In news that will come as no surprise, the Diamondbacks have exercised their club option over first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, per Steve Gilbert of MLB.com (via Twitter). He’ll earn $14.5MM in lieu of a $2MM buyout.
Though the Snakes will be more than pleased to control Goldschmidt at this price tag, it’s a bit of a bittersweet moment. 2019 is the final season contemplated under the extension Goldschmidt signed back in March of 2013.
With the deal winding down, many have wondered whether Goldschmidt could be dealt this winter. The D-Backs are facing several roster needs and arguably lack the resources to address them, at least within their typical payroll levels. Cashing in on the final year of the contract might offer the organization an opportunity to recoup significant young talent (or, perhaps, to shed other unwanted salary commitments).
Expectations remain lofty for Goldschmidt as he begins to prepare for his age-31 season. He posted a .290/.389/.533 slash with 33 home runs in 2018. That’s good for a 144 wRC+, which matches his average output over a stellar career.
Among the game’s steadiest bats, Goldschmidt ought to draw quite a bit of interest if he’s dangled. While the market has tended not to reward defensively limited sluggers, Goldschmidt looks like an exception. Not only is he regarded as a high-end defender at first, but he’s an excellent baserunner. And, most importantly, his output at the plate is matched or exceeded by only a few other players in the entirety of the sport.