The St. Louis Cardinals have emerged as the leading candidate to acquire Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado. Well, one potential trade piece the Redbirds may have considered dangling is veteran infielder Matt Carpenter, but that no longer seems like much of a possibility.
According to Derrick S. Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Carpenter officially has no-trade protection, effective at the conclusion of the 2019 season.
Last April, the Cardinals signed Carpenter to a two-year, $39 million contract extension. However, the exact language of the deal wasn't known -- at least with regards to trade protection
Well, Goold's report, if true, will certainly make it harder to offload Carpenter. The 34-year-old was believed not to be under no-trade protection until Opening Day of the 2020 season, but that no longer appears to be the case.
The Cardinals made a big splash by sending Jose Martinez and Randy Arozarena to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for top pitching prospect in Matt Liberatore. The young pitcher alone increases the value of St. Louis' trade package, and make the Rockies more enticed to move on from their star third baseman.
They'll still be in on Arenado, but they may have to get a bit more creative with their offers now.