The Cardinals are exploring the possibility of acquiring Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, sources told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Goold’s sources said the two teams have had discussions about a possible deal for Goldschmidt, but they did not suggest “that any move was imminent” and that the Cardinals “are looking for clarity” as far as Goldschmidt’s availability before the winter meetings begin on Monday.
However, acquiring Goldschmidt from Arizona would be a massive upgrade for St. Louis’ lineup. The 31-year-old right-handed hitter is a six-time All-Star and a four-time Silver Slugger winner, both titles he earned last season after he had another strong season at the dish. He led all MLB first baseman in OPS (.922), runs created (121.6), total bases (316), and extra-base hits (73), and finished third in home runs (33). He also had over 80 RBI for the fourth straight season.
Goold says that the Cardinals “have stated a preference this winter to acquire a bat via trade and look to extend that player’s contract — because they feel that has been a more advantageous approach for them than wading into the free-agent waters.”
The key for the Cardinals will be what they are willing to give up for Goldschmidt, who has one year left on his six-year, $45.55 million deal with Arizona and would be one of the top free agents at first base if he goes on the open market in 2020. They do have plenty of talent, mainly pitching and outfield depth, and Goold says they have the payroll flexibility to take on a big contract.
However, Goold says the Cardinals “have maintained communication with the agents for free-agent middle order hitters and explored multiple directions they could move this winter.”
The Cardinals want to have a quality lineup after missing the playoffs for the third straight season this year.