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David Shovein

Offseason Lowdown

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Lowdown: Going for the Gold

Monday, November 26, 2018


Going for the Gold


It’s not often that 31-year-old superstars in the middle of their prime become available via trade, but it’s starting to sound like that’s exactly the scenario that we’re looking at with Diamondbacks’ slugger Paul Goldschmidt.


The Diamondbacks are reportedly starting a full rebuild, and one of their top trade chips will certainly be Goldschmidt, the six-time All-Star first baseman who is entering the final year of his contract.


Over his first seven full seasons in the big leagues, Goldschmidt’s average season looks like this: .299/.400/.534 with 97 runs scored, 29 homers, 98 RBI and 17 stolen bases. That’s elite five-category production that has made him a perennial first round selection in fantasy drafts.


Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch believes that the Cardinals are one such organization that will make a run at acquiring Goldschmidt.


According to Goold, the Cardinals want a middle-of-the-order hitter who plays corner infield and who can be extended soon. Goldschmidt fills all three desires. The Cardinals generally prefer to acquire a player before his contract expires, then convince him to stay after they've determined he is a good fit on the field and in the clubhouse. Goold notes that they have done this in the past with stars such as Jim Edmonds, Scott Rolen, Mark McGwire, Adam Wainwright and Matt Holiday.


In addition to Goldschmidt, the Cardinals have also been connected to free agent Josh Donaldson is another slugging, corner infielder. Going after Donaldson would only require the cash investment, rather than the tremendous haul of prospects that trading for Goldschmidt would likely require.


The Twins and Astros are among the other teams that have already had talks with the Diamondbacks about a Goldschmidt deal. Given the level of interest they are generating, the D’Backs would probably be best served to deal their star first baseman away before the start of the season to generate the greatest possible return, rather than waiting until the trade deadline and settling for what would likely be a lesser haul of prospects.



Stanton on the Block?


According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Yankees could be attempting to trade superstar outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.


The Yankees are known to have interest in free agent Manny Machado and have been rumored to be one of the team’s that has their eye on Bryce Harper. In order to sign either of those two players, the Yankees would need to shed some payroll, and in Harper’s case they would need to clear a spot in a crowded outfield.

If they were able to move Stanton, and shed his massive contract, that could make the Bombers a very interesting player in the free agent market.


Stanton is entering the fifth season of a 13-year, $325 million contract. One team that could seemingly be willing to take on that kind of salary would be the Los Angeles Dodgers, which happens to be one of the few clubs that Stanton would probably approve a trade to.


The Giants and Phillies could also become players for Stanton, if he is indeed available, and if they were looking for an alternative to spending for either Machado or Harper themselves via free agency.


It seems like an extreme long shot that it would actually happen, but it can’t be ruled out completely.


Stanton took a step back offensively in his first season in pinstripes, slashing .266/.343/.509 with 38 homers and 100 RBI. His fantasy value is likely to take a small hit if he’s forced to leave the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium for the spacious Dodger Stadium, though Stanton’s epic power plays in any yard.





Kikuchi being Posted


The Seibu Lions announced on Friday that they will begin the posting process for Yusei Kikuchi on December 3.


The posting period will officially begin on December 5 and Kikuchi will have 30 days from that date to sign with a major league team. Kikuchi -- who is reportedly being represented by Scott Boras -- held a 3.08 ERA and 153/45 K/BB ratio over 163 2/3 innings in the Pacific League in 2018.


Under the rules of the new collective bargaining agreement, his former team in Japan, the Seibu Lions, will get a posting fee that is determined by the value of the MLB contract Kikuchi winds up signing.


The 27-year-old southpaw, who is viewed by most scouts as a mid-rotation type talent,  should draw offers from a range of different clubs after registering a 3.08 ERA and 153/45 K/BB ratio over 163 2/3 innings in the Pacific League in 2018. He was even better during the 2017 campaign, registering a 1.97 ERA and 217/49 K/BB ratio over 187 2/3 innings.




Quick Hits: Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Cardinals, Mets and Phillies are among the teams interested in free agent southpaw Andrew Miller… Morosi also notes that the Braves and Phillies have shown interest in trading or Mariners’ closer Edwin Diaz, though the Mariners would need to be “completely overwhelmed” to consider dealing the right-hander according to ESPN’s Buster Olney… The Dodgers released several veteran hurlers to clear room on their 40-man roster -- Zac Rosscup, Erik Goeddel and Tom Koehler… The Padres parted ways with utilityman Cory Spangenberg, though they may have interest in bringing him back on a minor league contract… The Diamondbacks inked Rob Refsnyder to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training… The Royals have hired former Cardinals manager Mike Matheny as a special advisor for player development… According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Josh Donaldson may wait for Manny Machado to sign before he makes a decision on where to play in 2019… According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Mets have had talks with the Indians about acquiring catcher Yan Gomes… The Reds signed former Red Sox’ prospect Taylor Grover to a minor league contract… Mark Feinsand of MLB.com predicts the Tigers could look to move outfielder Nicholas Castellanos on the trade market this offseason or over the summer… Pete Kerzel of MASN Sports reports the Nationals could still be looking for another catcher despite recently signing free agent backstop Kurt Suzuki… ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the Mariners "continue to indicate to other teams that Edwin Diaz and Mitch Haniger are the closest they have to untouchable."... The Braves, Padres, Rangers and Twins have expressed interest in Yankees right-hander Sonny Gray, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe...Robert Murray of The Athletic reports that Spencer Patton has re-signed with Japan's Yokohama BayStars… Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that Adam Ottavino is "of interest" to the Yankees.




Dave Shovein is a baseball writer for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveShovein.
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