Cardinals’ offseason target: Paul Goldschmidt
Would you trade Luke Weaver, Dakota Hudson and Jose Martinez for a big bat and ace pitcher?
Would you do it if you knew the big bat was Paul Goldschmidt and the ace pitcher was Zack Greinke?
That’s the blockbuster move ESPN’s David Schoenfield says makes sense for the St. Louis Cardinals this offseason.
Now, to be fair, Schoenfield isn’t suggesting this is a real trade rumor. His list includes one big move all 30 teams could make before the start of the 2019 baseball season, but he says this is the one that makes the most sense for St. Louis.
With the Cardinals in need of a big bat, Arizona is reportedly willing to listen to offers on its All-Star first baseman. Schoenfield says the idea works for both teams, giving St. Louis two veteran pieces to make a run at reclaiming the NL Central while helping Arizona get a jump on an imminent rebuild.
Looking specifically at this deal, St. Louis would give up two pitchers, including prized prospect Hudson. The Cardinals have struggled to find ways to get Martinez into the lineup because of his defensive limitations and Luke Weaver was demoted to the bullpen after serious struggles in 2018.
Goldschmidt, who will be 31 during the 2019 season, will make $14.5 million in the final season of a 5-year, $32 million contract he signed before the 2014 season. Greinke, meanwhile, is still owed $104.5 million through the 2021 season.
Schoenfield says his idea makes sense for Arizona because it would allow them to get a solid return for Goldschmidt before he becomes a free agent following the season while also shedding the huge money still owed to Greinke. The only hitch is that Greinke has a full no-trade clause and would have to OK a move to St. Louis. In 2017, a deal between the Cardinals and the Miami Marlins fell apart when Giancarlo Stanton refused to waive his no-trade clause.
Schoenfield’s idea is similar to another proposal put out by Brenden Schaeffer of KMOV. His idea is for the Cardinals to trade Hudson, Carson Kelly and two other players for just Goldschmidt.
With the offseason just getting under way, the Cardinals could play a major role in shaping rosters around the league as they have significant talent to include in a trade and plenty of money to sign free agents. Whether it’s wishful thinking or a real possibility, the Cardinals have been linked not only to Goldschmidt, but also to some of the biggest-name free agents on the market this year, including Bryce Harper, Josh Donaldson, and Andrew Miller. And the rumor mill will be churning for a few weeks before there’s likely much major action as the MLB winter meetings don’t start until Dec. 9.