Insider casts doubt on Cardinals top trade chip actually being valuable

Paul Goldschmidt will have very little value if traded.
Apr 12, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first base Paul Goldschmidt (46) reacts
Apr 12, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first base Paul Goldschmidt (46) reacts / Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Boy, what a disaster the St. Louis Cardinals are. They went 71-91 last season, recording their worst record in decades, and hoped to turn that around this past offseason. So far, it's been the same story, as the Cardinals enter play on Thursday with an 18-25 record and are tied for last in the NL Central.

What's most shocking about this Cardinals team is just how bad their lineup has been. They rank 28th in the majors in runs scored, and are tied for last in home runs. This is a team that had questions on the pitching front, particularly in their rotation, but expected their offense to be among the National League's elite, and for good reason.

Assuming the Cardinals don't turn things around, they'll be sellers for a second consecutive trade deadline. That means they'll at the very least look to trade impending free agents and hope to acquire longer-term assets in return.

Paul Goldschmidt looked like a prime candidate to be dealt if the Cardinals struggled this season because he's set to hit free agency after the season, but with how poorly he has played, Jon Heyman of the NY Post expressed doubt that he'd even bring much back to St. Louis if he was dealt on a live stream for Bleacher Report.

Paul Goldschmidt is losing trade value by the day

Heyman says point blank "you're not getting much for Goldschmidt" when discussing what St. Louis might be able to net if they sold at the deadline. Yikes.

This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise based on how Goldschmidt has played. He's slashing .206/.291/.300 with four home runs and 15 RBI in 41 games played this season. This is a player who won the NL MVP award just two years ago, and now he looks like an absolute shell of himself.

Teams that would be trading for Goldschmidt would have him for only a couple of months as a guarantee, and he wouldn't come cheap either. He's making $26 million this season. Obviously, his cost would be prorated, but he wouldn't come cheap financially. If he's not hitting, is it worthwhile?

Goldschmidt hitting the trade block would generate interest from contending teams because he's Paul Goldschmidt, but teams won't be lining up offering the best prospects. They might be willing to bank on a resurgence if he's surrounded by a better lineup, but the reality of the situation is he's 36 years old, expensive, and clearly in decline.

The Cardinals will be able to get something for Goldschmidt if they sell at the trade deadline, but those who expect them to land a top prospect or two for the seven-time All-Star will be very disappointed.