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.