The Arizona Diamondbacks certainly have some questions heading into the 2014 season – Paul Goldschmidt is not one of them. The 26-year-old stud had a breakout season and is now in MVP consideration. Let’s take a look at Goldy and the rest of the D-Back first baseman.
Ah, where do I start? Goldschmidt finished the 2013 campaign batting .302 while smashing 36 home runs and driving in 125 RBIs. His homer total was tied for the National League lead while also leading the league in RBI, slugging percentage, extra-base hits, OPS and OPS+. His 103 runs were tied for third most in the league. He recently won the 2013 NL Hank Aaron Award. The first baseman has also taken his defense to another level, and was recently named as one of the Gold Glove Award finalists.
While Chavez played more third base than first base last season, he is technically the No. 2 first baseman on the depth chart. Goldschmidt played in 159 games at first base while Chavez played in just 6. The 35-year-old has an impressive glove and certainly provide bursts of offense. The former Oakland Athletics great played in 80 games this season, hitting .281 while slugging nine home runs and driving in 44 RBIs. He did, however, find himself on the disabled list throughout the season. He suffered a strained right oblique and injuries to his knees and hips.
What to expect in 2014:
Goldschmidt will continue to improve his game. Once again, he will serve as the D-Backs’ biggest offensive threat and emerge as an MVP candidate. If Arizona intends to contend for a playoff spot next season, they are going to need Goldy.
Chavez will re-sign with Arizona for another one-year deal. He is a low-risk investment for Arizona and if he is healthy, expect the veteran infielder to play a key reserve role for the team. Not only can he be utilized as a platoon with Matt Davidson, but he can mentor the younger players and take them under his wing in a sense.
Prior to the 2013 season, Goldy signed a five-year contract extension worth $32 million. The extension includes a club option worth $14.8 million in 2018. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, expect Goldschmidt to play through his contract in Arizona and possibly even sign another one with the team. He will be in his early 30’s when the time comes but should certainly still have a lot left in the tank.
Chavez should have another season left in the tank, but don’t expect him to be a Diamondback for years to come. His best days of baseball are behind him and at this point, Arizona is trying to get whatever he has left. He knows this, which is why he has stated he wants a one-year contract heading into 2014, just in case he sees is fit to retire after the season.
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