Yankees Named ‘Ideal Landing Spot’ for $130 Million 7-Time All-Star Trade Target…

The New York Yankees have surged to first place in the AL East to open the season, tied for the MLB lead with 12 wins so far.

But that doesn’t mean the roster won’t still see changes as the team seeks to return to a deep playoff run after a disappointing 2023. And one spot that might be primed for an upgrade is first base, as starter Anthony Rizzo has opened the year with a .243/.321/.314 slash line in 70 at bats to go along with a .978 fielding percentage.

Addressing that potential for an upgrade via trade, Tim Kelly of Bleacher Report listed the Yankees as one of the ideal landing spots for St. Louis Cardinals slugger Paul Goldschmidt, who he sees as one of MLB’s “top nine trade targets.

“From a legacy perspective, the St. Louis Cardinals might like to retain Paul Goldschmidt,” Kelly wrote. “However, from an on-field perspective, the Cardinals are an old team that probably missed their window. Goldshmidt will turn 37 in September and may like the opportunity to join a World Series contender this summer if the Cardinals’ season doesn’t pan out how they hope.”

Goldschmidt is in the final season of a five-year, $130 million contract extension with the Cardinals, giving credence to the idea that his current team might want to yield some trade value for him before he hits free agency and ultimately signs somewhere else after the 2024 campaign.

His on-field resume all but speaks for itself, suggesting there will be plenty of interested parties around the trade deadline if he is on the block. In 14 big-league seasons, Goldschmidt has career averages of .292/.387/.517, he has received All-Star nods seven times, earned five Silver Slugger Awards and four Gold Glove Awards and won the National League MVP award in 2022.

He has started the 2024 season in a worse slump than Rizzo, slashing .190/.292/.238 in 63 at bats so far, but his defense is as good as ever with a 1.000 fielding percentage. But even at age 36, it seems likely he will find his groove at the plate again, as he slashed .268/.363/.447 last season and won an MVP just the year before that.

If the Yankees feel Goldschmidt’s bat can offer a boost to their order down the stretch of this season, he could be had for relatively little as a rental before free agency, and it might be the kind of deal that entices them. They stand to be one of the few high-caliber offenses in MLB that might see him as an upgrade at first base.

“It would be interesting to see what his market would be,” Kelly added. “So many contending teams — the Braves, Dodgers and Phillies, for example — have star first basemen already,” Kelly added. “But given that Goldschmidt can become a free agent at the end of the season, some lower-budget contending teams could consider trying to land Goldschmidt as a rental.”

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