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

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

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

    Which of Joc Peterson, Hunter Renfroe, and non tenderer candidates Kyle Schwarber or Eddie Rosario would excite you the most as an offensive addition and which is probably the most logical?
    I'm not excited easily. I'm too boring and pragmatic, haven't your heard? The Cardinals could add Renfroe, Peterson, or Rosario and find ways to improve the offense through the addition of any one of them. From a pure platoon standpoint, consider what Pederson or Rosario would bring from the left side. Rosario has averaged 20 homers in recent seasons, is a eyar removed from hitting more than 30, and he's got a career OPS of .818 vs. righthanded pitching. That was .813 in 2019, and he had 27 of his 32 home runs off righthanded pitching. Given how many righthanded hitting outfielders the Cardinals have in place, finding complements to that group would -- rather, maybe could is the better word here? -- improve the offense.
    Derrick, if the DH is used in 2021 wouldn’t Nelson Cruz signed for one year solve a lot of Cardinals offense problems. Even at 40 years old he is one of the best professional hitters available.
    Yes. Ben Frederickson has made some compelling cases for this move.
    Looks like the NL Central won’t be very good in 2021. Do the Cardinals see this as another reason not to make offensive improvements? Will they instead wait to spend when Carp and Dex come off the books?
    I have no idea what the NL Central will look in 2021. That's mostly because I don't yet know the moves the teams are going to make or aren't going to make. I don't know if Kris Bryant will be with the Cubs or the Nationals or somewhere else. I don't know if there will be 150 games or 162 games or 100 games. I don't know if teams will only play in their geographic slice of the country again, or if they'll play more teams from around the leagues. There are so, so so many things I just don't know, and I don't mind telling you I don't know.
    And to guess would be foolish without more information.
    One of those things I don't know is how good the NL Central will be, and at last check neither do the teams in the NL Central. Except the Pirates. The Pirates are likely going to struggle as they continue a rebuild. But Hayes sure is rising talent.
    What will the cards identify be next season.? The dodgers of the NL? Tampa rays ? Taking away gold glove 2nd basemab and leaving carp at 3rd is not good
    They won't be either of those teams, but if you put them on a spectrum they're always going to be closer to the Rays than the Dodgers.
    Do you see the possibility of the season getting postponed to ~May in order to fill the stadium with more fans with the vaccines getting released around April
    I don't know if that will be the leading motivation, but that might be one of the results and definitely will be part of the conversation. The season could be postponed for a number of reasons not related to fans -- negotiations with the union and owners about safety protocols and vaccine requirements, comfort of teams and players traveling, and then, yes, ticket sales, and what it will be mean to cut off games with zero fans in hopes of having a shorter season with more fans in attendance to get that revenue going again.
    Even your suggestion prompts the question -- what policies would be in place to make sure of safety for fans, and what kind of debates are ahead if they require a fan to be vaccinated with proof to gain entry? You think the mask debate has become politicized instead of relying solely on science -- goodness, me. They're a private business, so it will be fascinating question.
    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, Derrick. I’m thankful for your time doing these chats.
    Thank you, Bradley. It was a quiet Thanksgiving. A wonderful meal ordered out from local joint Juniper, and time with the wife and our son. Did get a pumpkin pie from my mom -- contactless delivery, I guess you could call it -- and that was a wonderful surprise. She makes the greatest pumpkin pie. Don't @ me.
    Who do I think the most known player that will be non tendered. Will that be any surprises
  • It's a good bet -- we're doing that now, right? -- that there will be a surprise. There's going to be an excellent pitcher non-tendered that contributes to a winner in 2021. Who that is? Not sure yet. But we're likely to see it. There are going to be a lot of non-tenders. We've already seen some notable DFAs.
  • Is there any validity to the Arenado rumors?
    Same as there ever was. Stick to reports. Rumors are writ on water.

    Have the Cardinals written off this year As serious contenders and next year ready for a reboot after the next collective bargaining agreement?
    They have not. I asked that question. Ownership and the front office pushed back hard. It made for quite the exchange on a recent Zoom with the front office. I contend it's a fair question on whether it's wise for them just to contend, or if this year offers the best excuse to step back, reassess, and then surge forward for 2022. They disagree. Clearly.
    Any talk about signing any free agents to 1 year deals in this not so normal year thanks have a great week
    Absolutely. Lots of talk of this. Could come as spring training enters view. But this is definitely a place that many teams are interested in going with players.
    Given his 2020 playoff performance and strong history in the minors, folks have really focused on Randy Arozarena as another example of the Cardinals giving up on the wrong player. Do you think his video/social media incident in the 2019 playoffs had anything to do with him being shipped out?
  • Not at all. Period. This has been detailed in previous chats and coverage, and I urge you to search the site for more information.
  • Mr. Goold: This seems like an extremely slow time for baseball. That being the case, what do you do to keep yourself busy at the P-D?
    1. I cover baseball, every day. I'm hosting a chat as we speak, and we'll continue to do this weekly because there are still questions out there and still news to offer, or insight to pass along. Plus, there are assignments. Last week, I had a 80 inch story run in the Thanksgiving-day paper. It took many days to try and figure out and write to make it something that I hope was worth reading. I had to cover and explain some news. This week, there will be news, and another feature story that I'm working on. It's targeted for Wednesday. I am also working ahead on other stories that will appear in the coming weeks.
    I host a weekly podcast as well that has to be recorded and edited. I posted a new one Saturday, and I'm in the process of scheduling and planning guests for the podcasts for this week and next.
    You can find all of that coverage at StlToday.com, and there is likely to be something new almost every day of the week for subscribers.
    2. I am permitted vacation days. Believe it or not.
    Is there any reason to believe teams might start trying ti improve their rosters in the near future?? and that the commissioner tells the NL if the DH is on for 2021?

    Thank you for your time and professional input which is much appreciated.
    I appreciate the compliment. Thank you. Some teams have already made moves. Atlanta has improved its rotation, for example. The New York Mets are going to be spending freely it seems, but their pursuits are slower at the moment because that's how baseball free agency goes these days. This year isn't going to be swifter than recent winters because there are more unknowns at the moment, and recent winters were really slow. Goodness were they. Matt Holliday signing with the Cardinals in the second week of January 2010 seems like a hasty move by recent standards. 
    The DH clarification does need to come shortly. I've heard from a few teams -- a couple, I guess -- that would really like an answer on that.
    Thanks for the chat, DG. Since the Cards won’t spend enough money for a top tier player, who’s a legit possibility to bolster this offense? Pederson? Renfroe? Those about who they could afford?
    Yep. Those are names to start with. There are more names available at that price point than high-spending players, and the Cardinals, if they are creative and aggressive, can make moves on players who will help them improve. That could be La Stella or the outfielders you mention. It could be Profar. It could be a trade for an arb-eligible player who has underperformed or been undone by recent injury, and just needs playing time for a bounce back from a team that can take on something of a larger salary.
    Cards on TV? Their own channel? How would that work when I have Dish that dropped FSN over $$$ dispute?
    They own around 40 percent of Fox Sports Midwest, so the jump to their own channel would be fraught with difficulty at this point. Plus the delivery infrastructure would have to be started from scratch, and we've seen how that has gone for the Dodgers and Cubs. In fact, the Cardinals toyed around with the idea of having their own network. They approached the Blues to talk about it at one point. Then they saw the troubles that the Dodgers were having and decided maybe it's best, in this size of a market, to stick with the infrastructure that is already in place and make the deal there. So, they maximized their play and their possible revenue by also entering into part ownership. Now, the landscape has changed. But the Cardinals' deal with Fox Sports Midwest did include streaming aspects not yet created at the time of the deal. That was wise. And that's an avenue for access that seems to be an answer for the issues you're asking about.
    DG, I understand why signing Yadi might take time, but not Waino. His market is not as heavy and he costs less. Why haven’t the Cards signed him yet?
    Could be waiting on what it takes to sign Molina. They could be waiting to see what other starters are available from the non-tenders. There are many reasons to wait -- for Wainwright, too. Not the least of which is what it looks like for a season.
    What exactly is this sports betting feature they're adding to FSN? What will it look like? Will you be able to turn it off (ie, for people with gambling problems)? Who gets the money from it?
    All of these are great questions -- and at last check the team and the broadcast groups are asking the same questions. We are all asking the same questions, in many markets around the country, and teams are doing that too. They don't know the details yet. They don't know if it's something you'll be able to turn off (it likely won't, lots of money is at stake), or if there will be a gambling feed and a game feed, or if it will be just ads around the border and numbers to text in with bets. Or if there will be reads and graphics and details at the ballpark like there is already for Fan Duel, etc. 
    Consider for a moment that Fox Sports Midwest straddles two states here on opposite sides of the Mississippi with different laws. Don't know how that's going to look, either. Not at the moment.
    Who gets the money from what? The money from the rights fees will go to MLB clubs. That's why they're doing this. The revenue from the broadcasts will be shared like they currently are by the groups that own the outlets, and the Cardinals have an ownership stake. The revenue from the bets? The company that paid handsomely to have the access to the broadcasts.
    And in the coming year, as a CBA is negotiated, players are going to want to assure they see something from this revenue, too.
    So the cardinals finances in 2020 weren't great for ownership. Fans and patrons were not able to attend the games or fill the nearby attractions. Which investment was more significant to the cards running so far into the red for 2020: player contracts or debt payments for BallPark Village? At least STL gave them plenty of tax breaks to build BPV, but I don't think the debt payments were prorated like the players' salaries.
    They ran into the red because they couldn't sell a ticket. Ballpark Village -- with its debt, with its mortgage, with its construction, and with its tax breaks, which are significant -- is a separate entity at the moment. That is by design for the reasons listed before.
    The biggest cost for the Cardinals this past season was operations.
    That includes the salaries of employees and minor-leaguers. The salaries of players, which were reduced this past season, due to fewer games. Insurance. Ballpark operations. Paying off the ballpark. We learn a lot from the Braves in this regard. Atlanta had an operating expense of $90 million in the third quarter of 2020, and through the first nine months of the year they had a total operating cost for the ballpark operations of $143 million. That's a negative in their filings. They had a "baseball revenue" for those same nine months of $119 million. So, they're in the red for minus-$24 million right there and that's just in the specific categories mentioned, not the overall revenue/spending report which puts them closer to $90 million in losses for the nine months. And that is before the final three months of the season which are normally just operating costs and limited revenue. This past weekend, we learned that the Phillies had a reported loss of around $145 million. The Cubs claim that they had a lost of $140 million. The Cardinals were not at that level. They were closer to the advertised average, above the $100 million, and around what the Braves lost.
    You can read more about the Braves and the Cardinals and that situation here, and know that Ballpark Village is the long play -- and this year it didn't offer much, even with a few ticket sales: 

    DeWitt: Cardinals budget for 2021 not 'hard and fast' as team wants contender 'our fans deserve'

    STLtoday.comOwner says budget for next year is not ‘hard and fast.'
    You have said in prior chats that Dewitt has his "thumb on the scale" when it comes to trades and free agent signings. Would it be fair to say that perhaps his thumb has been a bit too heavy in recent years with all the failed trades and signings/extensions? Perhaps he should step back and let baseball decisions be made by professionals
    Interesting question. I don't think I would say that, because the most costly moves he advocated for didn't happen. I think the effort to assign blame for moves is tricky unless you put them all on the person in charge -- where the buck stops -- or accept the fact that in the Cardinals case they have for awhile now tried to really make deals by committee. Who gets credit for the Miles Mikolas signing? The official who advocated, or the executive who inked the deal? What about the extension? Is that all about the official who did that deal, or does the scout who initially stumped for him get some of that credit/blame? 
    If we establish rules for the blame and credit, then it's easier to assign both. Perhaps in future questions that's something that should be done? It would certainly make for an interesting chat, and we could do away with some of the euphemisms.
    In the case of your question, I think it's a great exercise to go down, but the ones where he has urged the team to go most notably have not been completed.
    Have you any sense that they might be interested in Profar? His problem has usually been trying to live up to his draft status, but if taken at face value he is a good player who fills in a lot of squares for the Cards?
  • All correct. He fits the profile. He makes for an interesting addition and a chance to improve at a few places, for sure. I don't have a feel for how aggressively the Cardinals are pursuing him. Over and over and over again, I have heard from people outside the organization that they are not making moves on conversations about pitchers, and that the Cardinals seem more focused on Molina and that conversation at the moment before moving on. Several agents have told me that they've heard from the Cardinals what they've heard over and over and over and over again multiple teams -- they don't know their budget until they know more about the season ahead.
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