Cardinals: 6 trade partners that could make trading Paul Goldschmidt worth the gamble

Like it or not, Paul Goldschmidt is the Cardinals' best trade chip by a mile. These are the teams where trading him would make the most sense.
May 7, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA;  St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46)
May 7, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46) / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 4

Goldschmidt would give the Minnesota Twins some much needed offense

If you think that the National League Central has been underwhelming as a whole in 2023, it has nothing on the AL Central which has felt like a pillow fight to the death. The Minnesota Twins currently lead the division by 1.5 games and they are also the only team in the AL Central that (as of 7/18) actually has a winning record at 48-47.

The fundamental problem that Minnesota has is a lack of offense. Their team wRC+ of 100 is smack dab in the middle of the league and they rank just 24th in the league with a team .234 batting average. Somehow, that has been a enough to lead the division up until now and Goldschmidt would obviously provide a big offensive jolt from the right side of the plate for a Minnesota roster that has a bunch of lefty bats.

The Twins could probably put a package together for Goldschmidt that could be enticing centered around prospects Brooks Lee and/or Connor Prielipp. Prielipp has the kind of swing and miss stuff when he is healthy to be a frontline starter and Lee can just flat out hit. The fit is a little weird on the Twins' side because of the positional issues with Byron Buxton and Alex Kirilloff, but Goldschmidt would be worth having to moving some guys around a bit.

The Cleveland Guardians need a bat and have a loaded farm system to make a trade with the Cardinals work

In the same division, we have the Cleveland Guardians who are trying to chase the Twins down. The Guardians are not dissimilar from the Twins in that they have had to rely on their starting pitching. Cleveland's offense is in even worse shape than Minnesota's with a 91 team wRC+and the worst power production in the league overall.

Goldschmidt is basically the perfect bat for the Guardians to target and the roster fit works if Cleveland moves Josh Naylor to DH and they stop giving Josh Bell and his sub-.700 OPS plate appearances. There is some risk that Goldschmidt wouldn't play ball, though, as the Guardians are a sub-.500 team at the moment and he could understandably not be bullish on Cleveland's chances in the short-term.

As for the return for the Cardinals, Gavin Williams would likely be at the top of their wish list, but the Guardians may need to keep him especially with Shane Bieber dealing with elbow inflammation at the moment. If the Cardinals want to try their luck on a high upside but oft-injured arm, Daniel Espino could be an option. Another arm that should be on St. Louis' radar is Joey Cantillo who is a lefty that has performed every year he has been in the minors and is at Triple-A. He could be a nice pick-up as the Cardinals look ahead to the 2024 season.