On Dec. 5, 2018, the Arizona Diamondbacks traded their cornerstone first baseman Paul Goldschmidt to the St. Louis Cardinals for a package of prospects and a compensatory pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. The Diamondbacks hoped that the prospect haul would help reload their farm system, and set them up extremely well for the future.
Four years later, the trade has not aged particularly well for the Diamondbacks. Included in the prospect haul were pitcher Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, outfielder Andrew Young, and the no. 75 pick of the 2019 MLB Draft, outfielder Dominic Fletcher.
Weaver, the no. 11 pick of the 2011 MLB Draft, had already reached the big leagues, struggling in 2018, posting a 4.95 ERA. After logging a cumulative 4.45 ERA over his first three seasons with the Diamondbacks, the club eventually traded him to the Kansas City Royals, midway through the 2022 season, in exchange for infielder Emmanuel Rivera.
Kelly was the no. 3 prospect in the Cardinals farm system at the time. After slashing just .211/.282/.617 in 2022, the Diamondbacks traded for young catcher Gabriel Moreno in Dec. Kelly agreed to a one-year, $4.275 million contract to avoid arbitration earlier this month. He’ll remain with the Diamondbacks, but Moreno will certainly cut into some of his playing time. Kelly hasn’t been the franchise catcher the Diamondbacks hoped he would be.
Young made his MLB debut in 2020. Over 70 games between 2020 and 2021, Young slashed .205/.319/.780. He was outrighted off of the Diamondbacks 40-man roster in Nov. 2021, and is currently a free agent.
Fletcher, 25, was recently added to the Diamondbacks roster. He excelled in both Double-A and Triple-A last season, slashing .312/.378/.864 between both levels.
Meanwhile, Goldschmidt just won the National League MVP Award as a member of the Cardinals, while leading the National League in Slugging Percentage (.578), OPS (.981) and OPS+ (180), while batting .317 with a .404 On Base Percentage and 35 home runs and 115 RBI. Goldschmidt has received NL MVP votes in each season he has played with the Cardinals.
The Cardinals have a strong track record of boosting their clubs via trade, and Goldschmidt is no exception. The Goldschmidt trade could go down as the best in franchise history for the Redbirds.
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