Cardinals chat: Derrick Goold takes your Cardinals questions at 1 p.m. Monday

Cardinals chat: Derrick Goold takes your Cardinals questions at 1 p.m. Monday

Bring your Cards questions and comments to a live chat with Derrick Goold at 1 p.m. Monday

    I read that Waino was named as a user of foreign substances by that ex Angels coach. Is this true?
    So, he was named by the clubhouse attendant who is suing Major League Baseball and the Angels for wrongful termination and defamation. In a declaration filed this past week, he said that in March 2020, he provided the list of names of pitchers who have asked him about his concoction of resin and pine tar. Wainwright was one of the pitchers he named with no additional evidence of use or anything beyond being listed. The clubhouse manager also listed a handful of the best pitchers of the past 10 years, including Scherzer and former Cardinals pitcher Edwin Jackson, and he provided text messages from Gerritt Cole and Justin Verlander about his recipe/grip as part of the evidence for his suit to continue. MLB and the Angels had filed for dismissal, and so the declarations submitted this past week were to object to the dismissal.
    As discussed earlier, it is not unusual for pitchers to utilize a substance like the one he stirred up for better grip in cold weather. That is true for veteran pitchers and experienced pitchers and the best of pitchers. The memo from MLB about foreign substances went out almost a year ago, and there hadn't been any indication for at least the previous season that Wainwright (or some of the other pitchers named) utilized the stuff in games.   
    I know payroll expenses and Ballpark Village construction expenses are separate. But once the BPV loans are paid back (10 years? 20 years?), will it serve as a revenue stream for the Cardinals, and if so, approximately how much money per year could it funnel into the organization?
    That's the plan, according to the Cardinals. Who knows what the dollar figure will be -- a lot is unknown now about the entertainment and dining industry, as you know. But some is better than none, and none is not the plan. I asked chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. when the spigot might turn on that money spilling across Clark Street and into the product on the field, and he said something telling: That would be for someone else to determine.
    The complete quote: "The economic benefits of that, whatever they turn out to be, they’re so long-term that others will be able to evaluate them, not me."
    How can I not be on the opening day roster yet be on the team later. Signed, Confused in Georgia.
    Roger Clemens wasn't on the Yankees opening day roster. Signed midway through the season. Went through spring training. Joined team. It's possible.
    A free agent is always a free agent until he signs, not when opening day starts.
    Is Benintendi a possibility for the Cards? I think he’s a tremendous fit here.
    They would have to dial back that stated aspiration of looking for an .800 or .850 OPS outfielder to add to the mix, from inside (they hope) or from outside (they might need). He hasn't been that for a few years now, and any interested team is going to have to decide if he's adrift with Boston or diminishing as a player.
    Derrick, here is a rundown of Mo’s major trades and signings during his tenure. Do you agree with my assessments and conclusions?

    Matt Holliday trade and sign—win

    2011 Colby Rasmus trade for 4 players—win

    Allen Craig/Joe Kelly for John Lackey—win due to dumping of Craig’s salary and Lackey production

    Heyward for Shelby Miller—win because Heyward had good season while Miller bombed, although so did Walden.

    Piscotty for Y Munoz and M Schrock—loss in baseball terms (they are no longer w Cards) but add in Piscotty being close to family make it a draw

    Grichuk trade for reliever and pitching prospect—loss

    Goldy for 3 prospects and sign—win (although some may argue Voit could have been the answer for much cheaper price)

    Voit for Gallegos and Shreve—loss (although some may say it’s a draw because of Gallegos)

    Arozarena JMart for Liberatore and another player—jury still out but not looking good.

    FA signings:

    Fowler—loss
    Carp extension—loss
    Leake—loss

    FA we could have signed but in hindsight would have been a disaster:

    Price
    Stanton
    Heyward

    Overall, a mixed bag, if not below water. If not for the player development side of the ledger, especially in the pitching department, the Cards would be in trouble and the GM would be seeking work.
    It is difficult to argue that Voit is the answer at a position that he wasn't going to play -- because the Cardinals would have jumped at trading for Goldschmidt even if they had Voit. They would have chosen Goldschmidt ahead of him at that time. Let's count up your evaluation:
    Wins: Holliday, Rasmus, Craig, Heyward, Goldschmidt (5)
    Losses: Grichuk, Voit (2)
    Human: Piscotty (1)
    TBD: Arozarena (1)
    That's a mixed bag? You give the front office tremendous credit suggesting they are now five-for-nine on these trades and could be six-for-nine or seven seven-for-nine if you give them the humanity of the Piscotty trade. And you've left out the Tommy Pham for Genesis Cabrera deal that was also in there. So is that a loss? Or is that a TBD? Plus, there was the Jim Edmonds for David Freese trade that started Mozeliak's tenure or the Westbrook trade, the Brandon Moss trade, the Matt Adams, the Zack Duke trade, the Mercado trade for Jhon Torres ... So, there's some cherry-picking going on already.
    The free-agent signings have not gone as planned for sure, and you didn't even bring up Cecil or Holland.
    Max Scherzer was a big miss, a miscalculation. 
    What-Ifs abound when it comes to the free agents that weren't.
    Hot take: Heyward wouldn't have been a bad signing.
    Is there any info available on the number of Cardinals tickets per game or per year sold at a discount to allow the team to reach its goal of 4 million annually? I would expect the % of discounted tickets to have been higher the past few years due to the team’s lackluster offense. Any indication this has impacted profitability? Thanks.
    The Cardinals do not come close to 4 million tickets sold or distributed. They have had sizable discounts in recent years -- and that comes from dynamic pricing, and it also comes from value-added tickets that they've gone to in recent years. Those are tickets that come with some dollar added for use in the souvenir stand or at concessions. Ticket prices have gone up, and that has covered the giveaways that they now use to incentivize purchasing tickets for unappealing matchups or tough-sell weekday games. Of course that changes profits. Any added spending that they've done or less money they take in is going to change profits.
  • It astounds me how many of the “best fans in baseball” don’t know that Mozeliak is the POBO and not the GM.
    I don't see how it's related. For more than 80 years the person atop baseball operations was referred to as a GM. They've changed the title, but most folks tend to fixate on the responsibility, not the title. And, also, a lot of fans aren't caught up in baseball's business because it's not their industry, in the same way some readers of the paper aren't sure of the difference between a beat writer and a columnist. It's not their profession. So, it's up to us who are in the industry or are in the profession to be patient, know what they're saying, and answer accordingly. Doesn't surprise me at all.
    Is GM an official position? Or is it just one made up by the teams such that a GM or a POBO can have whatever powers the team wants? More to the point, is this anything more than a superficial label?
    All titles are fluid. Skip Schumaker is assistant manager in San Diego. Some hitting coaches go by offensive coordinators or something now. It's just words, man.
    Yes, hard to remember every trade, plus Mikolas and Kim. I guess the lesson is that trades are often murky and there are a lot of factors, some years later, which determine who “won” or “loss.”
    Right, there are the signings of Mikolas and Kim, and then there is the extension to Mikolas, and not to mention the extensions to Wainwright, Molina, Wong, DeJong, Craig, and on and on and on. It would take quite an audit to pull them all in, but it's worth doing at some point -- if you could agree on a metric to measure it by. Would WAR in and WAR out be enough? Have to take into account the spending ... 
    Anyway, I still don't know how my your own estimate you have them winning most every trade you mentioned -- again, your opinion -- and also a World Series championship in there and say it's a "mixed bag." That's where I'm confused. You gave them a lot of credit, and then took it all back.
    Card's player rep Miller's comments that the season will start on time with a full schedule was nothing but the union's position for negotiations. Not close to what will happen imo.
    Major League Baseball is adopting the same posturing. And, yet, teams actions say they are preparing for some kind of delay.
    Are the distinctions between "beat writer", "columnist", and "reporter" just words too? All titles are fluid.
  • Nope. They are demonstrably real, OldPete. But you knew that.
  • Mr. Goold: It's just words? Try telling John Mozeliak his title is just words. Titles matter, regardless of what you think or type.
    OK, Bruce. Oh boy. My point is that responsibilities matter. Paychecks matter. Contracts matter. Some teams call the GM the President of Baseball Operations, and some call them GM, and they do the same job, and some have an assistant hitting coach and others have an offensive coordinator, and they do the same job. Words are fluid in baseball. 
    Do you really want to know why?
    Let's get into it. Most teams adopt the practice of not letting people out of their contracts unless they're getting a promotion. One way baseball has found to counter this etiquette or policies is to have title inflation. If someone wants to leave the GM job from Team A to have the same role with Team B, then a way to make that possible is to conjure a new title that is suddenly above the old one, or sounds like it. So, the bench coach for Team A may want to be the bench coach for Team B, but Team A doesn't want to let him out of his contract unless he's going for a promotion. So, he gets to go be the Assistant Coach for Team B, or Junior Manager or whatever, and that makes it possible.
    Now that's real inside, and not at all what you wanted to ask, I'm sure. But there it is. Titles are fluid around baseball satisfy a purpose. Salaries and contracts and responsibilities are what matter. Ask about those.
    And fans -- including knowledgeable fans -- see how Mozeliak leads baseball operations and for decades that has been the GM. So, I get what fans are saying.
    Everyone seems a bit angry today. Probably has little to do with baseball.
    Right. I guess the current smell of the Voit and Arozarena trades, plus the outfield mess, clouded my judgement. I also forget to include another loss—Marco Gonzalez for Tyler O Neill.
    There you go. The more you broaden the circle the better view you get. For sure.
    Interesting comment from Manfred about how he sees Covid-19 slowing down momentum for expansion/the chance for expansion being further away. I'd think they'd want to get more teams in as quickly as possible to boost up revenues.
    Correct. That is how some of the owners have seen it -- that expansion would be a stimulus check coming out of this. Slow down? Well, that could be the difference between looking at expansion in 2022 vs. 2021, and it would still have the same purpose. To help owners eventually get that added infusion.
    Derrick, thanks for the chat once again. If the Dodgers fill their 3B spot with Turner or someone else, and if the Blue Jays add a CF and move Grichuk to a corner outfield position, could you see the Cardinals as trade partners for Edwin Rios and/or Lourdes Gurriel, Jr.? Lower salaries, but would cost them some players (perhaps pitching). And some potential OPS improvement for the team.
    Gurriel haven't heard that much about -- but there could be an appeal. The Cardinals scouted him when he was coming out of Cuba, and they had a sense that he may not stick at shortstop but could offer some offensive upside at another position. He's certainly an intriguing player. I don't see why Toronto would be eager to move him, even in your scenario. And the same goes for Hernandez, who comes up in some chats as the Blue Jays measured the return they could get for him this past year or the year before at the trade deadline. . And Edwin Rios is a prized prospect for the Dodgers who aren't in the habit of trading away that kind of player without first looking around the diamond for where else he could play. They've done that a lot. Not sure of the motivation the Dodgers would have here.
    You're thinking in the right direction, and I get there. Where is there an overflow of outfielders or utility players that the Cardinals could check on, and that has me asking about the Bronx outfield, and also musing about how the Cardinals were the ones moving outfielders just 12 and 24 months ago ... 
    Hello Derrick! I’m amazed the Cardinals have not yet signed Yadi and/or Waino by now. All indications seem to point to the Cardinals and both players wanting to remain Cardinals and finish out their careers here. With no clear definition yet of adding any significant offensive punch for 2020, how much discontent among fans would there be with the Cardinals FO if they did neither? Thanks for the great forum.
    There would be a great disturbance in the force if neither ends up signing with the Cardinals. I am not surprised that it has taken this long. Both sides don't want to settle for today's prices without any sort of context from other signings. That's pretty standard. The Cardinals have also clearly adopted a four-corner approach to the offseason, running out the clock until they get more information, and it hasn't cost them.
    Do you think the Cardinals ever get back to being a very good team that consistently adds to the roster to get even better? Like when they got Rolen, or Mulder in 2005. Holiday in '09. Good teams that made themselves better, like the Dodgers, Padres, Braves, Mets, etc. I miss those Cardinals.
    You mean like December 2018? Sure. They'll get there. But it won't ever be enough in some corners of the chat. And that's fine. It's a fair opinion to have. But we have to be honest in this conversation -- there are some corners where it will never be enough.
    Not to belabor the discussion, but it would be an interesting project to analyze all of Mo’s moves by a common metric, with a factor added for financial costs. Get one of your many interns on it ! :)
    Due to the pandemic we were unable to have an intern this past year. It's a disappointment because the local chapter of the BBWAA has funded an internship almost every year since 2008, and it's become a place where we can help launch the next talented generation of sportswriters. Past Hummel Interns include columnist and chat-master Ben Frederickson, Orioles beat writer Joe Trezza, and newly named Avalanche beat writer Peter Baugh. It's been one of the best things the baseball writers do to come together, raise the money, and fund an internship.
    Do you think the Cardinals will sign any free agent power hitter? If not, many fans will be very angry.
  • Chances they sign a free agent hitter: Low, but not impossible.
    Chances fans will be angry no matter what they do: Certain.
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