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'Pretty easy decision': Nolan Arenado talks staying with Cardinals, 2023 season

Nolan Arenado talks about the 2022 postseason, staying in St. Louis and mindset coming into the 2023 season.
Credit: KSDK

ST. LOUIS — On Sunday, during the St. Louis Cardinals Winter Warm-Up, Nolan Arenado spoke about the 2022 postseason, the 2023 roster and staying in St. Louis. 

Arenado comes off the 2022 season by finishing in the top three of voting for the National League Most Valuable Player and having a breakout year with teammate Paul Goldschmidt. 

He hit .293 with an .891 OPS, 30 home runs and 103 RBIs during the 2022 season with the Cardinals. 

Staying in St. Louis 

At the end of October 2022, Nolan Arenado decided to not opt out of his contract with the Cardinals. 

"I never really felt any other way towards this place. This is the place I've always wanted to play," Arenado said. "I said this many times, I came here to win and I came here 'cause I wanted to stay here. I've fell in love with the place since I've been here." 

His current deal continues through the end of the 2027 season with $144 million remaining.

"Pretty easy decision," he said. 

During the offseason, teammates reached out to him about his contract and staying with the Cardinals, including Adam Wainwright and Paul Goldschmidt. 

"I got a lot of support from my teammates, got some threats and stuff like that, but it was all out of love I think," he said. 

2022 postseason 

The Cardinals entered the 2022 postseason facing the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Wild Card Series. After the team won the division, they had an early exit due to a lack of offense.

"It's been tough to get over and I mean it's probably been the hardest loss series I've been gone through in my baseball career," Arenado said. 

"We just didn't play great baseball that series, so it's been hard to swallow but at the end of the day it is what it is and I'm excited for the new year. I've moved on," he said. 

Entering the 2023 season, the Cardinals hope to win the division again but also start the postseason in the second round.

"It's really important to win and get that bye, get that five-game series and I think it's really important and I think we are capable of doing that," he said.

2023 Roster

Coming off the 2022 postseason loss, the Cardinals saw their two veterans, Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina, retire. The team signed catcher Willson Contreras to fill Molina's spot and signed other players to keep the team competitive. 

Signing Contreras means there are big shoes to fill after Molina's retirement and he comes in bringing a World Series-winning mindset and power during his at-bats. 

"I think just having him in our lineup, if he's behind me or not, it's just huge. He works at-bats and he's got power," Arenado said. 

"I think the best part about him is that he knows this division, he is not walking into anything he's never been in, the only thing he's walking in that's different is the team, us."

The starting pitching rotation has also been a topic of conversation between not only fans but management throughout the offseason. Arenado thinks having a healthy and strong rotation will make them competitive this season. 

"I think it comes down to our starting pitching staying healthy. These guys are good. You got Jack (Flaherty) healthy, he is one of the best pitchers in the game," he said. 

Adam Wainwright returns to the Cardinals for the 2023 season, giving it his all once again to win a Championship. 

"I think Waino is the most fun pitcher I have ever played defense behind. When he throws that curveball, there are a lot of groundballs," Arenado said.

He continued, "It is enjoyable to watch him pitch and go out there and compete. He is a hardcore competitor and he is an unbelievable dude and great teammate, hopefully, can do something great for him this year." 

The Cardinals Winter Warm-Up takes place Saturday, Jan. 14 through Monday, Jan. 16 at Busch Stadium. Information regarding the event can be found here.   

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