Paul Goldschmidt Jersey

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The St. Louis Cardinals and star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt have agreed to a five-year extension worth around $130 million, according to ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal first reported Thursday the two sides were nearing a deal. Goldschmidt is due to hit free agency after the 2019 season. Rosenthal added it’s unclear whether Goldschmidt’s contract includes any opt-outs or a no-trade clause.

The Cardinals acquired him from the Arizona Diamondbacks in December.

This move would continue the recent trend of top stars signing long-term extensions well before they hit the open market.

Fox 26′s Mark Berman reported Tuesday the Houston Astros agreed to a six-year, $100 million deal with Alex Bregman that will cover his remaining arbitration years and what would’ve been his first two free-agent years. Also on Tuesday, Passan reported Mike Trout agreed to a 12-year, $430 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

Passan also reported Thursday the Tampa Bay Rays inked American League Cy Young winner Ian Snell to a five-year, $50 million extension.

Goldschmidt may be content to get long-term security now rather than risk going unsigned for a large chunk of the 2020 offseason and potentially settling for a salary below what many would’ve expected.

Manny Machado and Bryce Harper—both of whom are in their respective primes—didn’t sign until February, while Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel remain without a team. Considering he’ll turn 32 in September, Goldschmidt might have found a lukewarm market in free agency.

At potentially $22 million a year, re-signing Goldschmidt is a no-brainer for the Cardinals.

Over the past five years, he ranks sixth in WAR among position players (26.8), per FanGraphs. During that span, he has a .301/.408/.539 slash line, 145 home runs and 477 RBI, and his .398 weighted on-base average is fifth-highest in MLB.

The six-time All-Star has generally been a model of consistency at the plate, and he has shown little sign of declining. Even if Goldschmidt’s performance starts slipping a bit, he should more than justify St. Louis’ investment.

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