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

    If you could put together an all-time starting rotation who would it be? Please critique mine (no particular order):

    1. Bob Gibson
    2. Nolan Ryan
    3. Steve Carlton
    4. Greg Maddox
    5. Sandy Koufax
    Looks pretty strong. Had to replace Gibson or Koufax, and I like that Maddux is the rep from the past 20+ years. I'd be tempted to consider three names not mentioned:
    1. Walter Johnson
    2. Christy Mathewson
    3. Pedro Martinez
    Had an interesting conversation recently with a longtime coach who described how in his opinion Bob Gibson is the greatest starting pitcher of all time. He was careful to underscore that description -- starting pitcher. He said the greatest pitcher of all time was Mariano Rivera.
    Interesting discussion.
    Hi Derrick,

    With all the challenges facing the teams right now; why do you suppose there is this delay in announcing if there will be a DH in the NL, this year?
  • Negotiations. It's a chip that both side only wants to play when they can get something in return. Owners are open to the DH. Players are open to the DH. They both know that. So they know it can be a powerful bargaining chip to get something else. Oh, so the owners want the DH in the NL, well then the players will suggest that they expand the rosters to 28, so that the can get a handful of major-league jobs and start that service time clock ticking for more players. Oh, so the players want the DH, well then the owners wants to talk about shrinking the schedule so that they play a higher percentage of games with some people in the stands. 
    If both people want something, it's negotiations as to what they can get along with it.
  • Derrick, what is your feeling that spring training starts on time?
    I am cautiously optimistic. I haven't started packing yet, but I have started to think about how to get there, and when. The virus remains in control, so local or national policies could yet intercede and force a delay.
    I was surprised to see some of the money being shelled out to older free agents in this unique market:
    Brantley (2 yr/$32 MM)
    Springer (6 yr/$150 MM)
    Liam Hendriks (3 yr/$54 MM)

    In each case, a front office seemed to go against the grain in either committing serious money/more years to an outfielder 30 or older, or "overpaying" for a closer. I'm happy to see players getting paid, but did any of these contracts raise your eyebrows?
    They did not. Those happen to be two of the best players available in this market and an outfielder who had competition for his services and a team that wanted to bring him back -- that just lost another outfielder without an obvious replacement. Didn't strike me as odd at all that Springer got that, or that Hendricks did. It's a good bet that the best available at the position is going to do pretty well, regardless of the market around them. To me, the James McCann deal was more noteworthy than any of those, and I'm having a difficult time seeing how Brantley's deal shapes the offers other outfielders could get on this market.
    As a fanatic in most cases, I would be fine with the Cardinals signing Mo & Waino and waited on the market.

    It just strains credulity to hear modified “wait on the market” strategies when they pocket the “dry powder”.

    St. Louis can be very spoiled, but no more so than true rabid markets Boston, New York, etc.

    With the level of financial support the fan base provides via turnstiles and forfeited taxes (TIFs yes two!), the Cardinals should put at least a top ten payroll team on the field. That won’t solve all problems, especially winning. But it would show reciprocal investment.
    I appreciate this point. The Cardinals have often talked about how they're able to spend beyond their market because of the support of the fans. Well, you're right, that is an admission that the fans are investing in the product on the field and expect that product to live up to the expectations -- either those set by history or those set by ownership themselves. The Cardinals have a manager who has publicly stated that his goal and the organization's goal is to contend for a championship because that's what St. Louis expects. I think your comment captures well the idea that if fans are allowing them to act like a bigger-market team then, yep, act like it.
    What's your take on why they haven't decided whether the NL will have a DH? How can the league function without such a basic decision at this late date? I get there might be some maneuvering related to impact on the next CBA, but gosh, Covid is going to make 2021 another exceptional case no matter what. You'd think both the FAs and a big chunk of GMs would be screaming bloody murder to the league/union to get this sorted.
    Explored moments ago. It's all about leverage and bargaining chips, and it's the fascination part of negotiations -- when both sides agree on something that doesn't mean agreement because each side will use that to get a ridealong. We see this in our government, too, with the stimulus packages right. There are actual elements of the stimulus that both sides agree on -- so why don't they just pass that part and move on? Well, it's because of the leverage and what they want attached to that agreement. That's where they differ.
    It's somewhat like agreeing to go dinner with a friend in the Before Times. You both want to try the new steakhouse. But neither of you is willing to get in the car until you know who is going to pay.
    The Pirates are going to have enough trouble with baseball this year, let alone football.
    What are your thoughts on moving John Gant into the rotation? He's been a valuable reliever, but he has worn down later in the season and wondering if he may be better suited as a starter.
    Gant wants that chance. He has said it multiple times and even brought it up recently at the Winter Warm-Up gatherings. Gant will get that chance. It could get really interesting for the Cardinals if that fifth spot in the rotation comes down to Gant vs. Martinez, as it did Kim vs. Martinez this past summer and they befuddled us all by going with Martinez to start. I don't think the reason you give -- wearing down toward the end of the season -- is a ringing endorsement of how he would be as a starter. Those innings would just come quicker. Now, if the Cardinals have some piggybacking going on Gant could be a valuable part of the rotation -- one expected to go twice through the order and then yield the mound to the middle reliever. If Alex Reyes wins a spot in the rotation, imaging following him with Gant as a different look. Or if Austin Gomber asserts himself and takes the spot in the rotation that he seems ready to earn and then the Cardinals follow with Daniel Ponce de Leon for a different look. They have options, and Gant is part of it.
    Has there been any conversations surrounding the minor league players? How is the off year expected to effect player development and major league arrival time for those that weren’t at the teams alternate site last year?
    Tons of conversation, privately and publicly. And not a lot of answers. But plenty of conversations. At this point, the Cardinals expect to bring in fewer players to spring training to help control crowd size and traffic at the ballpark and really allow for focusing on the players with a chance to impact the majors at some point in 2021. They're eyeballing a start to minor-league spring training once the big league team leaves Jupiter, Fla., and that means a reduced minor-league season that could start at some point May. Again, this is all rough draft stuff. 
    The Cardinals' player development staff (headed by Gary LaRocque) in conjunction with the department of performance have tried to maintain contact with all minor-league players so that they don't feel adrift. The Cardinals, and all teams really, are counting on a commitment from the young players to have continued to work -- and they don't always know they have. There will be prospects who are lost as a result of the lost year, slowed as a result of the last year, and there will be some that took advantage of the year like, say, Randy Arozarena did in his apartment during the time he had in isolation and added strength and fitness and got primed for take off.
    All of this is a major topic of conversation for all teams.
    As an agent, at what point in the off-season do you advise your client to take an offer if only one offer is on the table? As a player, I would want to know where I’m reporting in two weeks for camp and what city I’ll call home for the season by February 1st at the latest.
    If you're my client and that's your level of comfort, then that's when I tell you. For your sanity, make a choice by Feb. 1 so that you can make that decision.
    I think it's important to point out here that baseball players aren't usually wired that way. Consider that for the entirety of their minor-league career they are a phone call away from changing cities, changing teams, uprooting their stuff, moving to another team (trade) or another city (promotion or trade). And they might have 48 hours to do so. Some do it in 24. And they love it if it's a trade or a promotion.
    They're used to moving at a moment's notice. That's part of the culture.
    Keep a bag packed. Keep your family ready to move.
    If anything, Matt Wieters offers a good example. Here's a veteran player who had one offer on the table, he said, and then ultimately agreed to take it. He was prompted by the calendar somewhat because spring training was running out of days and he knew how many he'd need to be ready to help in the season and, in this case, have the time to win a job, to impress a new team. So, that put him as a mid-spring signing. That's probably the timing. That first week of March is a good time to make a call. Or maybe unpack the bag for the year.
  • Derrick, I think poll answers 1 & 3 could both be true.
  • That's the beauty of the poll. You have to pick.
    Nice update today on Gorman and Liberatore. I can understand why Gorman might not see enough at bats if you were promoted. I'm wondering why not promote Liberatore given the need to find innings. Could not his development be advanced by being in the majors from opening day? Thanks Paul
    Have to weight his development and readiness against the service time that would be adding up and the control that would be draining. Doesn't make much sense for the Cardinals to thrust young players into the majors to struggle when they are both losing control and games as a result.
    DeWitts statement that “we have made offers” to Molina and Waino annoys me, as if the fans won’t blame him if they walk. This is not the Pujols negotiation. It involves probably a few million dollars, if that, which the Cardinals can afford. If you lose them, DeWitt, it will all be on you and will prove how cheap you can be. That is the message back from this fan.
    Are the Cardinals likely to go to Jupiter with the current roster and look into upgrades during ST?
    That is entirely possible, but as of this moment they would still prefer to add to the roster in the coming weeks before going to spring training. That is the team's preference.
    i agree. the story on Gorman and Liberatore was excellent.
    It was written by Rick Hummel, and everyone can read it here: 

    Best buddies are on track to take their careers to the majors

    STLtoday.comGorman, Liberatore could join the Cardinals at some point this season.
  • Derrick,

    A personal question.

    First, yes, you are awesome at what you do, My opinion.

    You were a Yankee fan and I think your Grampa was a Cardinal fan if memory serves. Two best baseball teams ever, again my opinion.

    My question is, do you miss being a fan? The emotional element?

    Did you sacrifice that part to give us the pleasure of your writing/reporting?

    Hmmm...that was three.
    Interesting question, and one posed to me by my son when he was six or seven years old -- just not in those words. We were at a ballgame, and he noticed that I didn't stand when the other fans did, didn't clap, didn't cheer, didn't -- you know fan. He asked why. I explained to him that I'm not invested in the outcome of the game from a team perspective, and that my fondness is for the game -- for the chance to see amazing, regardless of the laundry on the person who does it. My relationship with baseball, hockey, or boxing or football or whatever is different. It's more about the process, what happens in the game or match than the end result. 
    It actually probably fits my personality better, honestly.
    Oh, sure, as a college I went to ballgames and cheered for or cheered against certain teams. (At KC, once, another fan scolded me for being too loud. I suggested Kauffman wasn't a library. Real shining moment there.) But growing up without a nearby big-league team meant my fondness for baseball was based on:
    -- watching whoever was on, not picky.
    -- reading newspaper coverage of box scores, all of it.
    -- playing it. even when there was snow piled up on the ground.
    -- playing teams I created for tabletop (All-Star Baseball) or video games.
    -- hearing stories from my father and grandfather about the greats they adored, from Mickey Mantle to Musial, Gibson and Koufax, Henry Aaron to Eddie Mathews ... 
    You can see how those things weren't tied to a team, weren't investing me in a specific team -- but rather investing me in a sport, and I am a fan of the sport.
    I am more a fan of the sport today than I was when I started on the beat.
    That's how I know how much it means to me, and I don't need to cheer to show that -- I just need to make sure my writing is electric with that respect.
    Knowing that I wont' cover soccer, I do have favorite teams in soccer, and even then I find myself more studiously watching and wincing, but I do feel joy at the outcome, and just as much excitement during the process.
    Hope that helps. Interesting question. One I think about every so often, and one that comes up when I have the chance to talk to students.
    Any info on the Won't front?
    Kolten Wong continues to receive interest from a handful of teams. The Angels and Boston Red Sox are two teams of note, and a team that had interest in D.J. LeMahieu was expected to pivot to Wong if they did not sign the top free agent at second base. He's getting the expected multi-year deals, and there has not been much contact with the Cardinals, though both sides continue to say that day is "open" to conversation. Just hasn't been much.
    The Cardinals spring training complex seems a little old and not as nice as others. Any plans for moving or renovation.
    There has been for about 10 or so years, and they have the money set aside to do it. It's been an ordeal for the Cardinals. They negotiated a deal with the county for a longer-term lease, and that came with the promise of money for capital improvements. That money has been there. There are two issues:
    1) The footprint of the facility. The Cardinals want to add a second floor to their building and expand out the weight room and facilities, but to do so would be uprooting what they have there, possibly going a year without spring in that place, and even then it would mean rearranging some of the fields etc. around there depending on how big they expand the facility.
    2) The Marlins. The lease requires that any money spent on one side of the facility must be invested in the other side too so that the entire facility isn't lopsided. That was strategic by the county. They didn't want to have a palace on one side for the Cardinals and a place they couldn't lease to another team if the Marlins left it as is.
    The Cardinals have found a work-around that last part because they've purchased/leased building space across the street. Off site. But nearby. And they've converted some space in that nearby building to allow for another workout room, minor-league training facilities, and a media workroom.
    The hitting lab/cage the Cardinals will open this spring is part of the improvement, and it is a year later than expected.
    The planned pitching lab remains years behind the hoped-for schedule and remains a source of frustration for Mozeliak who has tried to push the team to get that completed. 
    What are your thoughts on WandaVision?
  • I am intrigued. It is a lovely homage to classic TV and a riddle. I recognize that it's probably not for everybody especially if they're not familiar with the source material. The two main characters aren't as popular as Iron Man nor as straightforward with their powers as throwing a shield, spinning webs, or shooting arrows accurately.
  • Derrick,

    Thanks for sharing. It expanded my perspective.

    By the way, you do have fans.

    I’m one.
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