While insult was certainly added to injury for Greg Bird in the month of April, the Yankees are adamant that the 24-year-old is the franchise’s long-term solution at first base. But is there a better candidate for the position?
As New York continues to win, the odds of the team becoming buyers at this summer’s trade deadline only increase, which means that general manager Brian Cashman could be making some phone calls sooner rather than later. The question is, which valued prospects would the Yankees yield, and who would be their newest asset?
During a conversation with NJ.com, Keith Law of ESPN suggested that the Yankees should only trade top prospects for a player under team control. And while New York’s in need of starting pitching, Law spoke of an underrated first baseman in the National League.
“I would not do it for a rental,” Law said of his preferred trade strategy. “But for a player under team control, like, say prying Paul Goldschmidt loose? I’d do it. I know everyone loves Greg Bird and his future, but this is why you have prospects to deal. If Arizona was willing to pivot and try to rebuild, Goldschmidt would be a great move for the Yankees.”
Goldschmidt, 29, is a four-time All-Star with the Arizona Diamondbacks, who owns a slashline of .300/.401/.527 over seven seasons. While the righty’s renowned for sneaky power (147 career home runs), Goldschmidt has also hit at least 33 doubles in the last five years, and since 2012, he’s recorded the most stolen bases by a first baseman (103). If his offensive numbers aren’t gratifying, Goldschmidt has also won two Gold Glove awards, and owns a career WAR of 30.5.
A trade for Goldschmidt would be contingent on Arizona’s willingness to rebuild. Despite recent efforts to bolster the club, the Diamondbacks haven’t made the postseason since 2011, with their highest season win total sitting at 81 during this span. But, if Goldschmidt was placed on the market, he would be under team control through 2018, with an option included for 2019 as well ($26.5 million owed).
At the moment, the Yankees have faith in Bird’s abilities, but adding him in a package for a star like Goldschmidt could pay dividends.