The Arizona Diamondbacks continued their rebuilding efforts on Wednesday when they agreed to send first baseman Paul Goldschmidt to the St. Louis Cardinals. This deal comes in the wake of Patrick Corbin, another key player for the D-Backs, deciding to sign with the Washington Nationals on a six-year deal. Additionally, center fielder A.J. Pollock is not expected to resign in Arizona in his free agency.
In exchange for their star player, the Diamondbacks will receive pitcher Luke Weaver, infielder Andrew Young, catcher Carson Kelly, and a competitive balance round B draft pick in the 2019 amateur draft. This trade is being criticized by many as the players being obtained by the Diamondbacks are not expected to be able to match Goldschmidt’s contributions. In fact, the three new Arizona teammates are not even on St. Louis’ list of top 30 prospects.
However, others remain hopeful that Carson Kelly will be able to increase his offensive production and fill the role previously occupied by Jeff Mathis. Young has also received some support as many view him to be a bright young prospect in light of his recent performance in the Arizona Fall League. In any case, Diamondbacks fans shouldn’t expect anybody to be able to match Goldschmidt’s incredible 33 home runs and 83 RBIs.
In response to the trade, Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen stated, “Paul is possibly the top player in the National League, we understand that. We’ve understood that for a long time. He is the face of the franchise, neither of which were taken lightly.” While this trade was definitely done with the intent of focusing on the long-term outlook of the franchise, Hazen hesitates to use the term ‘rebuild.’
Hazen continued, “We think very highly of the players we got back. Kelly and Weaver, I think, will jump right on to the club. Weaver slots right in to the rotation and Kelly we see as an everyday catcher moving forward.”
While parting with a star player, particularly one of Goldschmidt’s caliber, is always a difficult decision to make, it is sometimes necessary for the benefits of a franchise’s future. While fans and analysts are sure to be critical of this trade, it may prove to be beneficial in the long run.
These sentiments were echoed by Hazen as he stated, “It’s a bittersweet day when you’re talking about trading someone of the caliber of Paul Goldschmidt. I think we’re hopeful in the long-term future given what we’ve acquired given what we have in the draft given, hopefully, the talent infusion that we’ll continue to see.”