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Stark: D-backs’ Paul Goldschmidt could end up in Houston

Arizona Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt (44) rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run off Houston Astros relief pitcher Luke Gregerson, as shortstop Marwin Gonzalez stands near second base during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Rumors that D-backs star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt could be traded have been swirling for the past month.

The Athletic’s Jayson Stark told 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station‘s Bickey and Marotta on Tuesday he believes Goldschmidt will get traded and he expects it will be to one of the American League’s best teams.

“When the dust settles, [Goldschmidt] will get moved,” Stark said. “Talking to these teams, one of them told me that they bet he will get traded.

“If I were a betting man, I would say that Goldschmidt ends up in Houston. I think that’s the fit.”

The basis for Goldschmidt’s potential exit revolves around his expiring contract and the D-backs’ likeliness to start a rebuild.

Goldschmidt, 31, and the D-backs exercised a $14.5 million team option in October and 2019 will be the final season he is under team control.

The D-backs, who won 82 games last season compared to 93 in 2017, are also expected to lose stars like pitcher Patrick Corbin and outfielder A.J. Pollock to free agency.

Stark doesn’t expect Arizona to be in a rush to trade Goldschmidt, however.

“Even a great player who is a year away from free agency doesn’t have the value that he used to,” Stark said. “It’s difficult to know what they will get back.

“The sense I get is that they’re not in a hurry.”

If the D-backs do trade Goldschmidt, a three-time MVP finalist who has spent his entire career with the organization, it will likely be the final move that pushes the team into a rebuilding phase.

“If you’re going to trade Goldschmidt, you need to sell it to your fanbase,” Stark said. “I don’t see the scenario where you can re-sign him.

“You can’t trade him for guys in A-ball that won’t be playing for years. It’s tricky to thread that needle.”

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