The Phillies and Diamondbacks discussed a Paul Goldschmidt trade and even exchanged names, according to Jayson Stark.
Stark reports that "Zach Eflin and several young players" were discussed but that talks ended when the Phils tried to include first baseman/occasional third baseman Carlos Santana.
First off, wow. Imagine a top or middle of the order including Bryce Harper, Goldschmidt and Rhys Hoskins.
Arizona is exploring many trade possibilities this offseason. Goldschmidt could go, same for Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray, Archie Bradley and Brad Boxberger.
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Goldschmidt is a superstar, and he's under contract for an extremely team-friendly price of $14.5M in 2019. Then he becomes a free agent and will still command a huge salary despite being 32 headed into the market.
The Phillies have enough money to make Goldschmidt a non-rental, but you have to consider aspects other than offense. It would necessitate Hoskins' staying in left field, which makes left field defense a problem.
It would also force their hand with Santana, which is likely why they tried to ship him to Arizona. You just cannot have a left side of the field including Santana at 3B and Hoskins in LF. The Phils' defense, with that alignment, could be even worse than it was last season.
Santana has two years and $35.5 million remaining on his contract. It is highly unlikely that the Phillies can accomplish both goals of getting his money off the books while also finding a decent return. It's one or the other.
Quite frankly, though, if Goldschmidt is gettable, the Phillies should do whatever they have to do with Santana. Trade him for next-to-no return if it saves you the money and unclogs the positional jam. Goldschmidt is worth that. He has every bit of Santana's plate selectivity, just with much more power, a much higher batting average, more speed and better glovework.
It would take more than just Eflin, though. The Phillies will be hesitant to include Nick Pivetta, but it could cost something like Eflin, Vince Velasquez and an outfielder. The price can't become exorbitant, though, because Goldschmidt comes with just one year of team control.
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