Astros: Zack Greinke and Paul Goldschmidt trade package worth consideration
By Brian Murray
The Arizona Diamondbacks are seemingly cleaning house this winter. Should the Astros go big and seek a package deal for Zack Greinke and Paul Goldschmidt?
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports, The D-Backs are aggressively shopping Zack Greinke in their “strip down” to rebuild and may even consider a package with Paul Goldschmidt. Maybe the Astros should take a leap and jump on the opportunity.
Some may balk at the fact that Greinke is in the midst of a six-year, $206 million contract. There are three years and $104 million remaining in the contract, with $34.5 million due in 2019 and $35 million owed in each of the final two years. But some sources are saying Arizona may be willing to absorb a portion of that, to sweeten the pot for those in pursuit. The salary space left, with the likely exit of Charlie Morton, Dallas Keuchel, Brian McCann and others, could allow the Astros to afford the remaining contract.
Greinke just turned 35 years old, meaning he would be 38 in the final year of his current contract. The fear that he is nearing the end of the productive days of his career is understandable. But examining his recent statistics, he seems to have quite a bit still left in his tank. The last two years, Zack has pitched over 200 innings per season with 31 wins, averaging 200+ strikeouts and an ERA of 3.20.
Both Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole will become unrestricted free agents at the end of this upcoming season, with no guarantee after that. Locking up a Cy Young Award winner, with five straight Gold Glove Awards, could reap instant and future gratification.
Paul Goldschmidt could be the icing on the cake of a packaged deal with Greinke. The 31-year-old first baseman is in the final year of his six-year contract with $14.5 million remaining. The six-time All-Star and winner of four Silver Slugger Awards would be a nice power hitting addition to the Astros lineup. Yuli Gurriel will be most likely be utilized all over the diamond with his flexibility, in the absence of Marwin Gonzalez. This would allow for a multitude of options for Houston to employ Gurriel and Goldschmidt in either the DH or first base position.
When you consider Houston’s farm system is ranked #9 according to bleacherreport.com, there are plenty of interesting trading chips available, without jeopardizing the depth of quality players. The salaries for both players are rich but affordable, with the pending departure of several players from the 2019 payroll. This could be a blockbuster trade the Astros may want to consider, to get back into World Series contention.