Report: Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals Agree to 5-Year, $130 Million Contract

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2019

TAMPA, FLORIDA - MARCH 06:  Paul Goldschmidt #46 of the St. Louis Cardinals runs to third base in the third inning against the New York Yankees during the Grapefruit League spring training game at Steinbrenner Field on March 06, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The St. Louis Cardinals and star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt have agreed to a five-year extension worth around $130 million, according to ESPN.com's Jeff Passan.

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal first reported Thursday the two sides were nearing a deal. Goldschmidt is due to hit free agency after the 2019 season. Rosenthal added it's unclear whether Goldschmidt's contract includes any opt-outs or a no-trade clause.

The Cardinals acquired him from the Arizona Diamondbacks in December.

This move would continue the recent trend of top stars signing long-term extensions well before they hit the open market.

Fox 26's Mark Berman reported Tuesday the Houston Astros agreed to a six-year, $100 million deal with Alex Bregman that will cover his remaining arbitration years and what would've been his first two free-agent years. Also on Tuesday, Passan reported Mike Trout agreed to a 12-year, $430 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

Passan also reported Thursday the Tampa Bay Rays inked American League Cy Young winner Ian Snell to a five-year, $50 million extension.

Goldschmidt may be content to get long-term security now rather than risk going unsigned for a large chunk of the 2020 offseason and potentially settling for a salary below what many would've expected.

Manny Machado and Bryce Harper—both of whom are in their respective primes—didn't sign until February, while Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel remain without a team. Considering he'll turn 32 in September, Goldschmidt might have found a lukewarm market in free agency.

At potentially $22 million a year, re-signing Goldschmidt is a no-brainer for the Cardinals.

Over the past five years, he ranks sixth in WAR among position players (26.8), per FanGraphs. During that span, he has a .301/.408/.539 slash line, 145 home runs and 477 RBI, and his .398 weighted on-base average is fifth-highest in MLB.

The six-time All-Star has generally been a model of consistency at the plate, and he has shown little sign of declining. Even if Goldschmidt's performance starts slipping a bit, he should more than justify St. Louis' investment.

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