The Diamondbacks’ recent plummet out of contention in the NL West should force the team and fans alike to ask the uncomfortable question of how long Paul Goldschmidt will remain with the team, writes Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Arizona holds a no-brainer $14.5MM option over Goldschmidt for the 2019 season, but he’s slated to hit free agency after that campaign. The D-backs don’t have tons of financial flexibility (thanks largely to enormous salaries for Zack Greinke and, to a lesser extent, Yasmany Tomas), and they’re lacking in the upper levels of the farm following numerous win-now trades. There’s also the question of how willing the team should be to commit what could be a $25MM+ annual salary to a player who’d be 32 years of age in the first season of that contract.
While the D-backs and Rockies aren’t in the same situation in terms of payroll and overall farm strength, Arizona’s Goldschmidt conundrum nonetheless has some parallels to the looming decision Colorado will need to make with regard to Nolan Arenado. Both players will be free agents following the 2019 season, and both franchise players could be difficult to extend now that they’ve come this close to reaching free agency.
Here’s more from the division…
- Hunter Pence has recently ducked questions about whether he’ll continue his playing career beyond the current season, but Kerry Crowley of the San Francisco Chronicle notes that Pence isn’t the only Giants outfielder whose career could be in question. Veteran speedster Gregor Blanco discussed his future with Crowley, acknowledging that he’s not certain what type of interest he’ll draw in free agency but adding that he does hope to continue his career. “I’m really pleased and happy and proud of myself for my career, but I still have one more goal and that’s trying to make it to 10 years in the game,” said Blanco. The 34-year-old technically has already appeared in parts of 10 big league seasons, though his 2009 campaign was quite abbreviated (24 games, 48 PAs) and, in terms of Major League service time, he’ll finish 2018 with eight-plus years. It’s been a tough season at the plate for Blanco, who has batted just .225/.277/.331 through 174 trips to the plate.
- Dylan Floro has proven to be an exceptional find for the Dodgers, writes Mark Whicker of the Southern California News Group. Acquired from the Reds alongside some international bonus pool space in a largely unheralded trade this summer, the journeyman Floro has delivered 27 innings of 1.33 ERA ball with 10.0 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 0.33 HR/9 and a 54.8 percent ground-ball rate. Floro discussed the manner in which he’s changed his pitch selection since returning to Los Angeles, as well as the way in which manager Dave Roberts’ confidence has made him feel at ease. “Mainly it’s been nice to know I’m going to get chances even if I have a rough night, and I’ve had a couple of those,” said Floro, who had previously been designated for assignment on four occasions (including once by the Dodgers, before ever pitching in a big league game for them).