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Could the Astros trade for Paul Goldschmidt?

C.harles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

James Paxton was traded to the New York Yankees in the first big move of the offseason. Another AL contender might soon be making a bigger splash with Paul Goldschmidt.

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Houston Astros have talked with the Arizona Diamondbacks about acquiring the All-Star first baseman.

The St. Louis Cardinals are also a possibility. But as Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports noted, “they’d probably prefer a lefty hitter.”

Houston, on the other hand, would seem like an ideal fit. Goldschmidt’s powerful right-handed swing would seem a perfect fit for the short left field wall in Houston.

Goldschmidt will be a free agent following the 2019 season. As such, barring a contract extension, the only teams that should consider trading for him are ones that can realistically win the World Series in 2019.

The Astros won the World Series in 2017 and followed that up with 103 wins and a trip to the ALCS in 2018. They’re on a short list of World Series favorites in 2019. As if all of that wasn’t enough, Goldschmidt also grew up near Houston and went to college at Texas State University.

There’s also a sense of urgency with the Astros. Starting pitchers Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole are also set to enter free agency following 2019, while George Springer will be a free agent after 2020.

Goldschmidt would make the already dangerous Astros’ lineup even more potent. He’s a perennial All-Star and MVP candidate. In 2018, he hit 33 home runs and backed it up with a .290/.389/.533 slash line.