Paul Goldschmidt has yet to take the field as a St. Louis Cardinal, but the Cardinals are already thinking about locking him up to a long-term deal. That’s the word from team owner Bill DeWitt Jr., anyway. From MLB.com:
“Whenever a good player comes to the Cardinals, if they have a year left on their contract, we always think down the road. We’d love to have him here longer than one year, and we’ll just see how that plays out.”
It’s Goldschmidt’s walk year, but given that he’ll be 32 when he hits free agency next fall, and given that the free agent market has been crazy-hostile to even the best players over the past two seasons, he’s likely to listen closely to the Cardinals should they make him a reasonable offer.
Goldschmidt hit .290/.389/.533 with 33 home runs and 83 RBI in 690 plate appearances while playing above-average defense in 2018 and, for his career, he’s a .297/.398/.532 hitter with 209 homers in eight seasons. He’ll make $14.5 million this year, playing out the option on the bargain deal (five years, $32 million plus the option) he signed with the Diamondbacks which bought out his arbitration and first potential year of free agency back in 2013.
Whether it’s via an extension or via free agency next fall, this is likely Goldschmidt’s first and last chance at a seriously big payday.