PHOENIX -- The Paul Goldschmidt Era came to an end for the D-backs on Wednesday as the club dealt the All-Star first baseman to the Cardinals in exchange for catcher Carson Kelly, right-hander Luke Weaver, Minor League infielder Andy Young and St. Louis' Compensation Round B selection in next year's
PHOENIX -- The Paul Goldschmidt Era came to an end for the D-backs on Wednesday as the club dealt the All-Star first baseman to the Cardinals in exchange for catcher Carson Kelly, right-hander Luke Weaver, Minor League infielder Andy Young and St. Louis' Compensation Round B selection in next year's Draft.
Goldschmidt, who was selected by the D-backs in the eighth round of the 2010 Draft, made his big league debut on Aug. 1, 2011. He appeared in six All-Star Games, won four Silver Slugger Awards, three Rawlings Gold Glove Awards and finished second in the National League Most Valuable Player Award voting twice (2013 and '15).
The 31-year-old leaves the D-backs as the franchise's leader in OPS (.930), on-base percentage (.398), slugging percentage (.532), walks (655) and is second in home runs (209), RBIs (710), doubles (267), hits (1,182) and games played (1,092).
"Paul is possibly the best player in the National League," D-backs general manager Mike Hazen said. "We understand that and we've understood that for a very long time. He has been the face of this franchise, neither of which were taken lightly when we made this decision."
While Hazen knew the move would be unpopular with much of the fan base, he also realized that Goldschmidt was in the final year of his contract and there was no guarantee that any talk of an extension would yield results.
And with veteran Zack Greinke making roughly $32 million in each of the next three years and Yasmany Tomas making $32.5 million over that same period, it made signing Goldschmidt to a big-money deal untenable.
So, if the D-backs held onto Goldschmidt through the offseason they would get less value in a trade at next year's July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, and if he left via free agency at the end of the 2019 season the best they would end up with would be a compensation pick after the first round of the 2019 Draft.
By making the deal with the Cardinals, the D-backs got the comp pick (albeit in the Compensation B Round rather than the Compensation A Round they would have gotten if Goldschmidt left via free agency), a pair of players that they feel can help them in 2019 and are under control for the next six years (Kelly) and five years (Weaver). Plus, they get a talented young infielder in Young.
"There are decisions that you want to do and there are decisions you feel like you have to do," Hazen said. "I feel like this fell in the category of the latter, just in terms of what it means for us moving forward."
The D-backs do not plan on doing a rebuild, but rather a retooling, so they focused on receiving Major League-ready talent in return.
Kelly, who was blocked in St. Louis by Yadier Molina, figures to slide into a three-person mix behind the plate with Alex Avila and John Ryan Murphy. The 24-year-old is regarded as an excellent defender and handler of pitchers, a huge point of emphasis for the D-backs.
Weaver will go into the D-backs rotation, joining Greinke, Robbie Ray, Zack Godley and the recently signed Merrill Kelly. Taijuan Walker is expected to be back in May following last year's Tommy John surgery.
Young, 24, has played second, short and third during his time in the Minors with the Cardinals advancing as high as Double-A. He hit .301 during the recently completed Arizona Fall League.
"Certainly, we think very highly of the players we got back," Hazen said. "Kelly and Weaver, I think, jump right on to the club. Weaver slots into the rotation and Kelly we see, obviously, as an everyday catcher moving forward. Andy Young is somebody that we scouted pretty extensively, most notably and most recently in the Fall League, where he had a tremendous season and then a tremendous Fall League."
And the D-backs get the Cardinals' 2019 pick in the Competitive Balance Round B of the Draft. That, along with their own No. 1 pick, the 26th overall pick (as compensation for not signing last year's first-round pick), their own Competitive Balance pick, two comp picks for the expected signing of Patrick Corbin with the Nationals, the expected signing elsewhere of A.J. Pollock and their own second-round pick gives the D-backs seven picks in roughly the first 80 or so in the 2019 Draft.
"We should be in a good position there to continue to infuse talent from a long-term standpoint," Hazen said.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.