The Arizona Diamondbacks traded their long-time first baseman, Paul Goldschmidt, to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for three prospects and a draft pick.
The Diamondbacks missed the playoffs this past season after a late collapse and have entered rebuilding mode. The Cardinals play in the toughest division in baseball, competing against the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs, which is why they have not gone to the postseason since 2015. The Cards hope Goldschmidt is one of the new additions that can put them back on top of the NL Central.
– St. Louis acquires: 1B Paul Goldschmidt
– Arizona acquires: RHP Luke Weaver, C Carson Kelly, IF Andy Young, and Round B comp pick.
The Diamondbacks will receive a 2019 Competitive Balance Round B compensation pick as part of the Goldschmidt deal.
Paul Goldschmidt, 31, is the best all-around position player for the Arizona Diamondbacks in their brief 20-year history. He hits with power and has a great glove. The first baseman hit at least 33 homeruns in four of the previous six seasons.
In eight seasons with the D-backs, the 31-year old from Texas State is a career .297 hitter with 209 homeruns and 710 RBIs. He leads all active first basemen with 124 stolen bases. Goldschmidt also won three Gold Glove awards and four Silver Sluggers.
This past season, Goldschmidt hit .290 with 33 homeruns and 83 RBIs.
Arizona Fire Sale
The Diamondbacks last won the NL West crown in 2011. In 2017, the Diamondbacks won 97 games and went to the playoffs as a Wild Card team. They beat the Colorado Rockies in the NL Wild Card, but failed to advance past the 2017 NLDS when they were swept by the LA Dodgers.
This past season, the D-backs were in the thick of the playoff race until a late-summer collapse. They finished 82-80 for third place in the NL West, behind the Dodgers and Rockies.
Earlier this week, left-handed pitcher Patrick Corbin signed a six-year deal with the Washington Nationals. The Nats might have overpaid with a deal worth $140 million, but the Diamondbacks were never really in the cards for Corbin. The New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies were both interested in signing Corbin, but he ultimately decided to join the Nats and their other two aces, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.
The Diamondbacks chose not to open up the checkbook for Goldschmidt. Once they lost Corbin, the team opted to rebuild and quickly shipped out Goldschmidt. The could have gotten a better deal if they held out to hear other offers, but the D-Backs wanted instant closure.
“This was an extremely difficult decision given how much Paul has meant to our team both on and off the field,” Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall said. “He represents everything it means to be a D-back, and we are very thankful to him for all that he has done for our franchise and our fans.”
“Paul is possibly the best player in the National League,” said Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen. “We understand that. We’ve understood that for a long time.”
On a positive side, the Diamondbacks acquired three good prospects in return and a compensation pick in next year’s draft. Luke Weaver, a 25-year old right-handed pitcher, is a former first round pick from the 2014 draft. In 25 starts this season, Weaver went 7-11 with 121 strikeouts and a 4.95 ERA. Meanwhile, Carson Kelly is regarded as one of the top catching prospects in the Cardinals organization.
Welcome to STL
After winning the NL Central for three straight years from 2013 to 2015, the Cardinals missed the postseason in three straight seasons.
The Cardinals happen to be in one of the most difficult divisions in MLB. Yet, the Cards still finished in third place with a 88-74 record. The Brewers needed a 163rd game to clinch the NL Central in a tiebreaker against the Chicago Cubs.
The Cards drastically improved their roster without giving up any starters in exchange for Goldschmidt.
“We’ve been busy this offseason working to upgrade our lineup,” said Cardinals president John Mozeliak. “Today we are excited to announce the acquisition of one of the game’s premier players.”
Goldschmidt is the steady big bat they’ve been craving ever since Albert Puljos left the team. The Cards attempted to woo Giancarlo Stanton to the Midwest last season, but he politely declined.
When looking at a projected lineup for the upcoming season, Matt Carpenter will lead off and Goldschmidt will most likely bat third behind Marcell Ozuna in the cleanup spot.
It’s up to the St. Louis Cardinals to now re-sign Goldschmidt, who is the last year of his current contract. He could walk completely and sign a deal with another team, but the Cardinals intend to lock him up for the future.
The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas currently lists the Cardinals at 15-1 odds to win the 2019 World Series. The Diamondbacks fell to 100-1 after losing Corbin and Goldschmidt.