The Arizona Diamondbacks‘ Paul Goldschmidt finished sixth in the National League MVP voting this year, the fourth top-10 MVP placement of his career — he was second in 2013 and 2015 and third in 2016. His performance this year was particularly remarkable because he started very slowly, struggling against high-velocity pitches. But from May 23 through the end of the regular season, he hit .328 with an OPS over 1.000.
Next year will be the last in a long-term deal Goldschmidt signed in 2013. As has been reported before, the Diamondbacks are open to dealing the first baseman — and, in the eyes of some rival evaluators, they are intent on moving him as they enter a period of rebuilding.
But as great as Goldschmidt was over the last three-quarters of the season, the market conditions are not optimal for the Diamondbacks to move him. There aren’t a lot of contenders looking for a first baseman, and the fact that Goldschmidt has just one season remaining before he reaches free agency will mitigate his trade value. The Cubs have Anthony Rizzo, the Dodgers have Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy, the Braves have Freddie Freeman.
One evaluator estimated the Diamondbacks’ return for Goldschmidt would be more than what the Pirates got for Andrew McCutchen last winter from the Giants — outfielder Bryan Reynolds, pitcher Kyle Crick and international slot bonus dollars — but less than what the Orioles got for Manny Machado in Baltimore’s midseason deal with the Dodgers last summer. Baltimore received five minor leaguers from L.A., the most notable being outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz.