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
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Nolan Gorman

Here's where things get really interesting. The Cardinals have second-base depth galore with Gorman, Donovan, Edman, and Thomas Saggese. Gorman is arguably the weakest defensively of the bunch, and his big power bat would profile really nicely at first base.

While it's fun to think about having a second baseman who has the potential to hit 40 or more home runs in a season, it's much more fun to dream about Gorman remaining healthy on a year-to-year basis. His back issues are well documented at this point, and while he's been doing work to remove that concern, it's still something the Cardinals would be wise to be careful regarding.

Moving Gorman to first base may be best for him defensively and health-wise long-term, and could even unlock him offensively if he's able to feel healthy and comfortable on an everyday basis. The Cardinals would have no problem at all filling his playing time at second base or the few spot starts he gets at third base.

In all honesty, this, or moving Donovan to first base, is probably the best route toward getting those two and Saggese into the lineup on a consistent basis. If Gorman starts at first base regularly, one of Saggese or Donovan can play second base while the other is the designated hitter. That also saves the Cardinals a lot of salary, which they then could allocate the money they would have spent on Goldschmidt toward starting pitching help.

Remember, this is 2025 we are talking about, so this would be Gorman's third full big league season, and others from the young core may have developed more as well. Gorman's bat already has the potential to step in at a premium offensive position like first base, but by the time this scenario takes shape, he may have the track record to support the succession of the future Hall of Famer at first base as well.