Dbacks trade Paul Goldschmidt to the St. Loius Cardinals in exchange for RHP Luke Weaver, C Carson Kelly, INF Andy Young, and a 2019 CBB Draft Pick.
Losing the face of the franchise is always an end. Sometimes that end is sharper and harsher than others. When Upton was traded in 2013, the team quickly transitioned from the Upton Era to the Goldschmidt Era, and Goldy came close to winning the MVP. Now, at the end of the Goldschmidt era, it seems as if the team will spend the next couple years without a clear face or an identity. Chances are another Goldy will not pop up; we won’t get a second chance.
Trading away the face of the franchise is a resignation. It’s admitting that mistakes were made, and now the team will pay the consequence for it. However, trading away the best player in the league is a full surrender. It wasn’t just one mistake; it was mistake after mistake after mistake combined with poor timing and bad luck that knocked the team over until they realize they won’t be competitive any more. A lot has to go wrong to waste a talent so great as Goldy.
Three different regimes have tried to drag a Goldy-fueled team to the division crown, and three different regimes have failed. Trying to improve the team. they have made it worse trading away Ender Inciarte, Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger, and Max Scherzer. Towers chose the 2013 season to give up on the previous face of the franchise, only for Goldy to pull the team to .500, Stewart handcuffed the team with expensive signings of Yasmany Tomas and Zack Greinke, and Hazen remained quiet in the 2017-18 offseason, the last chance before the inevitable came.
But although the glaring mistakes are the main reason that Goldy is now in a different shade of red, timing and luck certainly have not been on the Dbacks side. Miller and Walker, the returns of the trades that ultimately doomed the team, both ended up under the knife. Pollock couldn’t stay healthy; Lamb, Souza Jr., and Ray all had unexpected downturns. All this while sharing the division with one of the most powerful, richest dynasties in baseball history.
And then Pollock and Corbin walked in the same year while the payroll was getting out of hand. It’s this part that is the best reason why Goldy is gone: what had been working can’t work any more. If only Corbin or only Pollock left, perhaps Hazen tries to plug the hole and move on. If the salary was not at its highest in franchise history, he could sign one, or both, of the guys back and move on from there. But instead, both A.J. and Patrick will play elsewhere next season because Kendrick cannot, or will not, spend the money neccesary to sign them.
The front office could have tried one last time, to pretend that the writing was not on the wall, to ignore the crippling mistakes and give it one more shot. But sometimes it’s more important to know when to surrender. We will never get to know what could have happened in 2019, but the chances of returning to October baseball seemed slim. Failing hurts, but sometimes it isn’t the failure that hurts the most but accepting that you have failed and working to change things in the future. While sending our Goldy to St. Louis, the Dbacks have done just that; they have acknowledge that they failed, and they used their resources to give them a smaller chance of failing in the future. But it hurts more than failing itself.
Welcome to the end of the Goldschmidt Era, to the day we’ve all wanted to avoid. Regardless, the sun rose over the desert this morning, as it will on Opening Day this April. That first week Luke Weaver will pitch with Carson Kelly behind the plate, and somebody different at first base. The transition is going to be ugly, and Chase Field will be empty. Maybe, the organization has turned a corner, and the pieces acquired yesterday afternoon will hoist the trophy; maybe Goldy’s talent won’t be put to waste. But for now, all we know is that this is the end, and that we will never forget 44.