The sky's the limit for the St. Louis Cardinals.
The club is intent on adding a "star-level" position player before spring training opens next month, with Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado standing out as a possibility, sources told Jon Morosi of MLB.com. The Rockies and Cardinals have engaged in preliminary talks about an Arenado deal, Morosi reports.
Arenado would need to waive his no-trade clause in order to facilitate any trade to St. Louis, but he could be persuaded to do so. The seven-time Gold Glove winner is said to have a "deep respect" for the Cardinals' tradition, and is also close friends with first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, according to Morosi.
The 28-year-old is owed $234 million over the final seven years of his current contract, although he can opt out following the 2021 season.
The Cardinals are in a good position to make a trade for Arenado, owning multiple top prospects, including pitcher Matthew Liberatore, who was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays last week. They also have some long-term payroll flexibility, with only three players (including Goldschmidt) under contract after 2021.
St. Louis faces competition for Arenado from the Texas Rangers, who are said to not only be interested in trading for him but also willing to assume his entire remaining contract. The Atlanta Braves are another team linked to Arenado this winter.
Another star the Cardinals are chasing is free-agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who spent the last two seasons in St. Louis. Ozuna remains unsigned, though the Cardinals are still hoping to bring him back.
Free-agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos could also be an option for the Cardinals, although they have not been linked to each other recently. Still, a rival executive suggested to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic the Cardinals might be better off signing Castellanos and taking draft-pick compensation from Ozuna - who rejected a qualifying offer earlier in the winter - once he signs elsewhere.