Subscribe for 99¢

ST. LOUIS • With fanfare last reserved for a switch-hitting center fielder the Cardinals hoped would rewrite and recharge the top of their lineup, officials Friday introduced the thunder-packed first baseman they feel will revitalize the middle of the order and return them to October.

Paul Goldschmidt was presented his No. 46 jersey by chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. and president John Mozeliak during a press conference held Friday morning at Busch Stadium.

"Cardinals have had some impressive first basemen over the years," DeWitt said and then listed a group of Hall of Famers and MVPs that ranged from Mize to Musial, McGwire to Pujols. “Paul is a perfect fit for our club. We felt we were so close to the playoffs that an additional impact player could put us over the top. ... It's an exciting day."

Said Goldschmidt about the list of first basemen: "With this organization you could say that about every position."

Added Mozeliak, "Obviously a very exciting time. A lot of you are going to ask the question, Why Paul Goldschmidt? Simply, we recognize the importance of 2019. The most interesting thing about Mr. Goldschmidt was we couldn't find anything negative about him. Nothing. When you think about the St. Louis Cardinals, he just seems like the perfect fit. It does say 2019 matters and it improves our club immediately."

Mozeliak continued that the team will look to add a lefty to the bullpen, a lefthanded bat to the bench, and a backup catcher. 

"I don't know a player in baseball that doesn't want to play here," Goldschmidt said. "There are organizations that are known for greatness, and that's here. ... You knew this was a possibility. It got me and my family excited."

Goldschmidt said he spoke with Daniel Descalso and Jon Jay about the Cardinals, and that he also talked to Tony La Russa and Dave McKay after the trade to get a sense of the Cardinals' organization.

"All the texts and phone calls I got, 'You're going to love it there,'" Goldschmidt continued.

Mozeliak also heard from current Cardinals players, including a text message from second baseman Kolten Wong who wished opposing teams "good luck" getting a groundball through the right side of the infield. Mozeliak recalled that text message as his favorite as he listed the various messages of enthusiasm he received.

The six-time All-Star declined to discuss in detail about whether he'd like to talk about an extension or the timing of such talks. His preference, he explained, is to keep such things private.

Goldschmidt said he chose No. 46 because it was the closest to his No. 44 that was available. He said he's never asked for a number in his career, and he only had No. 44 because it was hanging in his locker. Luke Gregerson has No. 44 in the Cardinals' clubhouse, and Goldschmidt made the point that he never asked for it, so Gregerson never had the chance to give it up.

The Cardinals tried to talk Goldschmidt into a lower number, even one of the available single-digit numbers, but he declined and took 46.

This story will be updated.

Keep up with the latest Cardinals coverage from our award-winning team of reporters and columnists.