PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The Arizona Diamondbacks may be in full rebuild mode.
After not resigning starting pitcher Patrick Corbin, the team made a blockbuster trade on Wednesday with their best player.
The D-backs sent first baseman Paul Goldschmidt to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-handed pitcher Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, infielder Andrew Young and a 2019 Competitive Balance Round B draft pick.
Welcome to Arizona! The #Dbacks have acquired right-handed pitcher Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, infielder Andrew Young and a 2019 Competitive Balance Round B draft pick from the Cardinals in exchange for Paul Goldschmidt. pic.twitter.com/ylANMvt8kU— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) December 5, 2018
Goldschmidt has been an All-Star the last six seasons. He has won the Silver Slugger Award four times and the Rawlings Gold Glove Award three times. He finished sixth in the NL MVP Award voting in 2018.
He made his MLB debut with the Diamondbacks in 2011 and has a career .297 batting average with 209 home runs and 710 RBIs and was runnerup in the NL MVP voting in 2013 and 2015. He has hit 30 or more home runs in four of the last six seasons.
Weaver, 25, was 7-11 with a 4.95 ERA and 121 strikeouts in 30 games for the Cardinals in 2018, including a 3.57 ERA over his final eight starts. He was long rated among the top St. Louis prospects.
Kelly, 24, was ranked by Baseball Prospectus as a Top 7 catcher in 2017-18 at Triple-A. He has played for the Cardinals in parts of the past three seasons, batting .154. He’s been highly regarded for his defensive ability.
Young, 24, finished fifth in the 2018 Arizona Fall League with a .936 OPS, was a midseason All-Star in 2018 at Single-A Advanced Palm Beach.
The draft choice that Arizona got will come after the second round, likely a pick somewhere in the high 70s or low 80s.
Goldschmidt has a $14.5 million salary next year, receives a $1 million assignment bonus for the trade and will be eligible for free agency after next season. The Cardinals believed they needed a boost in the middle of their lineup to compete with the likes of Milwaukee and the Cubs in the NL Central.
Arizona went 82-80 in the NL West and finished behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado, who both made the playoffs.
The Diamondbacks, obviously in rebuilding mode, parted ways with a homegrown player who grew to be the face of the franchise but is nearing the end of an extremely team-friendly contract. The quiet slugger, an eighth-round draft pick out of Texas State in 2009, quickly moved through the Arizona minor league system.
In 2013, Goldschmidt hit 36 home runs and drove in 125. In 2017, he matched that home-run high with 36 and drove in 120.
Despite an awful start to last season, he bounced back to once again become a powerful force. Goldschmidt was the Diamondbacks’ franchise leader in slugging percentage and on-base percentage.
“This was an extremely difficult decision given how much Paul has meant to our team both on and off the field. 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,” Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall said.