JUPITER, Fla. • Earlier attempts to offer or acquire the largest contract in club history had sent John Mozeliak to Nashville for a food, to Los Angeles to stump for the Cardinals, or just back and forth, pacing in a suite at a hotel close to a highway in Dallas.
This time he didn't have to leave the clubhouse.
With about two weeks left in spring training, Mozeliak, a coffee cup in his hand, went to the first baseman Paul Goldschmidt at his closet. The president of baseball operations who slipped between sentences wanted to take the temperature of Goldschmidt's interest in a contract expansion, which both parties knew would be the greatest ever completed for a cardinal.
Goldschmidt said he was looking forward to this idea. On Saturday, it began as an informal conversation about 1
"It was subtle, it was yes, relaxed, but a productive conversation," said Mozeliak. "What comes down to it was a common desire to get something done and not to miss that window was the most important thing."
During a sunbathing press conference on Saturday outside the clubhouse, Cardinals announced the contract that will nineteen Goldschmidt, 31, as a face of the franchise through 2024. His wife Amy and their two children, Jacob (3) and Emma (1), stood Nearby. His teammates, including some of the young pitching talent that lured Goldschmidt, stood like a group, towards the back to see the press.
The deal was beaten Thursday, completed Friday, and the event Saturday was scheduled because Goldschmidt was not expected to play. But he asked for the lineup to get two bat because he wanted to keep his timing after a three-hit Friday.
He was late for the press because there was no joke, the cardinals had to pull him out of the batting cage. Goldschmidt had not made any statement and just offered to take questions.
"I would focus on being on baseball," he said.
The contract includes a $ 20 million deficit bonus spread over the term of the contract and his annual salary will be $ 26 million starting in 2020 when the contract begins, a source confirmed. It will surpass Yadier Molina's $ 20 million salary as the biggest in club history.
The contract includes a non-trade clause and the usual prize bonuses such as the National League MVP and All-Star. Goldschmidt has twice completed runner-up in the MVP poll, and he comes from a sixth-ranked season after hitting 33 homers with 83 RBIs and a .533 slum-up percentage for Arizona.
The quick, friendly debate Mirror Goldid's immediate consolation with the cardinals, many of his teammates and officials – all before playing his first official game, let alone calling St. Louis home for a day. Shortly after, he was traded to the cardinals in a four-player swap with Arizona in early December, he asked the team for a local children's hospital that he could quietly do something before Christmas.
On his first day of camp more than a week early, he joined his teammates in drills – and hitched a trip home from Matt Carpenter. He approached relievers with pointers, asked pitchers to give him pointers, and received texts from former players who told him what suited the cardinals for him.
He and Matt Holliday talked about St. Louis schools.
"This is someone to build a team around, a leader of a leader, a man, a man in the community, and a pillar of the lineup," said former cardinals outfielder Holliday on Saturday.
He became friends with Goldschmidt after the latest cardinal reached out to learn about a program that Holliday had established for Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. "That's what they have in him. Guys like to be around people like that. Guys like being around other guys who are fasting who you know will be there and you know their numbers will be there. It is especially great for the young guys they have, which could be stars. You have a humble superstar who is still super-hungry to be great. "
Goldschmidt kept his thoughts on the extension and possible possible negotiations privately during spring training, although apologies sometimes to journalists who asked. He allowed Saturday that he thought it would be" beneficial "to conclude an agreement before the opening day
Mozeliak never felt there was a "hard deadline mentality" but he admitted Saturday that he did not believe a deal could be made in spring training.
The cardinals' approach was based on getting Goldschmidt to St. Louis before the home crowd and his family enter their new home. ("Let the fans be part of the negotiations," an official said.) On Saturday, Goldschmidt suggested that he also had no "hard deadline", just a desire to avoid contract thoughts, who trampled on his favorite summer focus, baseball 19659003] "You will not have any disturbance to the team or to the individual or organization," he said. "I was just looking forward to getting ready opening of the day and try to help us win. I think the most exciting thing for me is to be part of the cardinals and to be here for six years.
Learning to know where to play is quite rare. There are many good things about this game, but many times families move around, guys come to different cities and different teams more out of necessity than will. So being able to stay in one place was a high priority. "
Added Mozeliak:" It was very organic. … Really, the strategy was hope that is sometimes dangerous. But it worked. "
As far back as December 2011, Mozeliak awaited words from three-time MVP Albert Pujols' agent about whether a sennat Hail Mary at a Dallas hotel should keep him Cardinals keep him from one more lucrative angels offer it did not.It followed several years of hunting $ 100 million players and never landed Jason Heyward came and went to Chicago Mozeliak ate with lefty David Price in Nashville and the cardinals went to sleep one night and thought they had a deal to wake up only to the Boston pile and run their offer, President Bill DeWitt Jr. and Mozeliak led a recruiting visit to LA to try to swing NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton to accept a deal which Miami had already accepted.
Stanton invoked his non-trade clause.
Cardinals did not want to leave spring training without at least approaching Goldschmidt, to get an upscale Look for his interest in an extension, his preference for their approach. The conversation could be finished with Mozeliak's coffee still hot and still buying full, but it didn't. The informal chat around 8 am is a recent morning wasted in negotiations with Goldschmidt's agent, Casey Close, and first $ 100 million for Cardinals since January 2010 when they signed Holliday.
Everything because Mozeliak asked, this time he heard yes.
DeWitt congratulated Goldschmidt on the extension and quickly said he would "thank him for believing in the Cardinals and for what he will do for our franchise when we move into the future."
"I'm glad the feeling was mutual," Goldschmidt said. "It's great to be part of this tradition and I hope we will do some good things here."