The Cardinals appear to be done downplaying their interest in inking Paul Goldschmidt to an extension that would keep the perennial All-Star first baseman in St. Louis beyond one season.
Six weeks after president of baseball operations John Mozeliak dodged a question about Goldschmidt's future fit by stating that "what I'm thinking about today is 2019," the tone has clearly changed. The organization used this weekend's Winter Warm-Up event as the start of a sales pitch that could continue through the season.
Manager Mike Shildt hosted Goldschmidt and his wife Amy at dinner on Saturday. Fans did their part in showing up despite frigid temperatures. And on Monday, owner Bill DeWitt Jr. laid out the long-term vision.
"Whenever a good player comes to the Cardinals, if they have a year left on their contract, we always think down the road," DeWitt said. "We'd love to have him here longer than one year, and we'll just see how that plays out."
Goldschmidt, 31, is due to hit free agency next winter after reaching the end of a contract that will have paid him $44 million over six years. The Cardinals understood the gamble of dealing away three young players — Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly and Andy Young — for the assurance of only one season with Goldschmidt. But their move was calculated.