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

    Hey Derrick! Bronx outfield...maybe Clint Frazier? Thanks, Max
    Not likely. Yankees seem to be saying he'll be the starter for them. He's not alone out there, though.
    Love the follow up stories on questions that you were not able to cover in your last chat. Do you think the Cards may be waiting to announce Yadi and/or Waino's re-signings at the Winter Warm-Up?
    Nope. Mozeliak does like his theater, for sure. But he'd move fast to get those deals completed and announced, to stay ahead of folks like all of us asking. They do have to file such things with the union and MLB, and the more people who know -- because it takes a lot of people to know -- the less likely they can stage something like that. Still, this week will provide some added pressure to make moves.
    Which of the current outfielders is pushed out of the way if the Cards add a "power hitter" to play? The Cards already have at least 6 guys looking for playing time out there (O'Neill, Thomas, Williams, Bader, Fowler, and Carlson).
    The one not named Dylan Carlson who doesn't produce unless said "power hitter" is the DH, and then no one is "pushed out" and the Cardinals have their direct line to add a bat to the lineup, like they've discussed.
    I submitted this question an hour before the chat started so it may be lost in the stratosphere. It is two part:

    Since the Cards are looking for financially neutral trades, can we assume that they will have to do a salary dump trade—say CMart for a couple of prospects—in order to sign a FA agent like Pederson or Rosario?

    Did Schwarber getting $10 m set the FA outfielder market out of the Cards price range?

    Good questions. Thanks for resubmitting. The Cardinals haven't had much success getting anything in return of interest to them for Carlos Martinez, and they have had some discussions where it was clear that they would have to cover some of the cash, too. You can see how that wouldn't palatable for them. They tried to avoid those. Leake being the one example in -- what? -- Post-Tino Era that they did that, and that cost was not appealing to ownership at all. They have the bandwidth to sign Molina or Wainwright, and have said so, and if they don't then doesn't mean they can move on to other free agents with the same option/finances. Possibly. There has been no indication from the Cardinals that an offer to Molina will be calculated somewhere beyond the budget, in some sort of pocket universe called the Legacy Zone. So, it stands to reason that if they move from that offer they would have a chance to make others. 
    The market, as we've seen, is not great for straight cash dumps, even when it includes a Cy Young Award finalist. Keep that in mind.
    Schwarber's deal does less for the outfielders than McCann's deal does for the catchers because it's a one-year deal. Schwarber got beyond his arbitration figure likely because of the short term nature of the deal, and what the Nationals wanted -- flexibility, or whatever you want to call it. They could move on after a year, and put a price tag on that.
    And no, that shouldn't be out of the Cardinals' price range, but it's not happening in a silo as described above.
    I like your proposed equivalent trade pkg for Lindor and would’ve done that deal in a heartbeat. Just can’t get talent like that everyday for maybe’s....
    That is a lot to give up for a year. But, hey, the Cardinals would get a draft pick when Lindor goes and signs elsewhere. So that would compensate.
    Sort of.
    Or not really.
    But sort of.
    Do we see more spring training signings of free agents than ever before?
    to see "what you have" ? and get a better feel for revenues?
    Yep. Which will be interesting when it comes to the intake plans for teams and COVID-19 policies. Once the season gains clarity, then you're going to see some signings definitely tied to how long it takes to get a player tested and inside a bubble, and not just ready for the regular season.
    Are there any 2022 free agents the Cards could and would target with all their $ when bad contracts are off the books. Exclude Arenado (that is your Arenado mention for the day). The class is shortstop heavy, which is not a need unless you move DeJong to third.
    There are so, so many. Trevor Story could be there. Cory Seager will likely be there, as a free agent rep'd by Boras. There will be discussions on whether that means moving DeJong to third base, where Matt Carpenter may not be as his contract expires and the Cardinals have options, or if DeJong goes to second base because that spot is left uncertain coming out of 2021. Plenty of moving parts for a team with that option.

    Could Luken Baker be a player that thrives in the DH position, assuming it becomes universal after the next CBA. His timing would be close to 2022-23 I would assume?
    That's the current thinking, and definitely is part of the Cardinals' development plan/depth chart when they look at their system. Baker has some strides to make as a hitter to succeed at the higher levels, though. There is a lot to like about the strong finish he had at High A Palm Beach and those 32 doubles are the number the know. Some of those are going to become homers at the next level. Watch his strikeout/walk rate and how that advances with him, especially as the fences come in at Class AA and pitchers get better.
    As opposed to trading multiple prospects for an OF, why not try to pull an Arozarena reverse type trade and get high ceiling MLB ready prospect from somewhere else. Kelenic from Seattle, Adell from Anahiem?
  • Mostly because there hasn't been a lot of traction there with other teams. The Cardinals have definitely looked into those kind of deals -- and have in previous years, too. But neither of their situations compare to Arozarena's with the Cardinals.
    Enjoy the Chats and love the BPBB, Derrick. If Matt Carpenter meets certain benchmarks in 2021, does his existing contract have a vesting provision for 2022? if so, what are those benchmarks?
    So glad you asked, Bob. Hope you don't mind if I copy/paste the answer I gave elsewhere because the math is the same, and this will allow me to answer your question quickly.
    This was brought up in the Cards Talk message boards at StlToday, and let me say that your question was far more polite than the one spat at me there: "Hey you highly paid mouthpiece listen before i get banned for the 200th time. You suck. The issue with Carpenter is his vesting option for 2022. Address that. Thats what matters."

    This was my answer:
    Well, since you asked so politely -- and this has only been asked in the chat a handful of times before -- it's worth answering, and one thing I don't "suck" at is using a calculator. So here goes. To vest his option for 2022, he needs 1,100 plate appearances in 2020-21 and 550 of them must come in the 2021 season. No one knows yet how long the 2021 season will be, but this past year they prorated vesting options (see: Miller, Andrew).

    That means, on their 58-game schedule, Carpenter had the equivalent of 472 PA this season.

    That leaves 628 that he must get in a full 2021 season.

    (If they prorate it based on the full 60-game schedule that Cardinals were supposed to play that numbers grows to 644, just FYI.)

    He has reached that number only four times in his nine full seasons with the Cardinals, and only once in the past four full seasons.

    There. Addressed. Hope that helps.
    Post Lindor trade, is Cleveland retooling? They still have talent in the high production years of their careers. If they are sellers, they have both a top level 3b and 2b available.
    That they do. In that division, they are still competitive, though. They've really moved a lot when you consider Lindor and the pitching they've moved in recent years, and still they've got the roster that contends in that division.
    Why is it that Cardinals fans think that ownership OWES them to put out a championship caliber team? All that is OWED is a product on the field. Nothing more nothing less.
    I disagree. The brand, the history, and the way the Cardinals market themselves is a contract with the fans, especially when it comes from a public trust. The Cardinals have manufactured a reputation on being a crown jewel of the National League and the NL leader in World Series won. They can't now turn to the fan base they have nurtured with that notion for generations and say: "Kidding."
    That's a breach of trust. That's a breach of the public trust.
    That's a breach of branding.
    I think I've read almost all of your articles during the off-season. Did I miss one where you wrote about the Cards no longer looking for outside help for the OF (Joc, Rosario, etc.)? Thanks.
    I don't believe so. Didn't write one. Things have just .... it's been a boring winter. A lot of things on hold. So slow. So so slow.
    Is Baseball partnering with a gambling origination? If so is that really a good idea for baseball?
    Remember they band Pete Rose from the Hall of Fame and baseball for gambling on baseball. What has changed?
    They HAVE partnered with a gambling establishment. A few years ago the Winter Meetings were held in Las Vegas at the MGM because baseball has a business relationship with MGM, and this past year and years to come the GM Meetings were going to relocate to Las Vegas because of that relationship with MGM.
    What's changed?
    Well, society, mostly. The Supreme Court ruling has opened up the way for gambling on sports around the country, and let's not kid ourselves that sports are going to ignore the possibility of that windfall. Heck, NFL has catered to Fantasy Football, and for years now baseball has had advertising for DraftKings, etc. Picking DraftKings teams are part of some shows that are tied to MLB. This isn't a recent revelation. This has been an evolving embrace of the gambling industry, and with all the money that fans put into it, you can bet that teams and leagues are all going to look into ways to pull revenue from it.
    We're a long way from Shoeless Joe Jackson.
    There will always be a disconnect between the fans that are okay with being competitive in a weak division (brewers, reds and pirates) and those of us that hold the Cardinals ownership and FO to a higher standard - what the Cards owe is depends on your perspective...

    I am a season ticket holder for decades and am among the latter. Too many bad moves, signings and judgements have them facing a serious headwind to get better
    I appreciate your use of the word "headwind." Well done.
    Gotta say, I loved the Nickelodeon broadcast of the football game last night. That was fun. My wife got a kick out of it because she actually learned something about the game. Would like to see MLB try this once.
    I did not see it, but I've heard this a lot. Baseball is well positioned to do such a thing. Put it on Disney+. Get the Marvel Universe involved or something. Spider-Man is a big Mets fan. Bet he has a Lindor jersey already. Make it happen.
    I saw where you said Heyward would not have been a bad signing. Can you elaborate on that? It seems to me that it would've crippled the organization.
    I don't see it that way. If he signed with the Cardinals, they don't race after Dexter Fowler the next year. They take a different approach for their lefty than spend early and a lot on Brett Cecil. They may not be looking at the Carpenter extension because they'd have that player extended with Heyward. That's about $130 million in different decisions, maybe more, and then you consider the deal for Ozuna. It's possible they approach those talks differently -- or not at all unless Yelich gets involved. 
    We could pull this thread for awhile and the point is that Heyward would have given them an answer for right field years to come. He's durable. He's versatile. He's an exceptional fielder and baserunner, and where have we seen that work for the Cardinals? He was making progress as hitter for them in that second half, and that could have continued.
    Would have a good signing, and some dominos wouldn't have fallen.
    Why is no one trying to win the NL central?
    The winner will play 3 games and go home.
    The NL East and West is working hard to make it to the World Series. Teams from the NL Central is working hard to going home. Why the big difference in the Central and the other to divisions?
  • Mostly because it's January. They don't have to play tomorrow, and it's really not clear at all what these teams will look like or do once they have a sense of how long the season will be what ticket sales will look like.
    Also, part of it, we're seeing a real window into the financial situation at several of these teams. The Cubs built and built and built around Wrigley and spent and spent on pitching, and they are -- well, they just seem precarious financially. A lot of invested in a TV network, too. And they are window into the nature of fly-over country finances. are down to a Word Series 7th game.....who would you rather have as the manager, Whitey Herzog or Tony LaRussa?
    I never covered Whitey Herzog. I did cover Tony La Russa. So I'm not exactly the best person to answer this. I would be intrigued by seeing what Craig Counsell does in that spot, and even more curious about how he answers questions after the game goes upside down on him. Counsell is one of the most creative managers going right now, and I think he doesn't get enough credit for how he's managed that roster up north.

    I wanted to hear what your thoughts are on this. Lets say the Cardinals bring back Yadi and Wainwright, but fail to add another outside piece and they start the season off with the same players as 2020. They are into the beginning of June and are leading the division by one game but their offense is roughly the same as the prior season. At this point in this hypothetical, the vaccine has been administered to enough people that MLB opens up capacity to 50%. Do you think the fans will fill out that 50% with that product on the field?
    A lot of big ifs and wishes in this, but sure, yes. I think there will be an appetite for community activities and for baseball in St. Louis. It's part of the roots of the city, and after more than a year effectively in quarantine there will be people yearning for connection, for community, for seeing friends, family, crowds, and entertainment, and history says they'll be drawn to the ballpark for it, and the ballpark will be waiting. 
    To me the question isn't 2021 -- as you have outlined -- it's 2022. How energized are Cardinals fans when being at a game isn't the novelty, or when there is a work stoppage just as fans want that community.
    Baseball could sabotage itself real easy.
    Another one I forgot: the Ozuna trade ! Two top line pitchers for two underperforming years. Mo’s record in the last 3-4 years has been underwater. I think that is fair.
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