Are you ready for Paul Goldschmidt to be one of those players who joins the Cardinals and then sticks around to rake for years to come?
It was already a lock that the Cardinals would at least try to extend Goldschmidt after trading for the 31-year-old first baseman earlier this offseason, but Derrick Goold reports that, more than that, the Cardinals already had a good sense of what it would take to extend him when they made the trade. And more than that, the Cardinals seem to also know what Goldschmidt, who is set to hit free agency after the 2019 season, would be asking for to start the conversation – and it’s not that far off from where they already figured things would be.
Per Goold, the Cardinals envision an extension looking something like five years and $150 million, while Goldschmidt may be seeking six years. Goold suggests that “sixth” year could simply be this coming season, the last of Goldschmidt’s arbitration years. He’d get much more than he projects to get in arbitration ($15.5 million), and then the Cardinals wouldn’t have to go beyond five more years.
Could the Cardinals really get a premier player to sign an extension like that before he even plays a single game with the team? That sure seems like a huge stretch, even if the extension was as robust as is suggested on an AAV basis. Instead, a mid-season extension seems more plausible, but of course, at that point, Goldschmidt would be just a few months away from being a free agent for the first time in his career.
Even though Goldschmidt turns 32 in September, he hasn’t shown any signs of failing to continue being elite at the plate and at first base in recent years (last five years of wRC+: 154, 163, 133, 142, 145; last five years of WAR: 4.3, 7.2, 5.0, 5.2, 5.1).
Still, there’s a part of me that wouldn’t hate seeing the Cardinals tie up $30 million annually in a guy who would turn 33 in the first year of the extension. I guess we’ll have to see where this goes. Goold suggests the Cardinals feel good about their chances to eventually get something done.