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June 24, 2023

Former GM thinks Phillies should trade for Paul Goldschmidt

Could the Phillies trade for MVP first baseman Paul Goldschmidt?

The Phillies currently have a power outage in their lineup. Kyle Schwarber has 20 home runs so far in 2023, but no other player has more than eight. Bryce Harper has just three homers and the Phillies aren't getting any pop from their makeshift corner infielders. 

Something needs to change if the Phillies want to find themselves back in the World Series. 

One such move, according to The Athletic's MLB writer and former MLB general manager Jim Bowden, would be to swing a trade for reigning National League MVP Paul Goldschmidt.

In a new feature on Friday detailing why both Goldschmidt's Cardinals and then the Mets may be sellers this summer with how disappointing their seasons have started. In his story on The Athletic, Bowden suggests that St. Louis could deal to the Fightins, who are desperately missing Rhys Hoskins' slugging capabilities at first base. Bowden writes:

Adding Paul Goldschmidt to their lineup would be a game-changer for the Phillies (and obviously, would subsequently create a big hole in St. Louis’). In return, the Cardinals could ask for top prospect Andrew Painter, if his medicals don’t scare them, but Philadelphia would instantly reject that offer because the 20-year-old profiles as a future ace. (Painter is working his way back from an elbow injury and could join the Phillies rotation this season if all goes well.) However, the Phillies might be willing to dangle Mick Abel, their second-best pitching prospect, or Griff McGarry, their third-best pitching prospect, along with a couple of mid-level type prospects. Goldschmidt, 35, will be a free agent after the 2024 season. The reigning NL MVP is having another strong year, as shown by his 2.4 WAR and 137 OPS+ to go along with 13 home runs, 38 RBIs and eight steals. [The Athletic/$]

I doubt the Phillies would have to part with Andrew Painter in a trade for Goldschmidt, who's under contract for one more year in 2024 for $26 million. I can understand why fans may be reluctant to part with pitching prospects for Goldschmidt, but the abundance of pitching talent in the minors currently is a testament to a new philosophical approach at the developmental level that is clearly working. If Griff McGarry is the pivot point between going back to the postseason with a highly priced roster in their prime that has showcased an ability to win in October and then Philly tuning this ball club out for Eagles talk come late July, the deal needs to happen. 

Goldschmidt, who turns 36 in September, would probably only be a 1.5-year rental, but that should be fine with the way the other contracts on the Phillies' books are constructed anyway. He has an OPS of .870 this year, has led the National League in slugging twice, is a career .295 hitter and is a four-time Gold Glove winner at first. If a franchise like the Phillies wants to continue carrying themselves like big-money movers akin to the early-2000s Yankees the way they've been the last few years, this is the bold deal that continues that process and puts Philadelphia on the map for another Red October. 

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