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ESPN’s Law: D-backs could get 4 prospects for Goldschmidt

Arizona Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt looks on from the dugout before the baseball game against the San Diego Padres Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Orlando Ramirez)

A year after winning the Wild Card Game, the Arizona Diamondbacks failed to make the postseason in 2018. Inconsistent midseason acquisitions and pitching woes in August and September prevented the D-backs from holding onto a division lead it held for much of the season.

But the team wasn’t without its stars. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt posted a solid on-base percentage of .389 with 33 home runs. Likewise, Zack Greinke recorded solid numbers from the mound, winning 13 of his 21 decisions with a 1.079 WHIP.

ESPN’s Keith Law assessed their trade values as Arizona considers a rebuild.

Goldschmidt, 31 years old, is entering into the final season of his $14.5 million contract with Arizona. While his production has been consistent over the last five years, Law acknowledged that Goldschmidt’s age is a concern for his long-term production.

He’s 31 years old now, so a long-term deal probably buys you no upside while paying for years in which he’s in decline, but outside of that little blip this past season, there isn’t any real reason to expect him to lose value in the short term.

Because of his presence in the National League MVP conversation the past few seasons, Law said Arizona should ask charge a hefty price for the veteran first baseman. Possibly, the Diamondbacks could get four prospects in return for Goldschmidt.

If this were the case, the rebuild time in the Valley could shrink, according to Law. But there is a problem: not many contenders need first basemen.

Smart selling this winter could accelerate the process so that the D-backs are down for only two or three seasons. The only obstacle here is that there aren’t many contenders with clear openings at first base. But there’s one glaring one in the Bronx, and — if ownership can acknowledge the need — there’s a void at first in Anaheim, too.

Greinke, on the other hand, still has three years remaining on his contract. The ace still has $95.5 million left on that contract, but he may be worth the money.

At current market prices, he’s close to worth it, especially given how durable he has been in his career. Greinke has made at least 26 starts in 11 straight seasons, 28 starts in eight of those 11, and missed qualifying for the ERA title just once, falling 3⅓ innings short in 2016.

If the D-backs were to shop Greinke, they probably wouldn’t get much in return.

I would guess any team that can take all or most of the contract wouldn’t have to give up much in prospects to acquire him.

More will be known about the D-backs’ trade plans a month from now. That is when the annual Winter Meetings will take place in Las Vegas.

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