3 St. Louis Cardinals who won't be back if they extend Paul Goldschmidt

The St. Louis Cardinals extending Paul Goldschmidt makes sense on paper, but it could also cost the organization more than just money.

Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals
Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is in the final year of his contract. It's unclear if extending the veteran is a priority for the Cards, especially after they spent the majority of their offseason adding to the pitching staff in the form of Kyle Gibson, Sonny Gray and Lance Lynn.

John Mozeliak commented on the matter in December, saying that the club prefers to get a deal done before Opening Day if at all possible. If Goldschmidt isn't extended before then, odds are talks will die until the offseason, as is the trend in the modern game.

The good news for the Cardinals is that Goldschmidt is 36 years old. As talented as he may be, he's not going to receive a long-term contract at a high AAV. This gives Mozeliak and Co. the advantage to sign Goldschmidt to a short-term, high-AAV contract.

Goldschmidt slashed .268/.363/.447 with a wRC+ of 122 and 25 home runs in 2023. While not necessarily in his MVP prime anymore, Goldy is still stable defensively at first base. His plate presence plus veteran leadership is reason enough to keep him around at the right price.

Unfortunately, if that price is too high, it could force Mozeliak to part ways with other players as a result.

3. Matt Carpenter won't return if Cardinals sign Paul Goldschmidt to extension

I have to admit, there's no guarantee Matt Carpenter returns even if Goldschmidt hits free agency. Carpenter was a late addition this winter, and is competing for a role on the Cardinals bench. He is no longer an All-Star caliber hitter despite his resurgence with the Yankees two years ago. Carpenter signed a minor-league deal with St. Louis -- a familiar location for him -- with the hopes of reviving his MLB career on a winner.

“The one gift that Matt Carpenter always has is he knows how to see a baseball and he can still take a walk. That’s still a great skill, and we are encouraged with where his swing is," Mozeliak said after signing Carpenter.

In that sense, Carpenter still has value for the Cards. If he plays too well, however, he'll price himself out of St. Louis, especially with a Goldschmidt extension looming.