Paul Goldschmidt’s contract is baseball’s best bargain

By Christopher Gaine

Kevin Towers made several poor moves during his five seasons as Diamondbacks GM.

Signing Paul Goldschmidt to a long-term extension was not one of them.

Towers’ front office signed Goldschmidt to a five-year, $32 million extension ahead of the 2013 season. This extension has given him annual salaries of $1 million in 2014, $3 million in 2015, $5.9 million in 2016, $8.5 million in 2017 and $11 million in 2018. He also has a $14.5 million option for 2019, which the team is obviously set to exercise.

At the time of this signing, the 25-year-old Goldschmidt was coming off his first full major league season, in which he batted .286/.359/.490 with 20 home runs and 82 RBI. It was not until the following season that Goldschmidt became a perennial MVP candidate, so he likely left millions on the table by signing this deal early in his career.

This is spectacular news for the Diamondbacks. Had he not signed, Goldschmidt would be commanding millions more in arbitration, which he would have been eligible for from 2015-17. Goldschmidt also would have hit the free agent market after next season. So this team-friendly deal gives the Diamondbacks two additional years of team control at a bargain price, which has allowed them to invest in other places—like the pitching staff.

Right now, Goldschmidt’s 2016 salary of $5.8 million is tied with Mets outfielder Alejandro De Aza for the 209th-highest in all of baseball. Cliff Lee—who is not even on a roster right now—is making more than double what Goldschmidt is making in 2016 with his $12.5 million buyout.

In an age where Jeff “4.96 ERA” Samardzija is worth $90 million, getting one of the five best hitters in all of baseball at $32 million is a bargain. Goldschmidt’s contract stands as possibly the most team-friendly in all of baseball, which is terrific timing considering the incoming infusion of talent to the Diamondbacks’ roster over the next three seasons. If Goldschmidt produces at a similar pace during the life of this deal, it is entirely possible he receives a contract upwards of $300 million on the open market.

Thanks, Kevin Towers.