Instead of getting excited about the Brewers trading away one of the best pitchers in all of baseball out of the division, maybe the Cardinals should follow their lead.
The Milwaukee Brewers traded Corbin Burnes to the Baltimore Orioles for Joey Ortiz, DL Hall, and a 2024 Competitive Balance Round A pick (No. 34 overall).
Burnes is an an incredible pitcher who has received Cy Young votes the last four years winning it once. He was An All-Star the last three years and has started 32 games each of the last two seasons. No doubt keeping him on their team this year would give them a better chance to repeat as the division leader. But then what? I don’t think they are a World Series team, even with Burnes. So they did the smart thing and made the trade.
In return, they got an excellent fielding infielder who has an above-average bat and will move into the lineup this year. DL Hall was a pitcher selected in the first round and MLB.com has these remarks. “Hall’s stuff has continued to be absolutely nasty, with a fastball routinely up to 101 mph and a fading changeup that flashes plus.” If the Brewers slot him into the rotation, they still could have a top-of-the-rotation starter. In addition, the Brewers also get a draft choice that will be the 34th pick overall. Oh, and they also free up 14 million to spend on someone else this year if they choose.
Since the World Series is not a reasonable expectation this year, the Brewers made the smart move and traded a 30-year-old former Cy Young winner that they would not renew for some outstanding pieces.
The Cardinals are in the same situation with an over-30-year-old player of their own. Paul Goldschmidt is the best player on their team. A former MVP that is entering the last year of his contract. Goldschmidt’s minimum signing amount is 20% of his current salary. That means he can’t sign for less than 17.6 million.
To see what kind of money Goldschmidt could make, you just need to see what the Brewers did. They signed Rhys Hoskins to a two-year deal averaging 17 million a year. This is a 30-year-old first baseman who missed all of last year with a torn ACL Hoskins is an outstanding player but has won no awards and has yet to make his first all-star game. What do you think a first baseman who has won four gold gloves, five silver Slugger awards, a seven-time all-star, and who won an MVP as recently as two years ago will cost? I guess it will be way past 17 million and past Mozeliak’s puke point.
There aren’t any available free-agent first-basemen that come close to Goldschmidt. His value will be no higher than it is right now and the Cardinals should follow the Brewers’ lead and look to the future.