Astros: Could they pull off a Greinke and Goldy trade?

Eric Huysman on Nov. 24, 2018

A trade to fill two roster spots in one move for the Astros.

With the winter meetings around the corner, there are a lot of rumors out there about the Astros. GM’s across the league are looking for those Black Friday deals to improve their team for 2019. While the shopping holiday is over, this doesn’t mean the Astros are done trying to get the best deal. They are looking to add a starting pitcher or two, a catcher, and maybe another power bat. There are still many targets out there, but one way to make a big splash.

If the Astros are willing to take on a lot of salary, they can upgrade the rotation and lineup in one swoop. A few years ago, Zack Greinke opted out of his contract with the Dodgers similar to what Clayton Kershaw almost did this offseason. The Dodgers ponied up for Kershaw, but they let the Diamondbacks, a division rival, outbid them for Greinke. He signed with Arizona for 6 years $206.5 million, via Baseball-Reference. That was a hefty price to pay for the ace, but they thought they were one pitcher away.

Then the Shelby Miller trade happened. The Diamondbacks were a good team and Greinke had his moments, but they are looking to shed his $34.5 plus salary for the next three years. Actually, only $21 million goes on the books each year, the rest is deferred via USA Today. Greinke has $62.5 million deferred to be paid equally over five years starting in 2022.

Don’t forget that he would get $2 million if traded and can only be traded to 15 teams without his approval. That’s a lot for Greinke, who had a 15-11 record in 2018 with a 3.21 ERA with 199 strikeouts in 207 ⅔ innings pitched, via Baseball-Reference. The Astros are one of a few teams where Greinke would be the third pitcher in the rotation.

What about Goldy?

That was a lot of money being thrown around right there, which is why Greinke has not been traded yet. The Diamondbacks could also have an ace up their sleeve in Paul Goldschmidt, who will be a free agent after the season. He is one of the best players in the game and the Diamondbacks would not be able to afford him. Unless the Astros are able to extend him during the trade, they most likely couldn't afford him either. For the 2019 season, Goldschmidt is set to make $12.5 million after the team exercised the team option.

Wait, the Astros have Yuli Gurriel, why would they need Goldschmidt? He is a perennial MVP candidate who can hit for power, average, and steal a base here and there. Some have compared his ability to what Astros fans saw in Jeff Bagwell. He is coming off a down year, where he hit .290 with 33 homers and 83 RBI via Baseball-Reference. He added seven steals, but he had such a bad start to the season. He was red hot down the stretch. Goldschmidt is capable of driving in and scoring 100+ runs a year.

A possible trade.

There have been some rumors that the Cardinals are interested in Goldschmidt. If he goes to St. Louis, he may stick around. Anthony Castrovince has been one of the national writers to speculate that the Astros could possibly trade for both. In his article, he suggested a trade that sends Goldschmidt and Greinke plus $29.5 million to Houston. In return, the Diamondbacks would get Corbin Martin, Cionel Perez, and AJ Reed.

While most people would call that a “fanboy” trade offer, but the Astros would be taking on a big chunk of salary. If this trade would happen, it would cost the Astros $138 million, minus the $29.5 million, making it $108.5 million. Technically, they would be paying for the time he served with the Diamondbacks with the deferred money. The Astros would be getting him for the next three seasons, but would greatly increase the team payroll.

Fact or fiction?

Martin would be the centerpiece of the trade and Perez would be a wild card of the trade. Reed needs a change of scenery but is a former top prospect. With this type of trade, the more salary you take on, the less talent you have to give up. However, could this inhibit the Astros from re-signing some of their current players? This is something the Astros would take into consideration. It would give the Astros a third ace in 2019 and possibly the ace of the 2020-21 teams if Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole don’t re-sign.

If the Astros are able to pull this off, I could see Goldschmidt accepting an extension to play for his hometown team. He grew up in the Woodlands area. This trade could be fictional, but the team could trade for one of the two players. Goldschmidt would add a JD Martinez like presence to the lineup. Rumors have the Astros having some type of dialogue over Goldschmidt. The winter meetings could be exciting, keep tuned to Houston Preeminence.

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