The latest Nolan Arenado trade rumor is a double-edged sword for the Cubs

While getting Nolan Arenado out of the NL Central would be nice, there are bigger picture ramifications if he joins this NL West powerhouse.
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

Woo, boy. Ahead of this weekend's series in St. Louis, we've got a major trade rumor swirling - and it involves Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado and the workings of a deal that would send him to the Los Angeles Dodgers ahead of Aug. 1.

The Dodgers are reportedly the "only" team Arenado would waive his no-trade clause for, although that report has since been refuted by his agent. Either way, this has the makings of a blockbuster deal that would send the eight-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glover and five-time Silver Slugger to Los Angeles.

Now, a Cubs fan may see this and think, "Great - get him out of St. Louis and out of the division." While there's certainly some merit in viewing the rumor through that lens, if we take back a step - it's clear this could actually have some major negative ramifications for Chicago long-term.

Cubs would love to see Nolan Arenado out of St. Louis; but the Dodgers would be a powerhouse with him added to the mix

With the introduction of the balanced schedule this year, you see fewer divisional matchups than in years past. That means fewer head-to-heads between St. Louis and Chicago. Yes, seeing the Cardinals without Arenado is certainly a 'plus' - but it's not as big of a subtraction as in years past, when it seemed like every game was against a division foe.

For years, the Dodgers have largely been viewed as the toast of the Senior Circuit - and with good reason. They've been to the World Series three times since 2017, winning it all during the shortened 2020 campaign. The NL West has run through Chavez Ravine for more than a decade, with a team other than LA winning the division crown just once since 2013.

Arenado joining the likes of former MVPs Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman gives the Dodgers a heart of the order most teams dream of possessing. Never mind the fact the lineup is quality, top to bottom, with All-Star backstop Will Smith, Max Muncy and Chris Taylor all ready to do damage in any given at-bat, as well.


Arenado and Freeman would give the Dodgers the best infield corner combo in the game. And while getting the former out of the NL Central may seem like a win, adding more firepower to a team that is already a preemptive frontrunner for Shohei Ohtani this winter could spell trouble as the Cubs return to postseason play that could result in a potential October matchup against a juggernaut of a lineup.