How the Paul Goldschmidt Trade Affects the Dodgers & the Rest of the NL West

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(NBC Sports photo)

Paul Goldschmidt has arguably been the best player in the NL for the last six seasons, and the Los Angeles Dodgers have had to contend with him being in their division that entire time.

It made any showdown with the Arizona Diamondbacks potentially problematic, as he was talented enough to single-handedly shift the momentum of a game with one big swing.

The good news for the Dodgers, and really all the other teams in the NL West, is that they’ll no longer have to face Goldschmidt as often.

The Diamonds traded Goldschmidt to the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday afternoon in exchange for Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly, and Andy Young.

While that trio might help the Diamondbacks, it’s unlikely that they’ll have as powerful of an impact on the team as Goldschmidt did.

Only Joey Votto has a higher OPS in the NL since 2012 than Goldschmidt, and he’s really the prototypical hitter to build a lineup around.

Goldschmidt is a complete player. He is a run producer, gets on base, and has played great defense at first base.

His 162 game averages over his career are 105 runs, 31 homers, 105 RBI, .297 batting average, .398 OBP, .532 SLG, and 18 stolen bases.

Goldschmidt has been an All-Star six times, won four Silver Sluggers, and won three Gold Gloves in his career.

He has been one of the best players in baseball, and it’s hard to envision the Diamondbacks being a factor in the NL West in the short term after this trade.

Goldschmidt has played in 130 games against the Dodgers over his career, and he actually has better stats against them than his typical career averages.

In those 130 games, he has 86 runs, 31 doubles, 31 homers, 98 RBI, 11 stolen bases, a .302 BA, a .376 OBP, and a .551 SLG.

He hasn’t just feasted against the Dodgers when they play at Chase Field, but he has remarkable stats at Dodger Stadium in particular.

In 61 games and 270 plate appearances at Dodger Stadium, Goldschmidt has hit 17 homers with a .336 BA, .408 OBP, and .592 SLG.

Basically, Goldschmidt has over-performed his already fantastic typical production against the Dodgers over his years with the Diamondbacks.

A guy like that leaving the division can be as impactful as a free agent acquisition, and while this offseason is still young, this is a huge win for everybody in the NL West who aren’t the Diamondbacks.

At this point of the offseason, there’s not really any strong case that can be made against the Dodgers being the favorites to win the division next year.

There are big free agents that have yet to make a decision, and certainly, if the Dodgers can land one of them it’ll further solidify their status as the team to beat in the NL West.

The Diamondbacks have basically forfeited contention next season by sending away Goldschmidt, so that gives the Dodgers one less real competitor.

The San Diego Padres aren’t there yet, and the San Francisco Giants are in a weird limbo, uncommitted to a rebuild and still hoping the core that won them multiple World Series earlier this decade can get them back to the playoffs.

The Colorado Rockies are the main competition for the Dodgers as of now, but there’s a lot of free agency still to go through.

This Goldschmidt trade certainly helps the Dodgers, as it significantly weakens a Diamondbacks team that was tied for the NL West lead on September 1 last season.

The Dodgers have won six consecutive NL West titles, and the odds that they’ll win a seventh consecutive were improved with this trade.

 

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19 thoughts on “How the Paul Goldschmidt Trade Affects the Dodgers & the Rest of the NL West

  1. It’s not the division I worry about. The Dodgers are better than everyone else in the NL West on their worst day. The Astros, Redsox, Yankees and teams on that level are what bother me. Friedman still acts like he’s fine with a patchwork bullpen but he needs to stop being g hardheaded and realize you are only as good as your biggest weakness. You don’t have to break the bank but at least take a chance. Use $30 million on a chance Britton or Andrew Miller regain their old form or even trade a top 10 prospect of need be to get someone to cover Kenley. The difference just one real shutdown bullpen arm would make would be enormous for this club.

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    1. I don’t really understand the panic/anger/disappointment (not sure which you’re feeling) from you Alex as well as lots of other readers here. Granted, Friedman has not spent money on a free agent high end reliever or traded for one since he got here but he was willing to spend a fortune on Kenley. We haven’t even gotten to the Winter Meetings yet and free agent signings will probably extend all the way into January. I agree with everyone here that we need one or probably two really good guys to bridge to Kenley but let’s give Andrew a little more time to get it done. Remember, with both free agents and trades the other party has to be willing to pull the trigger when you make your offer. Maybe he has all kinds of stuff working but the free agents and teams with relievers to trade are still playing the game of putting one GM against the other in order to get the best possible deal for themselves.

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  2. On the surface this deal makes no sense. It feels like the Shelby Miller deal only worse. Goldschmidt is a premier middle order hitter who is easily affordable for one more year. The guys coming back are all unproven. And a Round B pick? Why not wait until the deadline and get a real haul? Living in Arizona I know how people feel about Goldy. He’s a fan favorite and a genuine class act. This won’t sit well down here. And the Dbacks won’t deal with the Dodgers. Frankly I’m surprised they sent him to a team in the NL. I’m sure there were AL teams that would have been thrilled to give that little for him.

    I think Friedman is fine with a patchwork bullpen Alex. It’s worked for him so far. And it wasn’t really the patch that failed, it was the $70 million closer that swallowed olives in post season.

    More of the same. It’s worked well enough so far. Well enough on the Kasten scale anyway. We’d sure like to see some bodaciously brio moves, but I don’t expect it. Surprise me Andrew.

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    1. OK Scoop, give me a list of relievers you would be happy with ( free agents or trades) and I’ll see what I can do to get you at least one of them. I’m going to need at least six names on that list. Anyone else, feel free to make your own list. We’re going to get this done, but Friedman needs our help.

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  3. I agree with Scoop. On the surface it looks like a bad deal for the D-Backs. They sure did not get much for a 6time all star. New rumor is that the Dodgers are kicking the tires on a similar pick up. Jose Abreu of the White Sox. They have inquired as to his availability. Should be a very interesting month.

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    1. Just so I don’t come off as a total Friedman apologist, Abreu makes absolutely no sense to me. He had a WAR of 1.7 in 500 at bats last year. Freese was at 2.4 WAR in 280 at bats. Abreu earns about 2.5 times as much as Freese. Only reason Andrew should even make that call is if he’s planning a 3-team deal and the other team is interested in winding up with Jose.

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    1. Well Keith, Muncy came from no where and has done it once. Abreu on the other hand is a career .294 hitter with 145 career homers in 5 years. He had a down season, so maybe a change of scenery benefits him He is a RH power hitter who makes contact. Muncy was non existent for most of the playoffs and became a strikeout machine. Muncy is also no spring chicken. If he was a young guy like Belli or Seager I might be more inclined to keep the guy, but he is a hot commodity and there is no guarantee he comes close to matching what he did this season. Just look how far Taylor fell his second season. And Abreu has only 1 year left. But he would make the offense better, at least on paper.

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  4. Abreu or any other 1B that isn’t an absolute star like Goldy makes no sense when we have Freese who is a lefty killer and then Muncy and Bellinger. If anything I would love to find a legit star to play CF so Cody can play 1B. He’s been amazing in CF but how long can we expect him to be able to play that position? If I’m making a blockbuster deal my choice is for what this team has lacked for years and would make the club so much more dangerous; a true leadoff hitter. They would want a big return but I would see what KC wants for Whit Merrifield. I love his overall game and just think about him hitting in front Seager, Turner and Cody. The only problem is Merrifield is ridiculously beloved by the KC fans.

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    1. I agree with you on both Abreu and Merrifield Alex. Unfortunately I don’t see Whit in our future because of the huge prospect cost it would take to get him and the fact that the F.O. loves Lux and expects him to be our 2nd baseman within the next year or two. I’m hoping Verdugo gets a chance to be that leadoff hitter this year.

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  5. Relievers Jefe? Good question. The top of that list would be Ottovino, Famila, Soria and maybe Robertson. All performed well last year. Didn’t check projections yet. Catcher? Ramos, Realmuto or Maldonado. Jose Abreu? I agree with Bear he can hit, and a change of scenery might benefit him, but we already have a RH first baseman. We don’t need him.

    I haven’t changed my mind on any of this yet. I’d like one strong starter and Ramos or Realmuto and I’m ready to go. Sure, I’d like Harper or Stanton, but I’ve looked into my crystal balls and I see no power there. (Yeah, I said it) Our current depth chart has 6 starters, 13 relievers (some of whom are starters) and the same guys who scored more runs than any team in the National League. We look pretty good to me. Already listed as NL favorites. It’s true other teams are going to improve but I think we can win the West again and while the Phillies, Mets and Nationals pound it out in the East, and the Cubs, Cards and Brewers eliminate each other in the Central, we can cruise to the deadline where we make a brilliant and decisive move that puts us over the top. Then we can proceed to the World Series again where we lose to Boston, New York or Houston. So it is written, so let it be done.

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    1. I think Robertson has indicated he wants to stay in the Northeast so we probably can’t get him. Are you out on Britton or Miller? What about spending some of our prospects or extra outfielders on Iglesias, Vazquez, Leclerc?
      I don’t think Ramos is possible. He should get at least 3 years and that will be too much for Andrew. Maldonado probably more likely than Realmuto but you never know. And of course, there’s always AJ for a year if all else fails.

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      1. Yeah, I think you are probably right about all that. I’m just looking at it from my limited perspective. I think Ruiz is our guy for the future, but he’s 20. I could see Ramos being his mentor and the 2 sharing the duty in Ruiz’ first year in the Majors – ‘21. Same with Maldonado.

        Britton works. Miller had an off year, only pitched 34 innings, but if he checks out physically I’m ok with him too. The guys I mentioned all had higher WAR years in ‘18.

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  6. I like Lux too and I think he can be a very good starting 2B if he keeps progressing but I still need to see him do it another year in AA and AAA. He really only has one season of good production so far. As far as catcher unless hell freezes over and the market dries up for Grandal it’s Barnes carrying the load and cone what may with his bat. All of the free agents are terrible so I say why not bring AJ back because you get him at a league minimum one year deal and have him be Kershaw’s personal catcher again so Barnes is gauranteed at least one game off in every 5. Catcher will be the weakness this season but the rest of the offense can handle that for one year until Ruiz and Smith are up. I’m not y’all g the bait on Realmuto. He’s a damn fine player but he’s not worth the superstar return Miami is asking. At the end of the day he’s still a .270 20HR type player. We have many of those type guys on the roster. I think Barnes is going to have a rebound year anyway so I’m not very worried.

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  7. There are so many good options in free agency Friedman can build a bullpen around I just hope he takes advantage of it. He will probably go for cheap guys who he thinks can have a bounce back year like Cody Allen or Brad Boxberger but why not swing for the fence and hope Andrew Miller or Zach Britton regains their u gotta is form? I’m not even looking at Kimbrel or Ottavino because Friedman will never pay but Joakim Soria has been a great reliever for it seems like an eternity now and just keeps on going. Why not bring someone like him in as a stabilizing presence you know you can always turn to? I just don’t want to see more Tom Koehlers.

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      1. I think the odds we wind up with Kluber are greater but the odds we wind up with neither are far greater than that.

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