The phone call came while Turner Ward was having breakfast in Los Angeles, about to go to the baseball field as a Dodgers first year coach. The previous summer, in 2015, had the same position with Arizona, climbing the ranks in the Diamondbacks system along with one of his best students, Paul Goldschmidt. Here's who was on the phone, all of a sudden.
Goldschmidt said that he and his wife had a gift for him and a condition.
"You can not say" no ", Goldschmidt told him, Ward Remembered.
Delivered to her house later there was a letter from Goldschmidt and a treasure, one that was a few rooms away on Thursday while Ward described the call. Every day at home, Ward passes the high-gloss Silver Slugger Award trophy that Goldschmidt gave him after winning it in 201
"The St. Louis Cardinals have – well, I mean a gem of a player, but it's actually a gold player, a person of gold," Ward said. "You've always heard of the best players in the game and how they can inspire others around them, make them all better, that's Paul. (As an opponent), you never wanted him in a big situation. Whether it is past or not, it is the strength of what it could do that has your attention. "
The Cardinals will present their new first baseman and annual MVP candidate Goldschmidt at a press conference Friday morning at Busch Stadium. The team will slip on a shirt – and courtship will start to see if this is the case and they are long-term.
The Cardinals has acquired Goldschmidt, a six-time All-Star, in a four-player tournament on Wednesday afternoon that has sent pitcher Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, small-leaguer Andy Young and a draft pick to 2019 at Diamondbacks. Goldschmidt, 31, immediately amplifies a training in search of that "force" in the middle. Comes with a season remaining on his contract, but all the traps of a player that the Cardinals will try to extend as they did with Matt Holliday more recently. The cardinals did not seek an opportunity to negotiate an extension with Goldschmidt before Wednesday's trade, although sources have described Thursday as having an idea of how it could be an extension. The seven-year extension of Jose Altuve with $ 163.5 million with Houston offers a hint on the understanding that Goldschmidt will be older at the end of the agreement
A shorter extension of five years in the $ 150 million neighborhood it would fit the market. The Cardinals intend to take their indications from Goldschmidt so that they can feel at ease and familiarize themselves with the organization and both parties can determine if this is the commitment they are ready to make. A handful of Goldschmidt peers interviewed in the last days volunteered to watch the game.
"He is honestly the perfect cardinal," said former cardinal midfielder Jon Jay, who had been Goldschmidt's team-mate in Arizona last summer.
four of the last five seasons, the Cardinals have had lower performances from the first base, a position of power. Only in 2015, that year Goldschmidt won the Silver Slugger in first base and gave it to Ward, the production of the Cardinals in the 28th place in OPS (.702) and 29 in slug (.392). The Cardinals have never had a shot in any position, providing 25 homers, 90 RBIs and 0,900 or more OPS since Lance Berkman and Albert Pujols both did it in 2011. In the past six seasons, Goldschmidt averaged 29 homers, 98 RBI and a .934 OPS.
The first time the Cardinals received a better than average production on the first base since 2013 was last summer, when Matt Carpenter's 0797 OPS ranked second in the major league table.
Goldschmidt & # 39; s. 922 ranked first.
Goldschmidt's presence gives the cardinals a monster at first in a division that has been defined by production in that position and by a recent MVP run. Seven of the last 11 National League MVPs have come from NL Central and four of these winners remain in the division: Christian Yelich (2018), Kris Bryant (2016), Ryan Braun (2011) and Joey Votto (2010). In the six seasons of Goldschmidt as a regular in the majors, his .934 OPS is behind only .957 of Votto among the first basemen, and Cubs midfielder Anthony Rizzo is in fifth place, at .864. Rizzo is also fifth at a disadvantage, at 493, behind Votto, whose 0.55 slugging is second among the first baseman since 2012.
Goldschmidt's first place of .534.
"It was a big division before that trade and even better now," Cuban president Theo Epstein told journalists in Chicago on Thursday. "Not having done the playoffs for three years in a row and having that kind of depth of younger talent – we expected (the Cardinals) to do another consolidation move for another great player, and they definitely have a player Elites in Paul Goldschmidt.
Officials, executives and cardinal owners reserved comments on trade until Friday's press conference.
Ward, who was recently hired as a Cincinnati coach, has a 39. an idea of u200b u200bthe impression that Goldschmidt will do, has seen him since he was the manager of the Gold Glove-winner to the AA class.
"There were some opponents out there who wondered if he could adapt to pitching of the great league, but that has never been, never, never a question for me, "Ward said." And he's mentally strong, he looks for adjustments, fits, and I've never had a player who was as good as he already was. he comes to me and says: & # 39; What should I do better? This is the best question the trainer will ever hear. "
With Goldschmidt as the answer to the great cardinals' hunt, the team has not yet finished shopping when the next week's winter meetings in Las Vegas arrive, Goldschmidt's $ 14.5 million salary for the 2019 gives cardinals flexibility to pursue a lone southpaw and a left-handed batsman for the bench.The Cardinals should meet with former MVP agent Bryce Harper next week in Las Vegas, and they will remain aware of his market and his They are better positioned now with the club they already wanted signed in. The Cardinals have also zeroed a place on the 40-man list with the Goldschmidt trade that rationalizes an addition – or allows them to participate in the draft of Rule 5 next week for players of the minor league not protected.
The Goldschmidt agreement did not hinder the Cardinals "Other activities while, as a NL scout said on Thursday, adds that" an impact bat … (e) instantly makes both the offense and the best infield defense. "
" Only strengthens that the Central BN must be earned and we have our work cut out for us, "Epstein told journalists in Chicago," and that's how it should be. "