The Athletic reports that St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado has notified the organization that he would not be exercising his opt-out option this summer. Five more years and $144 million are still on the horizon for the seven-time All-Star. While he had the option to explore other teams and contracts, he has decided to stay in St. Louis.

John Mozeliak, the Cardinals’ vice president of baseball operations, recently told “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 his time and sort through some things.

“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.”

Nolan Arenado to see out his contract with Cardinals

Arenado had one of his best seasons ever in his second year with the St. Louis Cardinals, batting.293 with 30 home runs, 103 RBIs, and a career-low strikeout rate. Last year, he led all position players in the National League with a 7.9 WAR.

After being moved to St. Louis from Colorado in advance of the 2021 season, Arenado was eligible to exercise his second and final opt-out clause. Throughout 2022, the Cardinals maintained confidence that the seven-time All-Star would return to St. Louis.