3) It's unlikely the LA Angels acquire Paul Goldschmidt because Arte Moreno refuses to go over the luxury tax
It's insane that I even have to write this, but it's impossible to ignore. The Angels are 38-32 right now and find themselves just 1.5 games outside of a playoff spot. They have everything to play for this season.
Shohei Ohtani is hitting free agency this offseason, and if they fail to make the postseason once again, what're the chances he actually stays here long-term? The chances feel awfully minimal.
Acquiring Paul Goldschmidt gives the Angels a massive boost both offensively and defensively in their push to the playoffs. Can you imagine a 2-3-4 of Trout, Ohtani, and Goldschmidt? Adding a four-time Gold Glover would be good for the defense too.
The problem here is Goldschmidt is making $26 million this season. In order for the Angels to stay under the luxury tax, a number which Arte Moreno has refused year after year to cross, they'd have to shed a ton of money to make that happen. They'd either have to trade one of Anthony Rendon, Mike Trout, or Shohei Ohtani (not happening) or find a way to trade Hunter Renfroe and other pieces to do enough to keep the Halos under the tax.
Unless Arte Moreno changes his philosophy with the luxury tax, and nothing that I've seen from him tells me that he will, a Goldschmidt trade feels very unlikely unless St. Louis for some reason would agree to eat the money on the deal.
It's unfortunate that a team that plays in a huge market like the Angels would be concerned about the luxury tax when they have two of the greatest players ever on the team right now, but Arte Moreno has crossed that line once in his entire tenure as owner. Will he do it again? Maybe. Do I need to see it to believe it? Absolutely.