There are a lot of rumors having the Dodgers linked to big names like Arenado, Lindor, and Free Agent DJ LeMahieu. However, there is another old NL West Rival who may be the fit they need.
Paul Goldschmidt, currently with the Cardinals could be the right handed bat the Dodgers want to add to their lineup. Plus rumor has it the Cardinals are looking to shed some salary and Goldschmidt is still owed $104 million over the next four years.
So here’s our argument for why the Dodgers should make a push for the veteran 1st baseman.
- Goldschmidt’s Career
- Goldschmidt’s Future
- Why Goldschmidt and the Dodgers are a Match
- Our Trade Proposal
Paul Goldschmidt has never been an MVP. He’s just been the runner up twice, 3rd in another season, and a MVP vote getter in 4 more. (6th, 11th, 15th, and 20th). He’s a 6 time all star, 4 time silver slugger, and 3 time gold glove winner.
In his 10 seasons, he’s compiled 44.9 WAR. That’s good for 18th among all active players, 10th in position players. He’s finished in the top 5 in WAR by position players in 4 seasons. He finished 10th in another.
He has a career line of .293/.392/.522 for an OPS of .914. His OPS+ is 141 meaning he’s been 41% better than the average hitter in his career. He has a whopping 1,395 hits and 875 walks (105 intentional) in his career. With those he’s scored 837 runs, has 828 RBIs, hit 249 homers, 305 doubles, 20 triples, and stole 128 bases. All in all they account for a career total of 2,487 bases. Oh and only a total of 1,268 strikeouts.
He’s never finished a season with an OPS+ less than 115. It was his first season out of Arizona. He bounced back in 2020 for an OPS+ of 142. Right back to his career average. He slashed .304/.417/.466. Turner slashed .307/.400/.460 for comparison.
Even looking at his worst season in 2019, he slashed .260/.346/.476. He also hit his usual 34 homers to go with 97 runs and 97 RBI. As far as value he still produced 2.4 WAR in a very streaky season. But it was a good sign to see him slash .269/.405/.548 in the September of 2019 and follow it up with his usual production in 2020.
It seems to us that Goldschmidt may actually be a safer bet than a contract to free agent, DJ LeMahieu. At his best, he could be an MVP candidate, and at his worst so far, he’s just barely overpaid. He’s a year older, but a year further into the contract DJ is currently seeking. As long as the Dodgers aren’t taking on his full salary, Paul could be the RHB they need to take the Champions to the next level.
Goldschmidt’s Current Contract
Paul is still owed a total of $104 million over the next 4 years. He has an annual average salary of $26 million with $22 being the base and $4 being part of the signing bonus. His contract is also laced with performance based incentives.
But even if he had an MVP, All Star, sweep of postseason awards, gold glove, silver slugger type of season, the bonuses would only come out to a little under $2.5 million. Not bad if you’re considering when that kind of performance on the Dodgers would mean another ring.
If the Cardinals are truly trying to cut down on payroll and make a youth movement, Goldschmidt is great trade option. Along with soon to be free agent, and our proposed addition to this trade, Andrew Miller.
As for the Dodgers, if they’re rumored to be in on LeMahieu, that means they have at least the $100 million to spare on their payroll over the next few years. If the Cardinals can subsidize just enough to make Goldschmidt the cheaper option, his track record is much more consistent than the recently hot LeMahieu. Granted, he does not bring the defensive versatility that DJ offers.
Dodgers + Goldschmidt = Perfect Match
- Goldschmidt is a middle of the order, right-handed, bat
- He fits the Dodgers mold of walk and slug
- Muncy and Beaty can slide to 3rd or other positions if needed (2nd for Muncy, LF for Rios)
- (We’d also love to see the Dodgers give Taylor a real crack at 3rd in 2021)
- Lux is also rumored to be experimenting with LF
- He can handle 1st through his contract, but also would be a fantastic DH if needed later on
- He fills the Turner void with an almost identical form of production and plate discipline
Our Trade Proposal
Paul Goldschmidt, Andrew Miller, and $30+ million towards these two
Austin Barnes C/2B, Edwin Rios 1B, 3B, LF, Jacob Amaya SS/2B(10th), and a PTBN
- Why The Dodgers Like This Deal
We’ve already made our Goldschmidt argument because he is the key piece for both sides of this deal. But the Dodgers are looking for more bullpen depth this year as their veteran relievers have mostly left and the best relievers left are mostly 25 and under.
So we insert left handed reliever Andrew Miller. Miller would be pitching in his 16th major league season as he turns 36. He didn’t commit to the bullpen until 2012 and he’s been fabulous ever since.
He did have a rough couple of years before 2020. He had ERA’s in the 4’s in 2018 and ’19. But he bounced back in the shortened 2020 with a 2.77 ERA in 16 appearances. He had 16 strikeouts in the 13 innings with a WHIP of 1.08.
He hasn’t always been a closer, but he has 63 saves to his professional name in 80 opportunities. But the Dodgers don’t need him to be a closer or pitch a lot of innings like he has in his past. And that’s good because he isn’t that pitcher anymore. He’s slowed down quite a bit, but it appears he’s learned how to be effective again.
The Dodgers at worst have a solid 6th inning option out of the pen, and at best find the top 1% pitcher that Miller has been a few years ago. And as long as the Cards subsidize their salaries to bring the total below the $100 million LeMahieu wants, we think this is a win win.
Moving Barnes allows for Ruiz to platoon with Smith. (Cartaya in the future). Rios is an unfortunate loss, but as of right now the Dodgers have only left handed starting infielders.
In this scenario, Muncy would most likely slide to 3rd, Seager at short, Lux, at second, and Goldy at 1st. Taylor could spell most of them for days off. Aside from Goldy who’s been an iron man most of his career. Beaty can take the off days. It evens leaves room for #3 prospect Kody Hoese to make the jump without as much pressure to produce when he’s ready.
Amaya is a plus prospect but just depth for the Dodgers. He could potentially impress his way to joining the Cardinals this year or next. It’s unlikely he would ever stick with the Dodgers as of now.
- Why The Cardinals Like It
Miller is also an expensive roster piece for 2021 before he hits free agency in 2022. As is, he is owed $12 million for next year. Add it to the Goldschmidt contract and the Cardinals shed up to $116 million over the next four years and as much as $38 million for 2021.
And like we said, the Cardinals would most likely have to cover at least $20 million for the Dodgers to be interested. We feel more confident around the $30 million mark. But that means the Cards would be freeing up at least $86 million over the next 4 years. Theoretically the Dodgers may backload those subsidies as well and take on a big portion the $38 million due next year themselves.
That could give the Cardinals a large amount of financial flexibility as the NL Central once again goes up for grabs.
Money aside, they get a veteran catcher that can either start or platoon with another catcher. Rios is potentially a monster of home run potential. We still haven’t seen him long enough to know for sure yet, but the stuff is there. And Amaya would slide in nicely to the Cardinals farm system and may even debut for them soon.
Overall, we think the Dodgers and Cardinals may be perfect trade partners right now.
- The Dodgers get the right handed infielder they need to replace Turner.
- He could be a shorter term, more valuable, and cheaper option to DJ Lemahieu
- Miller is an expensive luxury for a Cardinals team with no immediate plans for 2021
- Versus he could help the Dodgers to a back to back Championship with his stellar postseason experience
- Cardinals free up around $80 million as they look to save and rebuild
- Cardinals fill almost all of their offseason needs at once