Sep 7, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock (11) hits a solo home run during the sixth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Though the Arizona Diamondbacks’ play on the field has been up and down in the month of September, their play off it could deliver a home run. According to Chris Cotillo at MLB Daily Dish, the team is exploring contract extensions for Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock. Both men are having outstanding seasons that could result in the two of them finishing in the top ten of the National League MVP voting. Goldschmidt is under a very team-friendly deal through 2019 while Pollock will be eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason.
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In a post I wrote last week, I felt the D-backs were going to do something with Goldschmidt’s deal, either tearing it up or giving him a generous extension. You can make the argument that Goldy will be the most underpaid player in the game for the next four years. The final year of his contract in 2019 calls for him to make $14.5 million, an absolute bargain. Dave Stewart is already on record as saying he would like the All-Star first baseman “to be a lifetime Diamondback” according to Jon Heyman at CBS Sports. Stewart spoke with Jim Duquette and Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio on Sunday and said he doesn’t think Goldschmidt or his agent will approach the team about a new contract. His purpose is to gauge what kind of interest Goldschmidt’s camp would be looking at in terms of a deal.
As for Pollock, it was at this time last year that I stated the D-backs should lock him to a five-year extension. His price has jumped dramatically since that time, with his first All-Star appearance in the books and his establishment as a premier player in center field. Nick Piecoro at azcentral wrote a month ago that Pollock was very open to a contract that would buy out some free agency years. According to Cotillo, Stewart has told folks in the organization to prep for negotiations in anticipation of trying to hammer out a deal.
While we know Arizona will be in the market for a front line pitcher, the first order of business to me would be to give Pollock a contract that would buy out his first two or three free agent seasons. That would give the team an idea of how much their budget can be stretched for a guy like David Price. Extending Goldschmidt is the right thing to do given how vastly underpaid he is. However, that doesn’t seem to be as important now as getting a premier free agent. I think once that guy is signed (again, hoping it’s Price) then it will be easier to figure out numbers for Goldschmidt. His re-working can occur at this time next year.