Exploring an extension for St. Louis Cardinals' Paul Goldschmidt

Oct 5, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46)
Oct 5, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Paul Goldschmidt deserves an extension, but there is no rush to finish a deal

Goldschmidt has been incredible for St. Louis since being acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks before the 2019 season. In his four seasons with the Cardinals, Goldschmidt has slashed .291/.376/.516 with 106 HR and 332 RBI in 528 games. He has finished top-20 in MVP voting each season with St. Louis and maintained Gold Glove-level defense.

Based on past production alone, wanting to keep Goldschmidt around after 2024 is a no-brainer. The question that has to be considered though is exactly what kind of player will he be going into the 2025 season? The Cardinals have gotten themselves into trouble by extending players too early in recent years, but that is also part of the risk you're willing to take to avoid free agency.

Goldschmidt is a leader in the clubhouse and someone the Cardinals emerging young core would benefit from having around, but with guys like Jordan Walker, Juan Yepez, and Alec Burleson potentially needing at-bats at first base and DH, he'll need to maintain a high level of play for it to be worth investing more resources into him.

By 2025, most of the Cardinals young core will be in arbitration or hitting their free agency years for the first time. Money won't be something they can just throw around. Investing now could be wise in terms of insuring Goldy is here to stay, but they also run the risk of not being able to afford some of their other players, or upgrades via free agency or trade, later.

So if Goldschmidt is interested in an extension before the 2023 season and is prepared to take a discount, they should get a deal done as soon as possible. But if he's asking for a contract that reflects his recent MVP performance, their may be some wisdom in waiting till next off-season to finialize something.

Let's look at some recent examples and project what a Goldschmidt extension could look like in the near future.