St. Louis Cardinals: Keeping Paul Goldschmidt on board

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PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 26: Paul Goldschmidt #44 of the Arizona Diamondbacks warms up in the on deck circle during the first inning of the MLB game against the Seattle Mariners at Chase Field on August 26, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. All players across MLB wear nicknames on their backs as well as colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms during Players Weekend. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 26: Paul Goldschmidt #44 of the Arizona Diamondbacks warms up in the on deck circle during the first inning of the MLB game against the Seattle Mariners at Chase Field on August 26, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. All players across MLB wear nicknames on their backs as well as colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms during Players Weekend. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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With the news that Angels outfielder Mike Trout is signing a massive 12 year, $430M extension, it becomes even more important for the St. Louis Cardinals to resign Paul Goldschmidt.

Well folks, the Hail Mary pass is gone for the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Mike Trout to St. Louis dream, which may have just been wishful thinking, was squashed with this latest extension. With Trout off the books, the free agent market in 2020 becomes far less appetizing for big deals.

Many of the best free agents to be are now aging pitchers, which goes against the youth movement that the St. Louis Cardinals have been building in the bullpen for several seasons now.

Sure, having a guy like Justin Verlander or Stephen Strasburg would be nice, but it wouldn’t be the best idea for the Cardinals to invest long term money into one older guy while losing the other.

It’s no secret that Paul Goldschmidt isn’t going to garner the kind of contract that Albert Pujols got from the Angels, so the idea that the team will be crippling itself through extending Goldschmidt is questionable.

Additionally, the 2021 free agency period is one where the St. Louis Cardinals will have to make their big decisions. Faced with Yadier Molina‘s retirement along with the end of other huge AAV contracts like Brett Cecil and Matt Carpenter make 2021 a crucial year for the Cardinals franchise.

It is with this in mind that Mike Girsch, John Mozeliak, and the entire St. Louis Cardinals front office must proceed. Extending Goldschmidt through 2021 would allow the Cardinals to continue to compete as the new catcher — probably Brandon Kninzer — learns to fill some of the biggest shoes in baseball (metaphorically speaking).

The Cardinals could also give Goldschmidt another one year deal that also allows both Goldschmidt and the Cardinals full agency in making the decision to either retain or recraft the team.

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Miles Mikolas is already an older piece that the Cards have retained to serve as a starter in the upper part of the rotation, and Jack Flaherty is looking like he has the DNA to be the ace for the St. Louis Cardinals.

The team is stocked with young pitching in guys like Ryan Helsley, Dakota Hudson, and Austin Gomber. The St. Louis Cardinals have good pitchers, and the pitching staff is deep in spite of the poor bullpen performance in recent years, which should be rectified by the insertion of Andrew Miller and Carlos Martinez.

My point is that the Cardinals have done their due diligence with pitching, so retaining their most talented hitters while these pitchers are growing up is important, and it will work especially because most of these guys should need no more than two seasons to ready themselves for the majors, with some expected to come up this season.

The acquisition of Paul Goldschmidt was one of the biggest in St. Louis Cardinals history, but letting his time here be nothing more than a flash in a frying pan would make the whole saga pretty pointless, barring a 2019 World Series winner. Without that, there is no doubt that the focus for the St. Louis Cardinals from now until the 2020 offseason should be extending Paul Goldschmidt.

Next. St. Louis Cardinals: How has Paul Goldschmidt done this spring?. dark

The St. Louis Cardinals have put themselves in a unique position where victory in the short-term and building towards the future are possible at the same time. With an already low payroll continuing to fluctuate, the Cardinals should put the money forward to retain Paul Goldschmidt in order to remain contenders over the next couple of years.

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