Cardinals get slugger Paul Goldschmidt in blockbuster trade with D-backs

The St. Louis Cardinals have added some more pop to their lineup, trading for perennial MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports broke the news Wednesday afternoon, and the Cardinals were quick to confirm the deal, which includes three players and a draft pick going back to Arizona.

The two teams have been linked for a few days and seemed like a strong fit — with Goldschmidt entering free agency after this season, the D-backs looking to rebuild and the Cardinals looking to keep up with the Cubs and Brewers in the NL Central.

Goldschmidt, 31, is a two-time MVP runner-up who has averaged 31 homers and 105 RBIs per 162 games throughout his career. He’ll immediately take over at first base in St. Louis and hit in the middle of the order. Matt Carpenter, St. Louis’ versatile MVP candidate, will move back to the third base. With a nucleus of those two, plus Marcell Ozuna, Harrison Bader and Paul DeJong, the Cardinals are hoping to do better than their third-place finish in the NL Central.

Promising youngsters Carson Kelly and Luke Weaver headline the package going back to the D-backs. Kelly is a former second-round pick who was stuck behind Yadier Molina as St. Louis’ catcher and figures to be a frontline backstop for the D-backs. Weaver, 25, came into 2018 with a lot of hype and ultimately disappointed with a 7-11 record and 4.95 ERA, but he was quite good in 2017 and still has a lot of upside. Young, meanwhile, is a 24-year-old infielder who hit .289 with 21 homers across two levels of minor-league play last year.

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