Nothing has been stated with any degree of certainty, but it appears the Arizona Diamondbacks are contemplating an offseason tear-down to make way for a full rebuild. A successful rebuild generally requires a talented farm system, something the Diamondbacks currently lack - Baseball America ranks it at twenty-seventh in the league. There is one clear path forward if a rebuild is the route the D-Backs choose to take, but it would not be an easy one.
They might have to trade their franchise player.
“Franchise player” can mean different things to different people, but most would agree, regardless of one’s definition of the term, it applies to Paul Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt has been with the Diamondbacks since he was drafted in 2009 and has easily been the team’s best player since his debut in 2011. In eight seasons with the club, he has amassed 36.3 fWAR, an incredible value given his extremely team-friendly contract. In March of 2013 he agreed to a five-year (covering 2014-2018), $32 million deal with a team option year for 2019 at $14.5 million.
The return for a player of Goldschmidt’s caliber would be a great start for a team looking to rebuild, but with only one year left on his contract, would not be so steep to scare teams away. One thing working against the Diamondbacks, according to Buster Olney, is that most contending team’s are comfortable with their options at first base:
As has been reported, the D-Backs will listen to offers on their best players, including Paul Goldschmidt. Most contenders are locked in at 1B for 2019; the Cubs have Rizzo, for example. Total speculation: One team that could be a great fit for a Goldschmidt deal -- the Yankees.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) October 14, 2018
But what about a team that has a first baseman they could slide over to third? That might be an interesting thing to consider.
Of course, the Diamondbacks could choose to go all in during this final year of Goldschmidt’s contract or even try to rebuild around him and sign him to another extension. It is just a rumor, after all.
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