On this date: St. Louis Cardinals acquire Paul Goldschmidt five years ago

The new franchise cornerstone became a Cardinal on this day and the relationship is as strong as ever today
St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles
St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

Before the 2018 winter meetings from December 9th-13th, there was lots of talk and buzz on the Arizona Diamondbacks exploring trade suitors to move their team leader in Paul Goldschmidt. They found two teams who were seriously interested up until the trade was announced. The reigning champions Houston Astros were in the thick of it and tried to acquire the best first baseman in the league. The team that won the sweepstakes was the St. Louis Cardinals

At the time, the Cardinals were in desperate need of a big bat. They had just finished 88-74, good for 3rd place in the National League Central, with the best hitters on their roster being Matt Carpenter and Marcell Ozuna. Carpenter, Ozuna, and Jose Martinez were the only players to post an OPS above .800 during the year, while their pitching staff was among the strongest in baseball.

The Cardinals acquired the six-time all-star for a package of minor league players including Carson Kelly, Luke Weaver, and Andy Young. Along with the players came a 2019 compensation B draft pick which was later used on outfielder Dominic Fletcher from the University of Arkansas, After five years to process the trade, it is an obvious answer that the Cardinals won this trade. Paul Goldschmidt has received MVP votes every season he has been in STL except for the 2023 season. Goldy won the award in 2022 by providing a slash line of .317/.404/.578/.981 (177 OPS+) with 41 2B, 35 HR, 115 RBI with a 7.8 WAR.

Kelly, Weaver, and Young all underperformed with the Diamondbacks and none are on the Diamondbacks' rosters anymore. All three combined have a career WAR of 3.4. Goldy in his five seasons with the Cardinals has produced 21.9 WAR. To go along with the MVP award, this trade is one of the most lopsided trades the Cardinals have ever accomplished in franchise history. Nolan Arenado's trade is an all-time heist that will be discussed for years to come. But the Paul Goldschmidt trade needs to be in the same discussion. The Cardinals acquired a future red jacket for the cost of nothing.