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Paul Goldschmidt's future with Cardinals a litmus test for baseball

Whether veteran star Paul Goldschmidt signs with St. Louis now or chooses to test the market next winter will tell us a whole lot about the state of free agency. Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS via Getty Images

Paul Goldschmidt will play most of the 2019 season at age 31 before he'll be eligible for free agency in the fall, and he checks every box. He's been a phenomenal slugger, twice finishing runner-up for the MVP award. He's been an outstanding defender, with three Gold Gloves, and a diligent and adept baserunner. He has a reputation for being a great teammate, leading others by setting an example of preparation excellence.

Goldschmidt has been so good, and in so many different ways, that his contract situation with the St. Louis Cardinals will serve as an excellent litmus test, in the months ahead, in a market that has been viewed as depressed by the players and as properly adjusted by some folks on the team side.