Cardinals chat: Derrick Goold takes your Cardinals questions at 11 a.m. Monday

Cardinals chat: Derrick Goold takes your Cardinals questions at 11 a.m. Monday

Bring your Cards questions and comments to a live chat with Derrick Goold at 11 a.m. Monday

    Greetings. Welcome to the weekly Cardinals chat. And this one could be a doozy. Buckle in. Turbulence is on the radar. Yadier Molina hopped to a new team this past week in time to win Puerto Rico's winter league championship and advance to the Caribbean Series. That's his second trophy of the winter -- winning one with a basketball team he owns, and now with the ball club he joined as DH before the title series. He's "undecided" on whether he'll play in Caribbean Series. Clearly he could be wooed by a better offer from some team.
    Speaking of which, that team is nearly 12 months since its last significant add to the major-league roster. The NL Central is shedding talent, not adding. So, well, that sets the stage ...
    Going to get another cup of coffee and plunge into your questions. 
    An article about Hank Arron's death mentioned he was never ejected from a game. Is this also true for Stan the Man?
    That is also true for Stan Musial, yes. The Man was never ejected from a game.
    It continues to Kill Me that fans are wanting Dewitt to sell the team and that he is a terrible owner. I mean its as if going to the playoffs 14 of the last 21 years is terrible. Along with the 2 WS,4 Pennants,1 Losing Season. Most of the teams would go to extreme lengths to have that kind of success. Also have to point out that I %100 feel if the pandemic didnt Happen payroll budget wouldn't be a thing for 2021. Feels like the Cardinals didnt even go to NLCS in 2019 the way fans talk.
    This was the leadoff question -- comment, really -- into the inbox today, and it strikes me that the tone of it is not going to be reflected in the deluge of questions -- comments, really -- to come. I was thinking this past week about the math of the Cardinals' history. It is possible in the next decade that the Los Angeles Dodgers overtake the Cardinals as the Kings of NL with more World Series titles than any other NL team -- but they've got a ways to go, and the playoffs are going to get trickier what with the Padres waking from a decadelong slumber and another round to add randomness to October. That said, the Cardinals have 11 titles in nearly 130 years of the history they acknowledge -- 12 in around 140 if you embrace the pre-NL club. It continues to be true that every generation of Cardinals fans have a title to celebrate at an impressionable age. I looked it up:
    Greatest Generation (born pre-1924)
    -- 1926, 1931, 1934
    Silent Generation (1925-44...)
    -- 1931, 1934, 1942, 1944, 1946
    Baby Boomers (1946-1964)
    -- 1964, 1967
    Generation X (1965-1980)
    -- 1982
    Millennials (1981-1996)
    -- 2006, 2011
    What other team can match the scope and timing of those titles? The Yankees have clusters of greatest and the sheer number of their World Series titles span generations. But no other team in the NL can say it. Let's ignore the obvious Cubs example or even the Braves-turned-Brewers fans examples, and consider for a moment the plight of the lifelong Seattle Mariners fan. How is it possible that a franchise like that cannot crack the code of contention -- not with any sort of regularity. Same could be said for the Phillies, honestly. 
    That said, history sets the bar for the Cardinals. Sets the bar for the current ownership, and it's no wonder that expectations are lofty and demanding -- they should be.
    The Cardinals aren't the Mariners. They've established this identity.
    Fans are only asking they live up to it.
    Good morning, any news on Wainwright and Molina let’s do something with this offense a big trade sign someone to a one year deal Wong , Hernadez from Cleveland , Rosario from the twins . Let’s wake the offense up
    If there's news -- genuine, movement news -- on Wainwright and Molina, I promise I won't forget to write about it for the paper, and to advertise it in the chat, on Twitter, etc. Here is the latest, as reported:
    -- Yadier Molina has the choice to play in the Caribbean Series with a PR team. He is "undecided" as he weighs the offer from the Cardinals and tries to generate better offers, competition, so that he can sign for the 2021 season. That is still his intent. His preference is still to sign with the Cardinals, but he obviously would like a better offer from them to make that decision. Meanwhile, the team waits.
    -- Adam Wainwright has an offer from the Cardinals. It, like Molina's, is less guaranteed than he was scheduled to make for 2020. That is coming after a season when he was the team's best pitcher and arguably their MVP. There is at least one other team engaged with him at the moment and discussing the possibility of a one-year offer.
    Yes, the Cardinals need more offense. They absolutely do. None of those players you mentioned should settle for a one-year deal unless it's a high, high, high salary that sets them up for another bite at free agency a year from now. 
  • Which former Cardinals are making the trip to Jupiter this spring?
    Minimal, if any at all. The Cardinals are definitely going to reduce crowd size for workouts, and that means that they're going to have fewer of these "guest" coaches on site -- for their health and to follow MLB and local policies. Another factor: The Cardinals have laid off or not renewed the contracts of the special assistants to the general manager who were former players. That has included Edmonds, Carpenter, Ludwick, and Looper, to list a few who have been around in spring training. Edmonds may be present as part of the broadcast crew, but that's TBD, as is most everything when it comes to the specifics of who, when and how spring training will operate.
    Whoa. Adam Ottavino has been trade to the Boston Red Sox, according to reports in New York. Ottavino, a New York kid, has not hid how much he's enjoyed being a part of the Yankees' bullpen. It has been impressive the reliever has become all these years after the Cardinals picked in him the first round to add needed velocity to their prospect pool.
    Considering all the uncertainty about the start of the season would it not make sense for the Cardinals to start mostly with what they have and prepare to make additions based on needs at the trade deadline?
    That sounds a lot like a plan being discussed by the Cardinals front office. The idea would be to add as they go -- through spring training, through the season, and into the trade deadline -- once they start selling tickets and have some knowledge of the revenue sources coming in. The one thing I'd caution is they haven't exactly been all that active at recent trade deadlines, so it would require a commitment to change that trend.
    Have you ever met or known of a gay Cardinal?
    Tyler Dunnington spoke to Outsports and the Post-Dispatch several years ago about his experience with the Cardinals and if he could have been openly gay at the time. I had met Dunnington as a minor-leaguer, and then was one of the reporters who got to talk with him in person in the dugout. This was the story I filed: 

    Former Cards farmhand: 'It would have been OK to be an openly gay baseball player'

    STLtoday.comTyler Dunnington's description of why he retired from baseball prompted Cardinals to review their practices 'from a culture standpoint.'
    At this point, what’s your predicted finishing order in the Central?
    I guess someone has to win by default. My rule for predictions this early in the process hasn't changed -- follow the pitching. So, you're basically asking me to rank the pitching staffs.
    1. Cardinals
    2. Brewers
    3. Reds
    4. Cubs
    27. Pirates.
  • Any personal stories you can share about Hank Aaron?
    I had the chance to meet him a few times, and mostly listened. When I had the privilege to go to Cooperstown, it was amazing to see all those greats treat him like the greatest -- as if the King had walked into the House of Lords. I struck by that. The respect from his peers was enormous. Several years later, I was working on a story about Stan Musial and received an email from Henry Aaron about his fellow legend and friend. I always appreciated that he took the time to do that. Alas, I don't have grand tales to tell, like Rick Hummel would or the writers in Atlanta and Milwaukee would. My memories are having my hand swallowed by his for a handshake, or watching as great players beamed like fans when he walked in a room. A gracious man who earned his gravitas, never wore it.
    Good morning Derrick. Kiki Hernandez is getting 7m a year. Are the cardinals priced out of doing anything this year? It seems the amount of jobs my be limited but the salaries haven’t came down.
    I'm not sure I agree with the premise. There are still so, so many free agents available, and one of the reasons why is the offers that are out there. Hernandez is an example of that. He's coming off a year when arbitration netted him a $5.9 million salary, and now in the open market all he can command is a raise to $7 million -- and a two-year guarantee? That's a soft market. He and Jurickson Profar are comparable, and Profar got the same AAV and one extra year of guarantee. No wonder. Profar is 27 and Hernandez is 29. I think you do see the prices coming down in those two examples -- fewer years than usual, slightly less of a raise than usual. 
    The Cardinals offers to Wainwright and Molina clearly reflect a market with scaled-back offers, and in that way the Cardinals are waiting for the market (still deep with talent) comes to them, not the other way around.
    “ as if the King had walked into the House of Lords.” Great analogy, that’s why you’re one of the best knights of the keyboard!
    Thank you. True story: As a student, I was lucky enough to receive a tour of the House of Lords. On the same tour, in the House of Commons, I got to run my finger along the ridges Winston Churchill made by pounding his signet ring into the table as he tried to make a point. What a gift that opportunity was.
    With the Cardinals philosophy why should I think that with money coming off the books next year that they will do something/anything?
    I'd wait to hear from them. They have about $60m coming off the payroll, and there is a rich thicket of talent coming on the market after the 2021 season. There is also the possibility of a work stoppage and a bitter squabble over the CBA. So that will be fun. The team has given no indication that it will be active in next winter's market. They have geared some contracts to expire before the CBA does -- and to be in a position to do that. That's all. They have not tipped their hand. They have not answered questions about those plans. And it's no wonder why -- there is a lot of time between now and then for things to change. 
    The media can offer the facts -- they have money coming off the books, they have need, and the free-agent market will have fits -- and it's up to the team to eventually, ultimately express a view of how they'll approach that and then take action.
    To date, they have not.
    Predictions at this point on Cards’ free agency moves:

    Shocking - Ozuna, Realmuto, Turner, Bauer
    Unlikely - Puig, Reddick, Markakis, Braun
    Logical, but Doubtful - Rosario, Pederson, JBJ, Wong, La Stella
    Maybe? - Alberto, Mazaro
    Most Likely - Molina, Wainwright

    I'm sure that I'm wrong to some degree, but does that sound about right?
    I understand where you're going with this, but I'm not sure I agree with your categories, or the names in those categories. Jackie Bradley Jr. doesn't seem so logical when the Cardinals have someone like that already on the roster. La Stella sure, Rosario yes, Pederson yes, and Wong of course but Bradley doesn't leap into that group. 
    For the Cardinals, Braun is more appealing if the NL gets the DH than Bradley.
    Shocking? Well, you might as well just not list the shocking ones at all. Is there another category? Not on the radar? Not happening? I wouldn't put a most before likely when it comes to the returning players. Likely seems about right, though it is more fitting for Molina than Wainwright at the moment. We'll see how that develops.
    Also, I don't see any reference to Cesar Hernandez on this list. 
    I trust Mo has been in contact with Drew Robinson and Tyler Wiggington's agents? Or have those fellas been priced-out for '21 too?
    Neither player is on the Cardinals' shopping list. I'm not sure where you read they are, but that reporting is false. Hope this helps.
    In general, who do you think will win more arbitration cases this year -- players or teams?
    Great question. A cursory glance of the numbers in play, and I'm going with the players. I actually think the arbitration process and hearings is the last area where real raises are happening, and it's great to see. Despite efforts of MLB to control the offers from teams and really limit the growth of arbitration, it continues to do what the free agent market does not guarantee for players.
    I just took the poll, and would have liked the option to say "win the Central" and meander to .500... I bet a .515 winning percentage is enough to be eliminated quickly in the playoffs!
    I would caution you: If the schedule plays as it currently sets up, the Cardinals will have a lot of games against NL Central teams, and it might make winning the division at .515 with all those games against the Pirates difficult. Someone does have to win all of those Pittsburgh losses.
    Thanks to all of you at the Post and the chats. Do you and others still do the Quick Hits? I am missing them if you do.
    We do. They appear the evening after the chat -- or immediately the morning after. I know the work that Ben Frederickson does, for example, to summarize his weekly chats into the Quick Hits format. I'm fortunate that editors Roger Hensley or Cameron Hollway wade into this chat to find questions/answers and then the online editors package it for the Web.
  • Derrick,
    At this point the market has become pretty well defined for most that are in the game. This should help clarify the trade market, where the Cards are more likely to find that bigger change compared to what remains in the FA market. Are we getting any where close to a Cardinal move?
    I don't agree with your premise. There are still scores of free agents available. The market for a Rosario has not really been defined, to me. I still hear all sorts of different contract concoctions for the outfielders who are available. Springer didn't exactly offer clarity because no one else in the market is Springer. Brantley kind of did, but again that offer looks better for a DH team than say an NL team still waiting to hear on the DH ... 
    There are free agents available that will help the Cardinals, that will improve the offense. I believe that's part of the frustration in the fan base. They see upgrades readily available. 
    There is no indication that the Cardinals are close to a move, with the exception of both sides wanting to get some momentum going with Yadier Molina. There could be another challenger for Wainwright in the coming days, and that would prompt the Cardinals to adjust their offer or see the righthander sign elsewhere, possibly. At last check, the Cardinals continue to explore some trades, and just haven't gotten much movement toward a deal. I am trying to figure out what would prompt the move, what would give trade traction, and if it's just another example of teams waiting word on attendance or something else. Reducing the salary coming their way is part of trade conversations for the Cardinals.
    I'm another who voted for the meander to .500 but I can also see winning the division with that.
    That would be a fascinating trick. That would mean having a disastrous record outside the division, and then winning like 2/3 of the games in the division. Guess it could happen. The NL East is beastly. The NL West has some soft spots to split series.
    Derrick, is it fair to conclude that unless similar contracts come off of the Cards' payroll, that we shouldn't expect additions like Rosario or Pederson? And what do you think a FA addition like Alberto or Mazaro command? I'm guessing those would be less expensive than the first two names. Thanks.
    I wouldn't conclude that, no. The start of spring training could lead players to accept less tomorrow than they are asking for today. That could happen.
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