Nolan Arenado trade official; Austin Gomber, 4 minor leaguers headed to Rockies

Sep 12, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) reacts following his strikeout in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies’ deal to ship star third baseman Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals is official, the club announced on Monday.

Arenado on Monday submitted in writing his consent to be traded, according to Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown. League and union approval were granted shortly thereafter, with the trade being reported as official on Monday evening by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman and USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, prior to the club’s press release.

The Rockies, as has been rumored, will be getting left-handed pitcher Austin Gomber as part of the deal, per Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold. Gomber was going to be in the mix to start for the Cards in 2021, so it’s likely that the Rockies plan to insert him into their rotation as well. The 27-year-old Florida native owns a 3.47 ERA with 70 strikeouts and 28 walks in 72 2/3 big league innings as a starter. His strikeout totals, as well as his K/BB ratio, have been far better as a starter than in relief, a role in which Gomber has worked 31 1/3 innings in parts of two seasons.

Gomber started 102 of 104 total games in six seasons as a minor leaguer, posting a 2.95 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9.

The Rockies will also receive infielder Mateo Gil in the deal, per The Athletic. Gil, a third-round pick in the 2018 draft, owns a .257/.327/.373 line in 425 minor league plate appearances spanning two seasons. Gil is the 22nd-ranked prospect in the Cardinals’ organization, per MLB Pipeline.

Colorado’s return is rounded out, according to Heyman, by infielder Elehuris Montero and right-handed pitchers Tony Locey and Jake Sommers.

Montero, 22, owns a .269/.339/.413 line in six minor league seasons. His best year came in 2018, when he hit a combined .315/.371/.504 with 16 homers in 127 games between Low- and High-A. He struggled with the move to Double-A in 2019, hitting just .188/.235/.317 in 238 plate appearances. He’s the highest-ranked prospect of the bunch, coming in at No. 8 in the Cardinals’ system.

Locey, 22, flashed strong strikeout ability in his lone minor league season after being drafted in the third round in 2019. In 17 innings of relief work, Locey struck out 31 batters while issuing 12 walks across two lower-level stops. He ranks 19th in St. Louis’ system.

Sommers, 23, also has just one year of organized pro ball under his belt. He posted a 4.18 ERA in 12 appearances, 10 of which were starts, with 55 strikeouts and 19 walks in 51 2/3 innings at rookie-level Johnson City. Sommers does not rank among St. Louis’ top 30 prospects.

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