First Base (2):
Paul Goldschmidt, RHH, 31
This is the move that will catapult the Rays into the playoff picture in 2019. They have made it known that they will be in the market for an impact bat and who better than Paul Goldschmidt? The perennial MVP candidate would add a major threat to the middle of a young Rays lineup.
The Rays will have to be okay with giving up some big name prospects for only one year of Goldschmidt, but they will know exactly what they are getting… a .300 hitter who will hit 30 homers and drive in north of 100.
When the Rays pull the trigger, he will become the everyday first baseman, forcing Bauers into a DH/1B/OF role of sorts.
Jake Bauers, LHH, 23
The young first baseman may be pushed aside in 2019 with the hopeful acquisition of Paul Goldschmidt, but that does not mean that Jake Bauers will be without at-bats. If the Rays trade for Goldschmidt, Bauers will be pushed into a hybrid DH/1B/OF role of sorts where he will likely get at bats every other day if not every day.
In his rookie season, “Light Tower Bauers”, showed Rays fans his potential at the plate, hitting 11 bombs and driving in 48 while hitting .201. Don’t be alarmed by the average, as Bauers struggled through a prolonged slump at the plate.
The prolonged slump is the main reason I expect the Rays to trade for a more bonafide option at first base like Paul Goldschmidt.
Don’t be surprised if the asking price for Goldschmidt is too high, and if it is I think Jose Abreu is a likely replacement. Abreu offers similar projectable numbers to Goldschmidt and will likely have a lower asking price due to his coming off a bad year.