Remove Joe Mauer, and insert Paul Goldschmidt?
That is a possibility the Twins are exploring, at least according to a tweet from Jon Morosi of Fox Sports and MLB Network on Tuesday.
“Twins and DBacks have had preliminary talks about a Paul Goldschmidt trade, source confirms, though the dialogue has not advanced in recent days,” Morosi wrote. “Minnesota had the 5th-lowest OPS at first base of any MLB team in 2018 [.711]; Arizona had the best … because of Goldschmidt.”
Goldschmidt is a six-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner who hit .290 with 33 homers, 83 RBI and a .389 on-base percentage and .533 slugging percentage (.922 OPS) over 158 games.
The eight-year pro is a career .297 hitter, averaging a .398 on-base percentage and .532 slugging percentage.
It was a "down year" for the 31-year-old in his age-30 season, as it was the first time in his career he played in 146 or more games yet failed to hit .297 or better, drive in 95 or more runs, post at least a .396 on-base percentage or steal at least 18 bases.
ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted last month that the Diamondbacks were open to dealing the first baseman and his 2019 salary of $14.5 million before he hits unrestricted free agency in 2020.
Arizona’s GM Mike Hazen told the Arizona Republic in October that he wanted “to get a feel for what the trade market would be for various guys, evaluate the free-agent market as it comes out and see what happens, and reconvene.”
This could certainly be a case of just that.
In addition to the Twins, the Astros, Cardinals have reportedly had “meaningful” discussions with Arizona about Goldschmidt this offseason.