Arizona Diamondbacks

Cardinals Acquire Paul Goldschmidt Hoping He Can Fill Albert Pujols's Shoes

Paul Goldschmidt was a high school senior, watching from the upper deck in Houston, when Albert Pujols blasted a titanic home run for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2005 National League Championship Series.

But with one year to go before he hits free agency, the downsizing Diamondbacks traded Goldschmidt on Wednesday to the Cardinals, who finally found a fearsome slugger to replace Pujols in the middle of their lineup.

In exchange for Goldschmidt, the Diamondbacks acquired starter Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, the Class AA infielder Andrew Young and a competitive-balance round B draft pick in 2019.

Goldschmidt, who was a fan of the Houston Astros while he was growing up, was in the crowd in 2005 when Albert Pujols extended the National League Championship series with a mammoth home run of Brad Lidge.CreditHarry Cabluck/Associated Press

Diamondbacks General Manager Mike Hazen called Wednesday a bittersweet day, suggesting that Goldschmidt was “possibly the best player in the National League” and acknowledging that he was the franchise’s most visible star.

As for the Cardinals, they have tried and failed in recent years to lure superstars for the long term, pursuing David Price and Jason Heyward in free agency and Giancarlo Stanton in a trade .

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