MLB Trade Rumors: Zack Greinke-Paul Goldschmidt Package Deal Discussed

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2018

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 11:  Starting pitcher Zack Greinke #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws in the sixth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on September 11, 2018 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Arizona Diamondbacks are a team to keep an eye on as the hot stove heats up, as both starting pitcher Zack Greinke and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt could be changing uniforms this offseason.

USA Today's Bob Nightengale (h/t Arizona Sports 98.7 FM's Kevin Zimmerman) said Friday the two stars could even be packaged in a blockbuster deal.

Per Zimmerman, Arizona has been "heavily" shopping Greinke. However, given the 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner has three years and $104.5 million remaining on his contract, the Diamondbacks may have to get creative in order to trade him. Nightengale noted that could mean including Goldschmidt in a deal.

In fact, those discussions have reportedly already taken place.

"I know teams have talked about it at the GM meetings and the owners meetings," Nightengale told Doug and Wolf. "One team for sure is [the] St. Louis Cardinals. They need a big power bat; they would like another arm. Zack can reject [a] trade to 15 teams. I don't think St. Louis would be on there. I think he would actually love pitching in a city like St. Louis, where it's all baseball, all positive, everything."

Nightengale made it clear the Diamondbacks are looking to rebuild following an 82-80 performance in 2018. They are just one year removed from 93 wins and a wild-card berth.

Midway through his six-year, $206.5 million deal, Greinke finished 15-11 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 33 starts last season. The right-hander also struck out 199 batters in 207.2 innings and won his fifth straight Gold Glove.

He has reached the 200-inning plateau in four of the past five seasons and punched out 199-plus four times during that span as well.

While Greinke continues to be a productive front-of-the-rotation pitcher, his contract will affect his trade market—and that's why Goldschmidt could be the key to any deal.

Goldschmidt finished sixth in National League MVP voting by hitting .290/.389/.533 with 33 home runs, 35 doubles, five triples and 83 RBI last season. He earned his sixth consecutive All-Star selection and his fourth Silver Slugger.

The star first baseman is entering the final year of his contract and will earn $14.5 million in 2019.

It could be tough for many teams to take on those two salaries, and Arizona would likely have to add cash to any deal. Fancred's Jon Heyman reported earlier this month that the Diamondbacks "might have to pay about one-third of Greinke's [$34.5 million 2019] salary" to get a deal done.

Moving on from Greinke and Goldschmidt may be tough for Arizona. The Diamondbacks have made the postseason just once in three years with the two stars, however, so it may be time for them to build for the future. Don't be surprised if rumors continue to swirl around both players.