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Nightengale: D-backs got to pull cord on Paul Goldschmidt

Arizona Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt watches his single off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Anderson during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 10, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Reports that the Arizona Diamondbacks are open to trading Paul Goldschmidt and pitcher Zack Greinke indicate the team is turning to a rebuild.

It means the team isn’t wanting to add more salaries.

And it indicates that Goldschmidt, who has one year left on his contract, probably isn’t going to begin negotiating an extension. It means Arizona, most likely, has already decided it is time to move on. USA Today reporter Bob Nightengale believes it’s a question of when Goldschmidt is traded, not if.

He believes it’s an 80-90 percent chance Goldschmidt is traded this offseason.

“I don’t think Ken Kendrick would allow (Goldschmidt to stay in Arizona),” Nightengale told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “That would be too big of a PR disaster. But the thing is, if you’re not going to sign Paul Goldschmidt to a massive extension, you’ve got to trade him. His value’s going to be high at least. If someone trades (for) him, they can offer the qualifying offer (next summer). Even if he leaves, you get a high draft pick out of it.

“I think (the D-backs) got to pull the cord here, before spring training.”

Nightengale said Goldschmidt’s value will decrease by the trade deadline.

Because his contract is nearing its end, it would take a suitor committed on extending Goldschmidt for the D-backs to have a deal. The St. Louis Cardinals appear to be not only a fitting team but one reportedly interested in the first baseman.

The Cardinals need a corner infielder and a big, middle-of-the-order bat. They’re in a baseball town needing to improve their team.

St. Louis also has a strong crop of prospects — pitchers and outfielders — that could get a deal done with Arizona.

“I think he’s going to the St. Louis Cardinals. I really do. I wouldn’t rule out the Houston Astros,” Nightengale said. “St. Louis is a place where he’s going to fall in love with and they’re going to fall in love with him. Got the perfect personality for the Cardinals’ organization. Players love playing there.

“If it’s not Manny Machado, I think Paul Goldschmidt.”

Greinke on the ‘backburner’

Goldschmidt trade talks could heat up heading into the Winter Meetings, which begin Monday, but the trade scuttle around D-backs pitcher Zack Greinke has been “very quiet,” Nightengale said.

That might be on the backburner until after the holidays, once more free agents are signed, other trades — Cleveland is shopping starting pitchers Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer — are made and other options are exhausted.

Mets in talks with Pollock

Free agent center fielder A.J. Pollock remains on the market and has received interest from the New York Mets, according to the team’s GM, Brodie Van Wagenen.

Van Wagenen told MLB Network Radio that the team will continue discussing a potential deal with Pollock’s agent.

Nightengale expects Pollock to command a considerable deal around $80 million, a similarly-sized contract to the one Lorenzo Cain signed with the Milwaukee Brewers in January.

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