After a disastrous first half of the 2023 season, the St. Louis Cardinals have finally come to the conclusion that they need to sell at the trade deadline. President of baseball operations John Mozeliak is on the record saying that the Cardinals are going to be sellers with an eye on competing again in 2024.
What the Cardinals have also been VERY public about as well is that they want to keep their core in place for the 2024 season and that includes first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. Again, this is a Cardinals team that does not want to enter a lengthy rebuilding period and who sees this season as a short-term problem that can be fixed with the right moves at the trade deadline and this coming offseason.
St. Louis may very well be right about that. While the Cardinals' current record is a colossal disappointment, they have underperformed their run differential which points to a fair bit of bad luck and a closer look shows that the problems with their roster are primarily just in their rotation. The offense has been very good (their team 111 wRC+ is sixth best in baseball) and the bullpen has been very reasonable this season. Adding a couple quality starting pitchers and replacing some pending free agents COULD be enough to get the Cardinals right back on track.
However, trading Goldschmidt does have its merits. With one more year of team control after this season, Goldschmidt would command a massive return that could not only provide a boost to other parts of the roster for 2024, but set St. Louis up for success for years to come. Additionally, his trade value will never be higher than it is right now as 2024 is his walk year and at 35 years old, there is a real chance that Father Time will start catching up with him soon. In a trade market bereft of quality bats, Goldschmidt would be the prize to end all prizes and it doesn't seem like the Cardinals are completely ruling out anything at the moment.
Here are six trade partners that could make trading Paul Goldschmidt worth it
Again, this is just a thought exercise and not an advocacy to move Goldschmidt because there are some serious pros and cons to each path. With Goldschmidt possessing a no-trade clause, he could veto any deal which means our focus here will be on teams that are actually in contention right now who also, at least in theory, could put together a package that could actually be substantial enough to be tempting for the Cardinals. We are also going to avoid division rivals as those trades rarely happen/make sense.
Here is a look at some of the teams that could make trading Paul Goldschmidt a worthy gamble.