It was reported earlier this week that the Arizona Diamondbacks are considering rebuilding following a disappointing season that saw them collapse in September. At minimum, the Diamondbacks are said to be willing to listen to offers for all their top players, including first baseman and face of the franchise Paul Goldschmidt, who has a year left on his contract.
Should the Diamondbacks make Goldschmidt available, he's likely to draw the interest from a wide array of clear contenders and hopefuls. After all, Goldschmidt has posted an OPS+ of at least 125 in each of his seven full seasons, including a 139 mark this year that ranked second among qualifying first basemen. Whoever acquires him is landing a high-quality player.
Because we're curious and impatient and prone to bouts of messiness, we've decided to rank the 29 teams based on their chances of landing Goldschmidt. This is, obviously, more art than science -- and, in all likelihood, not even good art. Enjoy the fool's errand all the same.
29. Cincinnati Reds
We're estimating no team has a lower chance of landing Goldschmidt than the Reds because: 1. They employ Joey Votto, and 2. Any resources spent need to be spent on pitching, not hitting.
28. Detroit Tigers
Hey, at least the Tigers have the DH spot available. Not happening though.
27. San Diego Padres
A.J. Preller is always a wild card, but even he isn't going to trade for Goldschmidt when his roster already features two other first basemen in Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers.
26. Miami Marlins
The Marlins traded Justin Bour late in the year and platooned Derek Dietrich and Peter O'Brien at the cold corner the rest of the way. O'Brien played well enough to perhaps merit a -- oh, who are we kidding? The Marlins aren't trading for a walk-year veteran.
25. Kansas City Royals
Here you have a rebuilding team where one of the few bright spots was a first baseman. In other words, no chance.
24. Washington Nationals
The Nationals like adding insurance in case Ryan Zimmerman gets injured. Adding Goldschmidt would turn Zimmerman into the insurance.
23. Chicago White Sox
Rick Hahn and company are facing a similar situation with Jose Abreu. Goldschmidt is better than Abreu (that's no knock on Abreu), but that's not enough to get involved here.
22. Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles owe Chris Davis a lot of money heading forward and aren't likely to be good anytime soon. We don't know who they'll name as GM, but we do know they won't pursue Goldschmidt.
21. Chicago Cubs
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are creative and would probably like to add another bat this winter. Goldschmidt just isn't the one, based on the Cubs roster.
20. Atlanta Braves
Normally, we'd have the Braves lower on the list since Freddie Freeman is one of the few first-sackers who can match up with Goldschmidt's production. But Freeman has moved to another position out of deference to Matt Adams before, so why not Goldschmidt? Answer: Because the Braves won't be dealing for Goldschmidt.
19. San Francisco Giants
Without knowing who the Giants GM will be, it's hard to get a feel for their desires. Adding Goldschmidt would require the Giants trade or shift Brandon Belt elsewhere, however, and that makes them unlikely.
18. New York Mets
Never bet on a Wilpons-owned Mets team spending more money than is necessary. The Mets have a few young first basemen in tow -- including Pete Alonso -- and if they're going to be involved in a trade headlined by an All-Star, it'll probably be with them on the seller's side.
17. Oakland A's
As fun as it would be to see the Athletics land Goldschmidt, they'd have to move Khris Davis or Matt Olson to an outfield corner to make room. That doesn't seem likely.
16. Toronto Blue Jays
Remember what we said about the Wilpons? Never bet on a Mark Shapiro-run team trading prospects for veterans, either.
15. Minnesota Twins
What better way to replace Joe Mauer? The Twins might prefer giving Tyler Austin an extended look or settling for someone who doesn't cost prospects instead.
14. Texas Rangers
You can perhaps talk yourself into the Rangers getting aggressive and going after Goldschmidt in an effort to be competitive again in 2019. But they seem more likely to give Ronald Guzman another run with the hopes he can someday grow into their own Goldschmidt.
13. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have to worry about retaining Manny Machado and Clayton Kershaw this winter. Plus they have Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy. Double plus: would the Diamondbacks trade Goldschmidt to a rival? Seems unlikely.
12. Los Angeles Angels
Would the Angels really shun Albert Pujols and what remains on his contract? And would they really use their resources on a first baseman right afterward? Nah.
11. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates have surprised before (see the Chris Archer trade), but like the Rangers, they seem more likely to give Josh Bell another season as their primary first baseman.
10. Philadelphia Phillies
Let's stay in-state by throwing the Phillies on here. Jokes about their desire to build a roster of first basemen aside, it's hard to see them rolling into next year with Carlos Santana and Rhys Hoskins assigned a position other than first base.
9. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals would have to plop Matt Carpenter down at third base in order to make this work. Maybe the Cardinals get antsy if the Cubs and/or Brewers make big moves, but we're skeptical this would be their response.
8. Cleveland Indians
Cleveland has a smart, bold front office. They could justify adding Goldschmidt and moving Yonder Alonso to another team or to the bench for a season. But if they're swinging for the fences, they'd probably prefer to do it for an outfielder.
7. Milwaukee Brewers
David Stearns has shown he's willing to make a bold move. Jesus Aguilar just had a breakout season, though, and it's more probable that Stearns would use his currency elsewhere.
6. Boston Red Sox
Dave Dombrowski has never feared away from making a big trade. Whether he'd be willing to cash in what's left on his farm for a first baseman when Mitch Moreland remains under contract is anyone's guess -- we think it's possible, but probably not likely.
5. Seattle Mariners
The Mariners may or may not shift Robinson Cano to first base and may or may not lose Nelson Cruz to free agency. There's room for Goldschmidt there if you squint. Alas, they don't seem to have the prospect war chest it would take to land him.
4. Colorado Rockies
On paper, it makes sense. The Rockies need offensive help, and Goldschmidt would fill their biggest void. Trading Goldschmidt to Colorado isn't like sending him to L.A., and the Rockies could ship back a number of interesting youngsters. Even so, we're not optimistic.
3. Tampa Bay Rays
If the Rays want to threaten for a playoff spot, adding Goldschmidt would help in that pursuit. The Rays have plenty of prospects they could ship off without missing, and have just one guaranteed contract outstanding for next season. If they're ever going to make a splash, this is the time. Oh, and remember: payroll flexibility is of no benefit to anyone but ownership if there's no intent to use it.
2. New York Yankees
Putting the Yankees this high feels lazy, but think about it. Greg Bird's health and performance make him an unreliable quantity, and Luke Voit seems unlikely to sustain this kind of production. Slotting Goldschmidt in at first base would give the already-stacked Yankees the unquestionable best lineup in baseball. And hey, if Voit proves to be the real deal, that's a good problem to have.
Last winter, the Astros added Gerrit Cole. The summer before that, Justin Verlander. Grabbing Goldschmidt and plopping him down in the middle of the order sounds pretty good to us. He'd qualify as a huge upgrade over Yuli Gurriel, and the Astros could still use a Tyler White-Evan Gattis platoon at DH. Factor in Houston's rumored past interest in Jose Abreu, and it shouldn't surprise anyone if the Astros end up employing Goldschmidt in 2019.