If the Cardinals don't re-sign Paul Goldschmidt, these 5 players could replace him

While the Cardinals and Paul Goldschmidt still have many months to figure out an extension, this could be what life without the future Hall of Famer would look like.

Feb 19, 2024; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46) practices at
Feb 19, 2024; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46) practices at / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 6

It's so good to have the St. Louis Cardinals back on the field and preparing for the 2024 season. It's fun to dream and speculate about what the club can do each offseason, but getting on the field and playing baseball is what matters most.

While much of the chatter the first few days of camp has been around some of the Cardinals' young talent, injury concerns, and the surprise Brandon Crawford signing, the contract status of Paul Goldschmidt continues to loom large for the Cardinals' future.

Goldschmidt and the Cardinals have both pressed pause on a potential contract extension for different reasons. Goldschmidt, whose career is closer to the end than the beginning, wants to see if the Cardinals are back to being a contender, and would surely like to bounce back in 2024 to increase his value. The Cardinals, like Goldschmidt, want to see what his play on the field shows before committing to him on a multi-year deal. While Goldschmidt wasn't himself last year, he was still good at the plate, but the Cardinals still want to see if he's trending down or ready to rebound.

While it feels likely that both signs will find a way to keep Goldschmidt in St. Louis for the next few seasons, the Cardinals have quietly raised multiple options that could replace Goldschmidt in 2025 if this is indeed his last season with the club. The club is certainly not broadcasting those options right now, but it's easy to identify those names if you look at the roster dynamics.

While it's hard to see right now who the favorite to play first base would be if the Cardinals lost Goldschmidt, there are five different paths I could see them going.