Report: Cardinals could make a play for Paul Goldschmidt

Paul Goldschmidt
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Following news that the Diamondbacks are willing to “listen on anyone,” Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch speculates that Arizona slugger Paul Goldschmidt could be a perfect fit for the Cardinals as they look to contend in 2019. While the club has yet to confirm anything close to a trade, the suggestion is in line with a previous report from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who named the Astros and Cardinals as potential suitors earlier this week.

Goldschmidt, 31, is entering his final year under contract with the D-backs. The hot-hitting first baseman completed his sixth straight All-Star run in 2018, slashing .290/.389/.533 with 33 home runs, seven stolen bases (in 11 chances) and 5.1 fWAR through 690 plate appearances. He earned his fourth Silver Slugger after the conclusion of the regular season and came sixth in votes for the NL MVP award, which was eventually handed to Brewers standout Christian Yelich.

There’s no question that Goldschmidt’s power and consistency would give the Cardinals the extra offensive boost they’re looking for — the club ranked 10th overall with a collective .249 average and 205 home runs in 2018 — but Goold points out that there may be some concerns about the infielder’s short-term contract, especially considering that a) Goldschmidt isn’t guaranteed to sign an extension when his contract expires and b) a long-term deal would likely overlap with the twilight years of his major-league career. Given the number of players who are approaching their final year in St. Louis, the team certainly appears to be in a win-now position, but may still not be willing to shell out a significant return for the kind of top-flight players who could bring them to the cusp of another championship.

Goldschmidt isn’t the only bat the Cardinals are considering this offseason, of course. They’ve recently been linked to free agent outfielder Michael Brantley and third baseman Josh Donaldson, the latter of whom is allegedly waiting on shortstop/third baseman Manny Machado to sign somewhere before he selects a new team. Goold also hears that the team is looking for a left-handed presence to balance out a righty-heavy lineup, which is something neither Goldschmidt nor Donaldson brings to the table.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.