Paul Goldschmidt’s move from Arizona to St. Louis made Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts so happy, he was smelling roses.
Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon, not so much.
St. Louis acquired the six-time All-Star first baseman from the Diamondbacks last week for pitcher Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, minor league infielder Andy Young and a 2019 draft pick.
“I don’t like the Diamondbacks right now at all, I really don’t,” Maddon said Tuesday, knowing the NL Central rival Cardinals had strengthened their batting order. “When he sashays into the clubhouse and everybody sees him walking in there, they all become better. That definitely makes them much more difficult to beat next year.”
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Roberts’ Dodgers will face Goldschmidt a lot less frequently in the NL West.
“Goldy, he can stay in the Central as long as he wants. I’m trying to work getting him in the American League next,” Roberts said. “I hope he’s happy. I got to send him flowers.”
Goldschmidt can become a free agent after next season. Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo and general manager Mike Hazen broke the news in a meeting at Lovullo’s house.
“Inside of my baseball life, it was probably one of the hardest days I ever had,” Lovullo said. “I got the phone call that morning that it was going to happen. And Mike wanted to tell him face to face, which I thought was a pretty honorable thing. Sometimes in those situations you’ll tell somebody over the phone or somebody else may deliver a message.”
A three-time Gold Glove winner at 31, Goldschmidt hit .290 with 33 home runs and 83 RBIs last season.
“In typical Paul form, he was already pushing forward and thinking about the future rather than dwelling on some of the things that did or didn’t happen the way that they were supposed to,” Lovullo said. “It was a sad moment for me. I didn’t talk a lot because I probably couldn’t. And I had a little bit of a conversation with him once Mike left that I’d like to keep private, but it meant a lot to me, and I got a little more color to the picture.”
“He felt like there was so much unfinished business in Arizona. He felt bad about that,” Lovullo added. “So I had to reassure him that he left everything he had on the field. The culture that he helped us and me create will be carried on, and one day, when we do win a world championship, he’s going to be a part of that, even though he won’t be there physically.”