Paul Goldschmidt trade lamented by Arizona Diamondbacks fans more than 3 years later

On Dec. 5, 2018, the Arizona Diamondbacks traded Paul Goldschmidt to the St. Louis Cardinals in a deal that was maligned by many at the time.

As Goldschmidt continues his torrid start to the 2022 season, that trade is looking worse for Arizona.

Goldschmidt is hitting .352 for St. Louis this season. He has 11 home runs and 43 RBIs.

He also keeps coming up with timely, bit hits for the Cardinals, who are 28-21 on the season.

But it’s not just the numbers Goldschmidt is putting up that makes this trade still sting for Arizona. It’s also the lack of production from the players they got in return for the All-Star first baseman.

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Arizona received Carson Kelly, Luke Weaver and Andrew Young in the deal.

Kelly, a catcher, has hit .230 in 268 games in Arizona since the trade. He has 36 home runs and 113 RBIs. He has played in just 20 games this season.

Weaver, a pitcher, has gone 8-18 in 38 games with the Diamondbacks. He has a 4.48 ERA. Weaver has made just one appearance for the Diamondbacks in 2022.

Young had seven home runs and 19 RBIs and a .205 batting average in Arizona in two seasons before being put on waivers by Arizona in 2021.

Goldschmidt’s stats in St. Louis? He’s hit .289 in with 82 home runs and 260 RBIs since the trade.

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Why Diamondbacks traded Paul Goldschmidt

The Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro detailed why the Diamondbacks felt they had to trade Goldschmidt in a story shortly after the trade went down in 2018, writing about how money, Goldschmidt’s age and the club’s competitive cycle played roles in the decision.

He wrote: “But all indications are that Goldschmidt is not looking to take another team-friendly deal like the one the Diamondbacks gave him early in his career. He is represented by agent Casey Close, who has a reputation for securing massive contracts, and sources indicated that preliminary conversations with Goldschmidt’s camp left the Diamondbacks less than confident they would be able to reach an agreement. Whatever the length and size of the contract, it likely would have been a risky deal for a mid-market club like the Diamondbacks. Not just to fit him into their current payroll structure, but to be able to move forward successfully if Goldschmidt’s production were to dip even slightly in the coming years.”

Interestingly, Piecoro ended his analysis with this: “The move almost certainly ranks as the most controversial decision in franchise history. The trade of outfielder Justin Upton in 2013 drew mixed reviews but he wasn’t nearly as beloved as Goldschmidt. Declining outfielder Luis Gonzalez’s option and the decision to let left-hander Randy Johnson depart as a free agent were different given where that they were in the twilight of their careers. Whether, in the final reckoning, it was the right move might not be clear for years. But the Diamondbacks had their reasons for thinking it was — and they went for it, armed with the knowledge it probably wouldn’t be well received.”

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Social media laments Diamondbacks’ Goldschmidt trade … in 2022

Twitter has had thoughts on the Diamondbacks trade in the wake of Goldschmidt’s performance with the Cardinals in 2022 …

… and they have not been favorable for Arizona.

Did the Diamondbacks make the right move trading Goldschmidt in 2018?

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Reach Jeremy Cluff at jeremy.cluff@arizonarepublic.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

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