The Arizona Diamondbacks are a talented team that made the playoffs in 2017 and didn’t miss by much in 2018, but the organization finds itself at a crossroads. Two of its best players – center fielder A.J. Pollock and pitcher Patrick Corbin are entering free agency, slugger Paul Goldschmidt is entering his walk year, and ace Zack Grienke has a massive salary clogging the payroll. Rumors have been circling that the team could make the latter two available in trade as part of a rebuilding effort. On the surface, Goldschmidt is someone the Mets should be looking at, but after further consideration, this might not be prudent.
On the positive side, Goldschmidt is a perennial MVP candidate and clubhouse leader who would check a lot of boxes for the Mets. Capable of hitting for average, power and in the clutch, he makes a good #3 hitter and swinging from the right side of the plate, he’d give the Mets the bopper they need while Yoenis Cespedes slowly works his way back from heel surgeries. Goldschmidt is also a good first baseman by all metrics.
On the negative side, despite having just one year remaining under contract, the All Star will not come cheaply. The Mets would have to part with top prospects and/or young players and, to make it worth while, attempt to lock up Goldschmidt to a long-term deal. At age 31, he’s likely got three more good years left before the inevitable veteran slide. Of course, he and his agent will seek a 6+ year deal that will saddle the lucky franchise with an albatross contract for several years.
Another reason not to consider such a move is that we have our own potential bopper at first base who’s young and affordable. We’re not the Yankees or Red Sox in desperate win now mode where it makes sense to trade a potential All Star for an expensive, late-prime one. In a world where we trade for Goldschmidt, we’d have to either include Alonso in the trade, or else trade him elsewhere along with Dominic Smith and Wilmer Flores, who’d also be out of a job. The addition of Goldschmidt would certainly fortify our lineup, but it would precipitate the need for subsequent moves while still leaving holes at more glaring places.
If the Mets want to add a slugger to the lineup, there are other options that make a lot more sense at third base and catcher. In 2019, the role of slugging first baseman belongs to the promising rookie, not the expensive veteran.