It was a painful and heart-breaking commerce for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, and if anybody is aware of the sensation, it’s the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Diamondbacks traded the guts and soul of their franchise, All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, nearly seven years to the day the Cardinals watched the face of their franchise, Albert Pujols, depart for the Los Angeles Angels.

The D-backs, who drafted and signed Goldschmidt in 2009,  knew they must fork out an entire lot of cash to maintain him as a free agent after the 2019 season. 

Goldschmidt is a six-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger and three-time Gold Glove winner in his eight seasons with the membership. He has hit 30 or extra homers in 4 of his final six seasons, together with 33 homers with 83 RBI this 12 months.

They merely weren’t ready to do it, not once they’re about to enter a rebuild. So that they traded him Wednesday to the Cardinals in a robust package deal for catcher Carson Kelly, beginning pitcher Luke Weaver, minor-league infielder Andrew Younger and a competitive-balance decide.

The Cardinals bought the power-hitting first baseman they’ve missed since Pujols’ departure, and the D-backs bought a begin on their rebuild.

“Actually it’s a bittersweet choice on our half,’’ D-backs basic supervisor Mike Hazen stated. “I don’t suppose I might overestimate the impression Paul has had on this franchise, this crew, the group and the group.

“It was actually a tough choice simply going by this course of.’’

Actually, it was gut-wrenching. The D-backs are braced for a extreme backlash from their fanbase. Goldschmidt and Arizona Cardinals All-Professional vast receiver Larry Fitzgerald Jr. are icons locally. Goldschmidt was maybe one of the best place participant in D-backs historical past.

“He was arguably one of the best participant within the Nationwide League,’’ Hazen stated.

The D-backs already watched starter Patrick Corbin stroll away for $140 million to hitch the Nationals. Middle fielder A.J. Pollock quickly will depart for larger riches. They’re attempting to commerce ace Zack Greinke. Outfielder David Peralta and starter Robbie Ray could also be subsequent.

But, nothing stings greater than Goldschmidt’s departure. Hazen and supervisor Torey Lovullo confirmed their respect by breaking the information to him in particular person at Lovullo’s residence in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The followers, simply as they had been in St. Louis seven years in the past, are completely irate. “We fully perceive,’’ Hazen stated. “We actually took into consideration once we had been considering by this choice extensively.’’

But, they weren’t going to compete in 2019 for a World Collection with Goldschmidt, so that they figured they could as nicely construct for the longer term now.

“We have to get to a spot the place we’re hoisting a World Collection trophy,’’ Hazen stated. “It was getting more durable with losses in free company [Corbin and Pollock]. It’s exhausting to lose that a lot expertise, and be capable to re-imagine the crew in the identical actual manner with out making adjustments.’’

The D-backs, who had preliminary contract extension talks with Goldschmidt that didn’t go anyplace, stated they had been ready to maintain him except they bought the deal they wished. The Cardinals delivered. They’ve missed the playoffs three consecutive seasons for the primary time in 20 years, and have been looking for an influence bat in the course of the lineup because the day Pujols left.

The Cardinals tried to amass slugger Giancarlo Stanton a 12 months in the past, however he rejected the commerce earlier than transferring to New York. They expressed preliminary curiosity in free brokers Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, however determined to move. Now, they’ve bought simply the person they should give them a shot to win the NL Central, with out giving up any integral piece to their lineup.

Goldschmidt is good for St. Louis. He could have just one 12 months left on his contract, however he’ll fall in love with St. Louis, and the Cardinals and their fanbase will fall in love with him. It will likely be no totally different than when Mark McGwire got here to St. Louis. Or Jim Edmonds. Or Matt Holliday. All of them signed long-term contracts inside a 12 months to remain.

It may very well be a magical summer time once more in St. Louis, and it actually will likely be fairly a scene June 21-23 at Busch Stadium.

That’s when Pujols and the Angels will likely be making his first journey to St. Louis since his departure on Dec. 8, 2011.

Lastly, the torch formally will be handed.

Comply with Nightengale on Twitter @BNightengale



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