s effort or manufacturing for the Rockies. Wainwright mentioned “final 12 months or two,” so let’s have a look at the earlier two years.
In 2019, Arenado posted profession highs in bWAR (7.3), OPS (.962) and common (.315), whereas hitting 41 dwelling runs and driving in 118. He was an All-Star for the fifth 12 months in a row, received a Gold Glove for the seventh 12 months in a row and completed sixth within the NL MVP voting.
And, sure, Arenado’s 2020 season was subpar by his personal requirements, however he nonetheless produced a 1.5 bWAR and hit eight homers in 48 video games as he was taking part in by means of a shoulder difficulty that zapped plenty of his energy. The Rockies lastly shut him down with a “left AC joint irritation and a left shoulder bone bruise.” Yikes.
So, the query is that this: What did Wainwright do with these messages from Arenado? Did he ship them up the organizational ladder to Mozeliak?
“Oh, yeah. I all the time despatched them,” he mentioned with fun. “I all the time mentioned, ‘Hey, I do know you’ve obtained a plan and also you’re engaged on some issues, however each time he sends them to me, I gotta do my half and ship it on to you.’ Mo gave the impression to be understanding of that.”
Arenado’s activate Zoom was earlier than Wainwright’s flip, so there was no alternative for the media to ask Arenado concerning the textual content messages. Arenado did speak about his pleasure, taking part in for the primary time as a Cardinal in Busch Stadium, and getting a curtain name after hitting the tie-breaking homer within the eighth inning.
“This was one of many biggest moments,” Arenado mentioned with an enormous smile. “I’ve been lucky to hit a pair homers, hit a homer for the cycle one time, and that also most likely tops this just a bit bit. However I’ve by no means gotten a curtain name earlier than. To get a type of was simply an unbelievable feeling. By no means had one. I used to be simply so pumped up.”
When Wainwright heard concerning the “by no means a curtain name” factor, he whispered, “Wow. That’s exhausting to imagine” even earlier than the reporter, the St. Louis Publish-Dispatch’s Ben Frederickson, completed asking his query.
“It’s actually exhausting to imagine that’s his first curtain name,” Wainwright mentioned. “He’s carried out plenty of actually good issues within the baseball world, in order that’s actually exhausting to imagine. He’s going to get a bunch of them right here.”
Arenado is 1-for-1 to date — in game-winning dwelling runs and curtain calls at Busch. And, apparently that’s a real assertion, although curtain calls are a long-standing custom in St. Louis, prompted by all kinds of causes.
“He’s so centered on being a world champion St. Louis Cardinals participant which you could’t even imagine it,” Wainwright mentioned. “The man eats, sleeps, drinks and breathes baseball. And he desires to win as unhealthy as anyone as I’ve been round, and he desires to win right here. We’re glad to have him. He’s a successful participant.
“We’ve been with him for 2 months, not even possibly, and I really feel like he’s been right here 10 years. He simply suits on this clubhouse so nicely.”