Well, as soon as the Cardinals traded for the one remaining year of control over Paul Goldschmidt – quietly one of MLB’s best players for quite a while now – we knew an extension was possible, if not likely. And according to Ken Rosenthal, it’s about to go down.
Check it out:
#STLCards close on an extension with 1B Paul Goldschmidt, sources tell The Athletic. Deal will be for at least five years and at least $110M.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 21, 2019
Before this extension went/goes down, the Cardinals had just one year of control remaining over Goldschmidt at $14.5M. Depending on when this deal takes effect, then (i.e. does it start after this year, like a true extension, or does it start immediately, replacing his final year of control?), they’ll have him until at through 2023 or 2024.
In either case, this will undoubtedly pry the Cardinals window of contention open, as they now have one of the best players in baseball for the foreseeable future.
2018: .290/.389/.433; 33HRs (145 wRC+, 5.1 WAR)
2019 ZiPS Projections: .270/.379/.479 (131 wRC+, 3.9 WAR)
Oh yeah, and he loves Wrigley:
.337/.433/.578 (1.011 OPS) in 22 career games at the Friendly Confines.
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) March 21, 2019
Although ZiPS is projecting a bit of a down turn this season, I just don’t think that’s something you can count on. Goldschmidt will play 2019 at just 31 years old, and as a first baseman, he just doesn’t have to go through the same wear and tear as other position players. And at just $110M over five years, this deal is not exactly breaking the bank, either.
We’ll update this post as more details trickle out, but yeah … not loving this.
UPDATE: Ah, well, suddenly this is not as team-friendly as it initially appeared:
— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) March 21, 2019
According to Goold, the deal will be for $130M, not $110M and in a latter Tweet, he suggested that it would begin after this season, not before (though to be honest, it’s a bit unclear).
It’s still good for the Cardinals, who can easily afford Goldschmidt at $26M per year, but at least this has a greater chance of being more of a burden down the line. But you’ll forgive me if I’m still not smiling, because he’s probably still going to be very good for the next 2-3 years.
UPDATE II: It does, indeed, start after this year. So, in short, the Cardinals will pay Goldschmidt $130M over the five seasons from 2020 (age 32) to 2024 (age 36).
Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and the St. Louis Cardinals are finalizing a five-year contract extension worth around $130 million, a source familiar with the deal tells ESPN. Deal will run through the 2024 season. @Ken_Rosenthal and @dgoold were on the news first.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 21, 2019