So while Nelly is busy working on Bryce Harper, what about some of the other rumored names the St. Louis Cardinals could pursue? What about Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt, who has been reported to be available via trade?
“I think there’s a good chance that he will be traded this off-season,” shared Mike Ferrin, who besides his hosting on MLB Network Radio is also the pre and post game host for the Arizona Diamondbacks. “He’ll be a free agent following this season and he’s now represented by Casey Close, who’s the agent for Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke and Derek Jeter, and a number of really prominent players and he doesn’t tend to cut deals with mid to low-market teams. So Paul is likely to leave after this season so they’re kind of, I don’t want to say necessarily backed into a corner, but they’re exploring all the options.”
While the upcoming Winter Meetings are only a superficial deadline, there is the reality that like other teams, Arizona needs to decide what direction they will go for 2019. Making a decision on Goldschmidt will be part of that.
Eligible to become a free agent after 2019, Goldschmidt will enter the season at 31 years old. How does that factor into the length of a potential extension?
“I think Goldschmidt is kind of a cross between Jeff Bagwell and Paul Konerko,” Ferrin said. “He’s got Konerko’s durability with Bagwell’s skill set. He’s a very good defender who throws very well, he’s a great base runner, he has power, he gets on base, and then add in kind of that understated personality of Paul Konerko and the durability with it. I think he’s a safe bet. You’re talking about one year at 31 and I don’t think there’s any chance he’s going to regress next year.”
So if Arizona decides the time is now to move Goldschmidt, what might they be looking for in return?
“I think control is clearly important,” Ferrin answered. “You’re looking at something that’s a between, for one year of control of him and the draft pick attached, that’s going to both help your Major League roster in terms of multiple positions and probably somebody who has a little bit of upside. That can be handled through two or three or four different players that you’re able to do that.”
Like some, Ferrin pointed to what Baltimore was able to receive in return for Manny Machado but instead of it being the top end of the asking he price, he viewed it as the starting point or floor of negotiations. Pitching, catching, and defense–and that player with a high-ceiling were also described as other parts of the Arizona need.
The draft pick which St. Louis or any other team would receive if Goldschmidt did not re-sign has essentially been overlooked in any trade conversations about the first baseman thus far.
“If you make a trade for him now and you don’t re-sign him, you’re going to get a draft pick in the end. And despite the Cardinals financial where-with-all, they’re still a revenue-sharing payee so that means they would get a better pick out of that if he went somewhere else than a team that was paying into the revenue sharing.”
Ferrin also dispelled the idea that a team trading for Goldschmidt would also have to take on Zack Greinke and his $104 million remaining on his contract over the next three years.
“No, not at all,” he said. “If they were to move Greinke, they’re not interested in just moving him to move money. He’s still been a really good starting pitcher. So if you go into a trade, they’re willing to pay down some of that contract to get some good prospects back.”
Besides the topic of Paul Goldschmidt, Ferrin also offered his thoughts on the idea of Mike Moustakas coming to St. Louis and provided a scouting report on Cardinals outfield prospect Lane Thomas, who he watched play in the Arizona Fall League. The full conversation with Mike Ferrin is available here…
photo credit: Joe Camporeale, Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports