Sunday marked the three-year anniversary of the St. Louis Cardinals’ trade for Paul Goldschmidt.
How could they not? Goldschmidt, 34, has been a franchise-altering player ever since coming to the Cardinals. In three seasons in St. Louis, he is hitting .280/.364/.491 with 71 home runs and 217 RBI, and has received MVP votes in each season, placing sixth in 2021. He also won his first Gold Glove with the Cardinals this season, though he has been elite defensively throughout his career.
The price to acquire Goldschmidt? Carson Kelly, Luke Weaver, Andy Young and a compensatory pick. Kelly was once a highly touted prospect, but is hitting only .228/.319/.401 with 36 home runs and 122 RBI in six seasons. Weaver, also a highly touted prospect, has a 4.64 ERA in six seasons, but has battled a plethora of injuries throughout his career. Young, meanwhile, has played in only 70 games for the Diamondbacks and is barely hitting over .200.
Put simply, the trade has turned out to be a coup for the Cardinals — and paired with Nolan Arenado, gives them a legitimate chance to win the World Series in 2022.
Goldschmidt was the Cardinals’ best player in 2021, keeping a consistently inconsistent offense afloat. He hit .294/.365/.514 with 31 home runs and 99 RBI and quieted any concerns that he was starting to regress at the plate.
Perhaps the most underappreciated aspect of Goldschmidt’s game is his durability. In three seasons in St. Louis, he has played in 377 of 384 games. That is only seven games missed. He has played in at least 155 games since 2015, which is relatively unheard of as teams value giving players days off to keep them fresh for a 162-game grind.
It’s one of many reasons why the Cardinals value Goldschmidt — and why on the three-year anniversary of the trade, the fanbase celebrated him. He’s had a Hall of Fame caliber career and why the Cardinals enter the 2022 season with a very real chance of winning the World Series.