With an eye on Cards' future, Goldy is all in

As long-term deal is being finalized, slugger talks about seamless transition to new team

March 22nd, 2019

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Sometime Thursday evening, after word spread that the Cardinals and had reached an agreement on a five-year extension, manager Mike Shildt called his All-Star first baseman.

The two had talked earlier about Goldschmidt’s plan to play the following day so that he could keep the timing he felt he had found. But with a physical to take Friday morning and an understanding that there could be questions and distractions throughout the day, Shildt deferred the final decision to Goldschmidt.

“Let’s play,” Goldschmidt responded.

And so he did, going 3-for-4 and falling a single short of the cycle in a 15-5 bludgeoning of the Mets that occurred while Goldschmidt’s new long-term contract was being finalized. The deal, which will reportedly be worth a franchise-record $130 million, is expected to be formally announced at a press conference on Saturday.

“Something is pretty close,” Goldschmidt said, dancing delicately around the topic on Friday afternoon. “Hopefully something will happen soon.”

While Goldschmidt asked to delay questions about the timing of these negotiations until after the team’s announcement, he did speak about his seamless transition into a new clubhouse this spring.

“It’s been great here -- the whole organization from top to bottom,” Goldschmidt said. “They were very welcoming. Such a great core here, I think, so it’s easy to come in as an outsider and just fit in. There has been a lot of success, guys who have won World Series as players and coaches. Just kind of fall in line and follow their lead.”

What he saw on the field also left a strong impression.

“I think [the talent level] just confirmed what I saw from the outside,” Goldschmidt said. “I remember last year [watching] the Cardinals [and noticing] there was a little bit of a turnover from where it went from being a little older team to a lot of really young guys. This team has the opportunity to be good for the next five or six years, because all these guys have only been in the big leagues for one year or two years. They’re guys who are still under contract for a couple years. The organization has potentially set itself up to be successful.”

That was a selling point, certainly, for a player whose next contract could take him to the end of his career. With one year left to play on his current contract and another five covered with his new extension, Goldschmidt will be in St. Louis through his age-36 season.

It also means Goldschmidt will be one of five players in the team’s Opening Day lineup under contract through at least the 2021 season. Much of the club’s pitching talent is locked in for the long-term, too. Alex Reyes won’t be a free agent until '22. Carlos Martinez, Miles Mikolas, Jack Flaherty, Jordan Hicks and Dakota Hudson can be under team control even longer than that.

Now the Cardinals are assured that Goldschmidt will be, too.

“It’s a huge deal,” Matt Carpenter said. “Obviously his track record speaks for itself, but his attention to detail in all phases of the game -- he’s very passionate about his defense, his baserunning, and all that stuff has an impact on everybody. He’s a very cerebral baseball player. He has very good insights on the way he sees the game. He’s just been a really good voice and one that we welcomed with opened arms.”