If the New York Yankees are, in fact, looking to acquire an established first baseman this winter, one of the best in the game is reportedly on the trade market.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, rival evaluators believe that the Arizona Diamondbacks intend to trade six-time All-Star Paul Goldschmidt.
Arizona is on the cusp of a rebuild as rumors have already swirled this offseason that ace Zack Greinke is also on the trade block. They also are on the verge of losing top-tier starter Patrick Corbin, another southpaw linked to the Yankees.
With Goldschmidt entering the final year of his deal, it makes him a prime trade candidate. The quicker they do so, the higher the return will be.
The 31-year-old has finished in the top-11 of the National League MVP voting in five of the past six seasons, including three top-three finishes. He’s been one of the most consistent power bats at his position over his eight years in the league, posting 162-game averages of .297 with 31 home runs and 105 RBI.
Goldschmidt’s name has been prevalent among the trade market for the past two months with the Yankees having been notable players. Per Olney, New York was offering prized left-handed pitching prospect Justus Sheffield for Goldschmidt, though the first baseman’s name temporarily disappeared from the rumor mill for a stretch.
Now the Yankees are without Sheffield having dealt him to the Seattle Mariners for left-handed starter James Paxton, a major piece to lose in discussions involving a bona fide star like Goldschmidt.
First base has been a position in flux for the Yankees over the past few years. Greg Bird has proved unreliable behind a struggling bat and a multitude of injuries. Granted, they might have stumbled upon a long-term replacement in Luke Voit, acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals at the trade deadline last year.
In just 39 regular-season games with the Yankees, the 27-year-old smacked 14 home runs and drove in 33 runs.
However, the organization’s tendencies this offseason has shown that they believe Voit’s production was a fluke. There have been reports that they are discussing the possibility of bringing in free-agent megastar Bryce Harper, normally a right fielder, to play first base.
With Sheffield out of the picture, the Yankees likely are not going to be able to keep up with the likes of the Houston Astros or St. Louis Cardinals, who could offer big-time returns to the Diamondbacks for Goldschmidt.