Stealing a gem worth more than $200 million would result in a life sentence among everyday citizens.

Luckily, we are talking major league baseball in the sense.

St. Louis is the Jesse James of baseball.

Pulling off trades and sending virtually nothing back to the other organization has been a normal process for the Cardinals in the past 20 years.


It's similar to buying gold, but paying for it in Monopoly money.

On Saturday, the Cardinals pulled off another robbery when they landed Colorado's Nolan Arenado — the game's best third baseman and arguably one of the best players baseball has ever seen.

Rumored to be potentially coming to St. Louis the past several off-seasons, Arenado is now sure to be donning the birds on the bat in 2021, as the Cardinals and Arenado made it official Monday.

None of the club's top-tier prospects will be shipped out in the deal — adding insult in injury for the Rockies ownership.

That means the organization's No. 1 prospect, Nolan Gorman — also a third baseman — will remain in St. Louis, along with last year's first-round draft pick, Jordan Walker — a hot corner prospect as well.

One of the biggest takeaways from the transaction is that Colorado will be sending $50 million cash to the Cardinals, along with Arenado and his remaining $199 million contract. 

What kind of player will the Cardinals get in Arenado, who is well on his way to a hall of fame career?

The numbers do not lie, but the hometown of Denver plays a role in stats due to the elevation and the hitter's haven of Coors Field.

Nonetheless, since 2015 Arenado leads all third basemen in games played (835), hits (952), home runs (207) and OPS (.926).

He also sports a 33.0 WAR in the past six season, which ranks third across baseball, trailing only Mike Trout and Mookie Betts. The stat is first among third basemen during that time.

Arenado has also earned eight Gold Gloves at the hot corner in his first eight seasons and leads all active third basemen in fielding runs and ranks 11th all-time at the position.

In the past two decades, the Cardinals have stolen players for pennies, which have turned into absolute gems for the club.

•David Freese was added to the Cardinals in 2007 for fan-favorite Jim Edmonds. Freese would put together stellar seasons for the Cardinals during his time, including becoming a hero for his walk-off home run in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series — which the Cardinals would win the next day over Texas.

•Scott Rolen made his way to Baseball Heaven in 2002, putting together years of what is soon to be a hall of fame career while also winning the hearts of Cardinals fans. Rolen, a defensive specialist at third base and a key power hitter for the Cardinals, would help the club to the 2006 world title. St. Louis gave up virtually nothing in return, sending Placido Polanco and pitchers Mike Timlin and Bud Smith out of town. He would be named to the All-Star team four times, was fourth in the MVP race once and took home three Gold Gloves as a Cardinal.

•Matt Holliday became a Cardinal in 2009 after having monster seasons in Colorado. Though the numbers dipped slightly in St. Louis, Holliday became a vital piece of the Cardinals powerful lineup that year and years following. Holliday would help the Cardinals to the 2011 title. Again, St. Louis sent virtually nothing in return. He was a four-time All-Star with the Cardinals and also won the Silver Slugger Award his first full season in St. Louis

•The offseason of 2003 proved to be monumental for St. Louis as it received Adam Wainwright, Jason Marquis and Ray King in exchange for past-prime J.D. Drew and catcher Eli Marrero. Wainwright, who just signed likely for his last year of his career with the Cardinals, would immediately win over hearts of Cardinals fans, especially when he struck out Carlos Beltran with a knee-breaking curve in the final game of the 2006 NLCS, sending his team to the World Series, which the Cardinals won over Detroit. Marquis and King would play huge roles for St. Louis as they helped hold the rest of the National League at gun point for years.

•In 2000, Jim Edmonds would come to St. Louis. Again, the Cardinals gave up nothing for one of the game's greatest defensive center fielders. Edmonds immediately was received with open arms in St. Louis. Not to mention his left-handed power. He would play hero in the 2004 NLCS. In Game 6, Edmonds smashed the walk-off game-winner over the Houston Astros before returning the next night to make possibly one of the greatest catches in Cardinals history. The diving snag would save runs and potentially saved the game, sending St. Louis to the 2004 World Series.

•With everything the Cardinals have stolen the past two-plus decades, one trade still holds a special place among Cardinals Nation — Mark McGwire 1997. Though he is smothered by the steroid era, McGwire's time in St. Louis still runs deep to this day. He helped save the game with the home run chase of 1998. He was the ultimate fan favorite. He was the biggest star in the game for about five seasons and gave St. Louis memories it will never forget. Again, he came to the Cardinals for absolutely nothing in return.

While the Cardinals are typically non-players in the off-season, when they decide to play, those additions usually result into championships.

Arenado is a question mark as to how big this transaction will be among history, but if history indeed repeats itself, the next several years will be heaven for Cardinals fans.