Pros and cons of this surprising new Paul Goldschmidt trade destination

Jim Bowden of the Athletic predicted that the St. Louis Cardinals will trade Paul Goldschmidt to the Houston Astros this season. Here are the pros and cons of such a deal.

St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers
St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers / John Fisher/GettyImages

In his recent column in The Athletic, Jim Bowden made 24 bold predictions for the 2024 season.

One such prediction was that the St. Louis Cardinals would ship slugger and former MVP Paul Goldschmidt to the Houston Astros.

Obviously, this isn't going to sit well with most Cardinals fans, who are hoping that 2024 isn't a repeat of their disastrous 2023 campaign. Goldschmidt is an important part of the team, and it would not be ideal to lose him at any point this year.

In this piece, we will examine the pros and cons of a potential deal and what it might look like.

Pros: Cardinals could get some solid young pitching

Even if the Cardinals are in contention, they are going to need more starting pitching. Their biggest weakness is their rotation, and it has already been exposed thanks to the Sonny Gray injury earlier this month.

As of now Miles Mikolas is their best starter, though Gray won't be out long.

Still, the Cardinals could get some good young pitching if they were to deal Goldschmidt, who is in the final year of his contract and likely won't be back after this season. He'll also be turning 37 in September.

The Astros have solid young pitchers on their roster such as Hunter Brown, J.P. France, Cristian Javier, and Luis Garcia, all of whom could benefit the Cardinals if a trade is made.

It all depends on what the Astros would be willing to give up, but if they are willing to trade some pitching, the Cardinals can take their pick on who they would want to bolster their rotation. It could also open the door for top outfield prospect Victor Scott II, who could take over center field, allow Tommy Edman to move to second base, and Brendan Donovan to first base.

Cons: Astros have the 27th ranked farm system in MLB

Of course, there are potential drawbacks here. Firstly, the Astros may not be willing to give up any of their young pitchers for somebody who would purely be a rental.

In that case, it wouldn't make sense for the Cardinals to trade the former MVP, especially with Houston having the 27th ranked farm system in all of baseball. The Astros also have no top prospects listed by MLB Pipeline, which would make it difficult for a trade to happen. Much of their young prospects were sent to the New York Mets when they re-acquired Justin Verlander.

In truth, the Cardinals are unlikely to trade Goldschmidt unless 2024 brings a repeat of 2023. St. Louis values his leadership and what he brings to the clubhouse and the lineup. He would be tough to replace for sure, even with all the depth the Cardinals have on the position player side.

Everything likely depends on whether or not the Cardinals improve this year and return to postseason contention, and their fate ultimately hinges on their aging starting rotation and if it can hold up or if it all falls apart.