PHOENIX -- The D-backs picked up Paul Goldschmidt's contract option for the 2019 season on Monday, guaranteeing the first baseman $14.5 million next season, his final one before becoming a free agent for the first time in his career.The choice was an easy one for the D-backs to make, but
PHOENIX -- The D-backs picked up Paul Goldschmidt's contract option for the 2019 season on Monday, guaranteeing the first baseman $14.5 million next season, his final one before becoming a free agent for the first time in his career.
The choice was an easy one for the D-backs to make, but the decisions regarding Goldschmidt get much harder from here on out.
The 31-year-old hit .290/.389/.533 last season. Selected by the D-backs in the eighth round of the 2009 Draft, Goldschmidt has become the face of the franchise, going to six straight All-Star Games, collecting three Gold Glove Awards and three Silver Sluggers.
Thanks to the five-year, $32 million extension Goldschmidt signed just prior to the start of the 2013 season, the D-backs have had few worries when it came to their first baseman.
Now that the contract is nearly done, the D-backs have three options when it comes to Goldschmidt this offseason.
For the first time since he became a regular in the big leagues, the D-backs have declined to say that they would not listen to trade offers for him this offseason.
With left-hander Patrick Corbin and outfielder A.J. Pollock expected to depart via free agency and coming off a disappointing September collapse, the D-backs could look to get younger next year as part of a rebuilding or retooling effort.
General manager Mike Hazen said the team wanted to gauge the markets -- both free agent and trade -- before making a decision on their direction.
Part of that involves at least being open to listening to what they could get for Goldschmidt. Would a team offer the D-backs a package that they couldn't resist?
Make no mistake, even under those circumstances, trading away Goldschmidt would be an agonizing decision for both Hazen and ownership.
Goldschmidt's first full season in the big leagues was 2012, and after watching him hit .286/.359/.490, the D-backs inked him to the extension. The deal provided Goldschmidt financial security early in his career and as his performance took off, it gave the D-backs a very club-friendly contract.
Goldschmidt has a strict policy of never discussing his contract publicly, and as a result, the D-backs are not doing so either, so we don't know if Goldschmidt might be willing to take a discount to stay in Arizona. We also don't know if the two sides have even discussed the subject, but it would make sense for the D-backs to at least know what Goldschmidt would want in an extension before doing anything.
Keep him under his current deal
The simplest option is to open the season with him at first base and see how the team does out of the gate.
If the D-backs struggle and it looks like a rebuilding year, they could choose to deal him before the Trade Deadline to a contender looking for a big bat to put them over the top.
If the D-backs are in the hunt, or if they don't have an offer they like by the Trade Deadline, they can keep him and either try to re-sign him at the end of the season, or make him a qualifying offer and take the Draft compensation if he turns it down.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.