Kevin Towers has been aggressive in signing the players he wants to long-term deals. He's already signed newly-acquired Martin Prado to an extension, and he just signed Aaron Hill to a long-term deal yesterday. Now, the Arizona Diamondbacks are targeting Paul Goldschmidt. Only, Goldschmidt may not be interested. At least not right now.
Goldschmidt has indicated he would rather wait before talking about a long-term extension with the Diamondbacks says Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Goldschmidt has been approached by the organization about a possible deal, but negotiations apparently have not begun.
Not taking the guaranteed money now is a risky move for Goldschmidt. Early extensions are something teams bank on nowadays. They will approach young, cost-controlled players, and try to sign them early to team-friendly deals. The money is guaranteed, and if these players are smart enough, they can be set for life no matter whether they play a day of contract or not. However, there's a flip side to this. Opportunity cost.
Related: DBacks sign Rod Barajas.
If Goldschmidt were to sign an extension now, it would be for far less than if he were to replicate or exceed his 2012 season. That would leave millions of dollars on the table. Players understand the inherent risk in not signing early, but they also understand the value of continuous production at a high level. Goldschmidt is betting on himself this season.
Last year, Goldschmidt hit .286/.359/.490 with 20 home runs. The first baseman played in 145 games. Many feel that if he plays a full season, Goldschmidt can be a 30+ home run threat. If he can put up numbers like that in 2013, he may very well double what he would have got in extension money this offseason.
Goldschmidt will be entering just his third Major League season. He played in just 48 games when he was called up directly from Double-A in 2011. Yet, he was still impressive then. In 2011, Goldschmidt hit .250/.333/.474. His production is on an upward trend. Barring an injury, Goldschmidt's decision to hold off on an extension at this point could be the smartest thing he ever does.