On one of his first days calling the shots for the Arizona Diamondbacks, former general manager Dave Stewart, who earned a reputation as a steely-eyed, no-nonsense starting pitcher, beamed as he talked about the first baseman he inherited.
Stewart described how every morning he could wake up and “know the sun is brighter because Paul Goldschmidt is on my team.”In a move several weeks in the making and several years in the chasing, the Cardinals acquired six-time All-Star Goldschmidt from Arizona in a four-player trade finalized Wednesday afternoon.
Goldschmidt, 31, will anchor the infield as a Gold Glove-winning first baseman and add the desired name-brand fear factor to the Cardinals’ lineup as a perennial MVP candidate.
Goldschmidt, who will be introduced and presented with a Cardinals’ jersey in St.
Louis on Friday, brings the best credentials to first base of any player the Cardinals have had there since Albert Pujols left for California after the 2011 World Series championship.
To complete the deal, the Cardinals sent pitcher Luke Weaver, a former first-round pick; rookie Carson Kelly, one of the top catching prospects in baseball; and Class AA infielder Andy Young to the Diamondbacks, along with a compensation draft pick in 2019.“While I will miss my brother Luke Weaver and my good friend Carson Kelly, I know who we are getting in this trade is a total game-changing type of player,” pitcher Adam Wainwright said.
“Goldy is one of the best players our game has to offer and a great person.
He brings so much to the table that will help our team.”Goldschmidt has one year remaining on his contract and can be a free agent 12 months from now.
The Cardinals did not request an opportunity from Arizona to talk to him about an extension, a source confirmed, as they preferred to use the coming season to allow both sides to get to know each other.
The team will sell Goldschmidt on the city as it also considers a commitment to him into his late 30s and determines if he’s a long-term fit.
Cardinals ownership has stressed this winter that it preferred to acquire a strong hitter for the middle of the order via trade and to try later to negotiate a long-term deal as the Cardinals did with Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds and Matt Holliday, but not Jason Heyward.
Goldschmidt’s acquisition intensifies the importance of 2019 for the Cardinals, who will have Marcell Ozuna, Michael Wacha and Miles Mikolas all potential free agents by November.