Apparently, you can never have too many first basemen.
As the Phillies set about improving their roster for next season, much of the talk has centered around free agents Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Patrick Corbin, among others. But trades are, of course, a possibility too.
On Monday, The Athletic’s Jayson Stark gave us a whopper of a Hot Stove nugget.
You can add the #Phillies to the list of teams that spoke with the #Diamondbacks about Paul Goldschmidt.— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) November 26, 2018
A source says the teams discussed a package that would have included Zach Eflin & several young players. But the deal fell apart when the Phillies tried to add Carlos Santana
Cue the slow eye-blink gif.
Obviously, landing Goldschmidt for the 2019 season would be huge. After a .290/.389/.533 2018 season in which he blasted 33 homers, had 83 RBIs and scored 95 runs, he was 7th in the National League in fWAR (5.1), but 3rd in wOBA (.390) behind only MVP Christian Yelich and Nolan Arenado.
Over the last six seasons, Goldy has been worth 6.0, 4.3, 7.2, 5.0, 5.2 and 5.1 fWAR, and that 4.3 season came when he was injured after 109 games and missed the rest of the season.
Can you imagine adding Goldschmidt to a lineup that included one of Harper or Machado and Rhys Hoskins?
But as Stark mentioned, the deal “fell apart,” and there’s no indication it’s going to be revived. Zach Eflin was the only name reported to be going from Philadelphia to the desert, and it’s unclear which “young players” were also involved in the discussions. The Carlos Santana aspect is interesting as well, as we discussed on the latest episode of Hittin’ Season last night.
Was Santana included because the D-Backs wanted Adonis Medina in the deal and the Phils wanted them to take Santana’s salary off their hands? Did Arizona simply not want Santana, even at a reduced salary? There are lots of unanswered questions, here.
Adding Goldschmidt to the roster has some disadvantages. First, unless Goldy is capable of playing another position, it would mean Hoskins would have to stay in left field, where he is abysmal defensively. The hope was that the team would be able to move him to first base full-time, which is why it has been reported that the team was “trying like hell” to move Santana this winter. If the Phils are unable to find a taker for Santana, what would they do with him if both Hoskins and Goldschmidt are on the team? Is Santana the everyday third baseman? How horrible would the defense be under that scenario?
Also, Goldschmidt is a free agent after 2019, his age 31 season. How much would the Phillies give up for one year of Goldy? Is Medina too much? It wasn’t for a half-season of Manny Machado, as the Phillies were rumored to have included him in a mid-season offer for the star shortstop. Would the Phils consider working on a contract extension for Goldschmidt? If so, would that be wise, given he’s in his early 30s? How long and how much would be smart?
At the end of the day, if Eflin, J.P. Crawford and a couple other prospects gets it done for Goldschmidt, the Phils should pull the trigger and figure out the Santana stuff later. The Phillies do not have a perennial MVP candidate on this roster and, if they traded for Goldschmidt and added one of Harper/Machado on top of it, they would suddenly have two MVP candidates in the middle of their batting order.
Don’t cool down, Hot Stove.