Goldschmidt to Cardinals Makes NL Central a 3-Way Race and Raises Pressure on the Cubs
Yesterday I wrote how the time is now for the Chicago Cubs to get Bryce Harper, and the acquisition of Paul Goldschmidt to the Cardinals provides an instant impact for the Cubs. There is no need for a lengthy post on the talent of Goldschmidt, his talent is a known commodity. Goldschmidt gives the Cardinals perhaps the best first baseman in the game, and drawing the Cardinals that much closer to catching up with the Cubs and Brewers. The Cubs have work to do indeed and cannot let this move go unmatched. The Cubs counter Goldschmidt well with their own All-Star caliber first baseman, but Goldschmidt changes the dynamic of the division. The completion of this deal shores up the Cardinals biggest holes, and now they likely will be competing for similar assets. Both the Cubs are looking for left handed bullpen help and both are linked to Andrew Miller. At the moment Cubs fans cringe as the rival Cardinals get significantly better. However, the Cardinals mean business as the Brewers did last season, the Cubs can not sit idle as the division catches up.
Certainly the Cubs getting healthy will be a key step this offseason, but they need to act fast before they are once again outwitted in an increasingly tough division. Harper or an unforeseen trade is now a must. Andrew Miller cannot sign elsewhere. Aside from adding one of the games best players, the Cardinals have now forced their rivals hands. They have forced them to potentially spend money they did not want to spend. However, unless there is another option which is not on the table or yet to be seen, the pairing of the Cubs and Bryce Harper has gained a sense of urgency.
What do the Cardinals now have? Little is needed to be said on how good Goldschmidt is, he's a 30 home run guy with a stellar glove. He provides a middle of the line-up bat which instantly makes this team better. He improves the Cardinals on both sides and has them knocking on the door of division champ talks. The offseason is far from over, but the domino in the NL Central has fallen it will be interesting to see how the other teams respond. While the Cubs an 95 win team last season will benefit from a full season of Kris Bryant, they need to act now.