JUPITER, Fla. — Before the Cardinals could assemble a crowd to welcome Paul Goldschmidt to Busch Stadium and begin the sales pitch to have him call St. Louis home for years to come, they were able to make a club-record commitment to their new first baseman.
The Cardinals and Goldschmidt are finalizing a five-year extension worth around $130 million, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. The deal is expected to be finalized by Saturday.
The extension will start after 2019 and carry through 2024.
The completion of the deal is pending a physical. That is scheduled for Friday, and a press conference to introduce Goldschmidt, 31, as a fixture for years to come could happen as soon as Saturday. It’s a swift resolution to conversations the Cardinals expected to go into the season as they introduced Goldschmidt to the home crowd and gave his family a chance to see what it was like to call St. Louis home in the summers.
John Mozeliak, Cardinals president of baseball operations, declined comment on any specific pending deal.
“We are working toward something,” he said.
The Cardinals felt their best edge was to surround Goldschmidt with Cardinals history and Cardinals tradition and sellout crowds and then present him with one of the largest offers ever from the club.
Goldschmidt’s extension surpasses Matt Holliday’s seven-year, $120-million contract as the largest in club history. He also surpasses Yadier Molina’s $20-million salary to become the highest paid Cardinal ever.
The Cardinals acquired the six-time All-Star from Arizona in a four-player deal that sent catcher Carson Kelly and pitcher Luke Weaver along with a draft pick and a prospect to the Diamondbacks. He arrived with one year remaining on his contract. He will make $15.5 million this season.
Since 2012, Goldschmidt has rivaled Cincinnati’s Joey Votto as the most productive first baseman in the National League. He’s one of six players with at least 200 home runs in the previous six seasons and he’s the only National League player who was a part of the past six All-Star teams.