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There’s already plenty of content available breaking down the Paul Goldschmidt trade.

I’ll add my two cents: This was a great deal for the Cardinals. The long and short of it is simple. Goldschmidt is a top 15 player in baseball, and the Cards sacrificed marginal, young talent for one year of his service.

Not only does he immediately become the team’s best player and slot straight into the No. 3 spot in the order, he improves the infield.

Still, there are questions to answer.

Will he sign a long-term contract with St. Louis?

Maybe. There’s reason to believe Goldschmidt could love his time in St. Louis. The Cardinals certainly have the money to make such a deal happen.

That said, it’s impossible to know what’s going to happen from this point on. If things go sour in some way, either party could decide to move on.

Is that even something the Cardinals should want to do?

Again, maybe. Goldschmidt is 31 years old, which historically, has meant a player is nearing the end of his prime years. It doesn’t mean he can’t have a few more really good seasons on the way, but it’s safe to say his very best years are probably behind him.

If the years and the numbers work out, then it could be a perfect match. Something in the ballpark of six years and $120 million would be the most I’d expect the Cardinals to stomach.

Does this mean Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are out of the picture?

I’ve been clear that I’ve never thought either player was going to sign in St. Louis. There are a number of reasons for that feeling.

Bringing in Goldschmidt, ends any speculation of the Cardinals going after Machado. Their infield is set with Carpenter at third, DeJong at shortstop, Wong at second and Goldschmidt at first.

Harper, on the hand, should still be on their radar. At the moment, the team is signaling that they’re willing to ride with Dexter Fowler as the starting right fielder, but that makes even less sense now.

Making such a bold move to get Goldschmidt – a move that doesn’t have any real effect on the team’s long-term finances – should only strengthen their hope for another impact player.

Getting Goldschmidt for one season and locking into a superstar like Harper for a decade would be the ultimate “having your cake and eating it, too” moment. To me, it actually feels slightly more possible. I’d move the needle from 0 percent to 2 percent.

If not Harper, what else can they do?

The front office deserves a lot of credit on this one. Even without Harper, they landed a player that’s arguably better, especially at this very moment.

It seems all but certain the Cardinals will try their hand at signing an impactful left-handed reliever. The two main names on the slate are Andrew Miller and Zach Britton.

Again, the Goldschmidt trade seems to only lend credence to the idea the Cardinals will do whatever it takes to get the guys they truly want. Why else make such a deal?

How excited should fans be?

Very excited. Goldschmidt alone is reason to be pumped up. What it signals for the future make it even better.

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JEFF WILSON can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jeffwilson83.


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