The phone call came when Turner Ward was having breakfast in Los Angeles and was about to drive to the ballpark when the first Dodgers coach appeared as a racket-trainer in the first year. Last summer, in 2015, he was in the same position as Arizona and climbed the Diamondbacks system with one of his best students, Paul Goldschmidt. Out of the blue, he was on the phone.
Goldschmidt said he and his wife had a gift for him and a condition.
"You can not say no," said Goldschmidt to Ward's recall.
Later brought home at home was a letter from Goldschmidt and a sweetheart that was only a few rooms away when Ward described the call. Every day he's at home, Ward passes the big, shiny Silver Slugger Award trophy Goldschmidt presented after winning in 201
"The St. Louis Cardinals got – well, I want to say a gem of a player, but he's really a gold player, a gold person," Ward said. "You always hear about the best players in the game and how they do others It's Paul (as an adversary) You never wanted him to be in a big situation … When the game is at stake, whether it's come through or not, it's the power of what he can do that, and has your attention. "
The Cardinals will be presenting their new first baseman and annual MVP nominee Goldschmidt at a press conference on Friday morning at Busch Stadium .The team takes off a jersey – and begins advertising, to see if it's a permanent fit.
The Cardinals acquired Goldschmidt, a six-time All-Star, in a four-player deal on Wednesday afternoon, the pitcher sent Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, Andy Young underage leader and a 2019 draft pick for the Diamondbacks. Goldschmidt, 31, instantly reinforces a lineup looking for that "power" in the middle. He arrives on his contract for a remaining season, but any trappings of a player that the Cardinals will prefer will extend like Matt Holliday did. The Cardinals did not look for an opportunity to negotiate an extension with Goldschmidt before trading on Wednesday, although the sources on Thursday described how they have a sense of what an extension might look like. Jose Altuve's seven-year, $ 163.5 million expansion with Houston indicates that Goldschmidt will be older at the end of the deal.
A shorter five-year expansion near $ 150 million would fit in the market. The Cardinals intend to trust Goldschmidt to familiarize themselves with the organization and both sides can decide if this is the commitment they are ready for. A handful of Goldschmidts colleagues volunteered to survey the last days as they already see the game.
"He really is the perfect cardinal," said former cardinal fighter John Jay, who was Goldschmidt's teammate in Arizona last summer.
In Over the past five seasons, the Cardinals have had a below-average performance, a power position, from their first base. Only in 2015 Goldschmidt won the Silver Slugger on the first basis this year and handed it to Ward, the production of Cardinals in 28th place in OPS (.702) and 29th in Slugging (.392). The Cardinals had no hit anywhere, offering 25 homers, 90 RBIs and an OPS of 900 or more, since Lance Berkman and Albert Pujols both in 2011. Over the past six seasons, Goldschmidt has had 29 homers, 98 RBIs and a .934 OPS.
The first time the Cardinals have had an above-average production on the first base since 2013 was last summer, when Matt Carpenter's OPS was the first to reach the first position in the majors.
Goldschmidt's .922 came first.
The presence of Goldschmidt initially gives the Cardinals a monster in a division defined by production at that location and by a recent series of MVPs. Seven of the last 11 National League MVPs come from NL Central and four of them are still in the division: Christian Yelich (2018), Kris Bryant (2016), Ryan Braun (2011) and Joey Votto (2010). Goldsmith's six seasons as a regular in the majors put his .934 OPS behind Votors .957 in the first basemen, and Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo ranks fifth with .864. Rizzo is also in fifth place with 493, behind Votto, whose .516 since 2012 is the second among the first basemen.
Goldschmidt .534 comes first.
"It was a great division before this trade now better," said Cubs President Theo Epstein on Thursday in Chicago told reporters. "After not having made the playoffs for three years in a row and having so much up-and-coming talents, we (the Cardinals) were expecting another consolidation step for another great player, and they got a truly elite player with Paul Goldschmidt.
Cardinal officials, managers and owners have reserved comments on trading by Friday press conference.
Ward, who was recently hired as Cincinnati's batting coach, has an idea of the impression Goldschmidt will make. He's seen it since he was the manager of the Gold Glove winner in the AA class.
"There were some naysayers wondering if he could adapt to pitching the big league, but that was never a question for me, Ward said. "He's mentally strong, he's looking for adjustments, he's adapting, and I've never had a player as good as him who's come to me and said," What do I have to do better? "That's the best coach question you can ever hear."
Goldschmidt being the answer to Cardinals bat hunting, the team is not ready yet as the winter's winter meetings arrive in Las Vegas next week, Goldschmidt's salary is 14 $ 5 million for 2019 continues to give the Cardinals the flexibility to pursue an elite left-hander and a left-handed banker, and it is also expected that the Cardinals will meet with the former MVP Bryce Harper agent next week in Vegas and they are keeping an eye on his market and the contract he is pursuing – they are now better positioned with the bat they have been longing for, with the Goldschmidt trade streamlining an addition that solved Cardinals also a place in the 40-man squad, which gives them the opportunity to participate in the next rule draft for rule 5 for unprotected players from small leagues  The Goldschmidt deal does not hamper the Cardinals' other persecution, while an NL spy said on Thursday he added, "A blow … (and) instantly improves both the insult and defense defenses."
"It only strengthens the fact that the NL head office is earned and deserved." "We've done our job," Epstein told reporters in Chicago, "and so it should be. "