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

    Derrick, I am still a bit troubled by the Wong decision. If defense is the Cards current calling card, why get rid of your best defensive player? Are they planning to make up his runs saved by an increase in offense? Do they think Edman and his total skill set is comparable? And why didn’t they try to renegotiate his contract, which Wong said they did not try to do? For some reason I think there is something else involved here that has gone unreported.
    Well, if it's been unreported then it's my fault, and I'm not going to put something in the chat that I've forgotten to put in the paper. All of reporting goes there. It's like in before times when I would go to a dinner party or charity event and someone would pigeonhole me against a wall and say, "Well, what's the real story on (subject x)?" Well, the real story, from everything that I can report and verify, goes in the paper. I don't save it to show off in private, or to traffic in gossip that I cannot prove or put under my byline. That's not the job. And, honestly, pocketing such info isn't fair to readers who expect to get the whole story to the best of a reporter's ability, readers who pay subscriptions believing they'll get the whole story to the best of a reporter's ability.
    Here's what you didn't mention: The Cardinals feel they can get as good of a player or as good of production for less cost. Period. They saw a way to shave $11.5 million from the payroll, and get similar production and greater "value" from less cost. That's the reason here. It's the money. It's what we talk a lot about -- it's the VALUE. So, Wong will be the superior defensive player and maybe go out and be a 3.0 WAR player, but if the Cardinals can get 2.5 WAR from a player at $10.5 million less, then they are getting better value, not the better player. That's the root of this decision. That's what they mean by flexibility. Lopping off the cost at a position where they think they can get less bang but for a better buck.
    Yes, they see run differential as a sliding scale, and if they're going to prevent fewer they need to score more. That's a goal. Yes, I too was surprised when Wong told me that he would have renegotiated his deal with COVID-19 in mind, and that the Cardinals did not attempt to do that. Says a lot about how much they just wanted to immediately cut costs, and what they think the market for Wong and the market for players in general would be. They see value to be had, to be added.
    After O'Neill hauled in the GG this year, aren't his and Bader's skill sets kind of redundancy? The offensive upside with O'Neill is his power. So if he is a GG fielder and Bader has no real offensive upside, why is the team so committed to him?
    No. O'Neill won a GG in left field. Bader plays CF. Different positions. O'Neill played LF like an average center fielder players center field. That's good, for sure. But that's not Bader. That seems to be the root of the team's commitment: Bader's elite play at a position up the middle at a ballpark that can reward elite play in center field. That said, he's got competition forming for playing time -- Carlson is coming for everyday play, and Lane Thomas can play CF at an above-average level, too.
  • Mr. Goold: Matt Carpenter’s $18.5M Vesting Option vests with 1100 PA total in 2020-2021 and 550 PA in 2021. There's no way Carpenter can reach 1100 PA. Did the MLBPA negotiate some sort of prorating of numbers in players' contracts because of the pandemic?
  • They did. That's how Andrew Miller's option for 2021 vested.
    Do the Cards see Gorman playing in the bigs in 2021 to help the pedestrian offense? If so, do you believe he will be productive next year?
    Maybe later in the year. They don't want to rush him from ZERO games in 2020 to being a starter in 2021 at third base. That is not their current plan. They would like to see him get some at-bats at a higher level of minor-league ball, if at all possible.
    If/When there is MLB Expansion, do you think that will be accompanied by significant realignment, such as an all west coast division, or the Chicago and NY teams playing in the same division?
    Possibly. More likely, you're going to see a schedule in the near future wherever team plays every other team at least once during the season. There are a number of ways this could be done in baseball. Odd years Yankees visit STL. Even years STL visits the Bronx. Alternate years for Mariners. And then always home-and-home vs. Central teams like the White Sox, Twins, and of course Royals. That has appeal in MLB and amongst the owners, who want more consistency from the interleague play and were intrigued by the geographic based schedule this year, adding to the existing discussion of just doing schedules where everyone plays everyone at least once, and the rotating interleague schedule is discarded.
    Your answer about a reunion with Gyorko said that both he and the team had moved on, implying that they wouldn't be interested in a reunion. Why not? He's solid defensively and offers an intriguing platoon option at a couple of positions. I can't imagine he would command a high salary. Were there other issues at play that the Cardinals are happy to be rid of?
    They've been there, done that. Gyorko wasn't exactly thrilled with his lack of playing time here, and that's not likely to change. The Cardinals would rather go with someone younger, and they feel they have options to handle that side of the plate, or they'd go for a switch-hitter to help them out. I don't see the appeal for either side. That's to say there were any issues or anything caustic in the clubhouse. There was just an understanding their time together had come to an end -- and I don't see the match now.
    DG, it was obvious the affection and admiration that you and Bernie have for each other. and was a enjoyable podcast. With him now on the Danny Mac team, does that mean your podcast was a "one and done"? Sure hope not.
    Thank you for listening to the podcast. I don't believe that it does mean that, no. But we haven't had that discussion. Bernie Miklasz does mean a lot to me. He played a big role in bringing me back to the Post-Dispatch. It was over lunch at Coors Field on opening day 2001 that he asked me if I would be interesting in returning to the newspaper, and what kind of opportunity would it take to make that happen. That question put in motion future conversations with the PD and ultimately the chance to cover baseball.
    In what should be a very competitive NL Central, the Reds non-tendered Bradley and traded Iglesias. Is this indicative of needing to cut costs or a lack of belief in their ability to compete after losing Bauer?
    Can it be both? I have a hard time believing that the Reds were all-in on 2020 in a way that they don't want to sustain the team they put together and the rising contender they seem to be. And yet .. Iglesias traded. Bradley non-tendered. Goodwin non-tendered. Bauer possibly gone. They're entertaining offers on Gray from some teams. It's like they had a match to strike for contention, struck it, and it burned their fingers in 2021 and they tossed it away. It is a window into how teams are making financial decision at the moment, and how all the spending the Reds did to win the offseason in 2019-20 really comes into play with the team they feel they can put together after the pandemic-shortened year. Bad vibes, man.
    Mr. Goold: What happens if it becomes clear the Cardinals are doing what's necessary to prevent Matt Carpenter from getting the needed PA in order to avoid his $18.5 mil vesting option?
    His agent will file a grievance and the union will take up his cause to determine if there is something sketchy going on. There will be many stories about it in the paper asking the Cardinals to defend/explain their actions.
    You said a mouthful 10 minutes ago. " They're getting the better value not the batter player. " In reference to defense and Wong contract. That's the point. The whole point!
    Public trust my butt.
    OK, but please understand that a vast majority of baseball teams -- including the World Series winners -- operate this way. They seek the best value, not always the best player. And that's an issue for fanbases and the game writ large. This isn't a St. Louis thing. This is a MLB thing, and it's part of the pace of play discussion and the labor issues that are on the horizon. It's a big topic, and the Cardinals aren't alone.
    Do you agree with the Cardinals position that the last team into the Playoffs is as likely to win a WS as any other playoff team?
    That's not their position. The last team into the playoffs usually isn't a division winner. And if it was their position, I would not agree with it, because despite what you read on Twitter I'm not a fool, and I can read the standings and rosters. The playoffs can be random, for sure, but there are things that a team can do to increase their chances to win the playoffs. Having one of the best lineups and deepest rosters in a long time helped the Dodgers. Having fierce, elite, excellent and versatile pitchers helped the Nationals. There are trends every October to affirm what wins in October and can inform what teams can do to win in October and improve their luck. There are no guarantees in a short series -- even an 83-win team can claim the title, as you know; a superior Cardinals team can fail to win a game in a World Series -- but you can increase the odds of your team defying the flukes, defying momentum, and generating their own heat as a title team with roster moves.
    over/under. How many years before balls and strikes called by technology?
    by Thought for the catchers position. The back up ca 12/7/2020 7:10:36 PM
  • 13 1/2 seems like a fun number to generate conversation.
  • Derrick, have the Cardinals closed the door on signing Wong or are they pretty definite about starting Edman
    They have not. They have not engaged him actively, though. But that door hasn't been closed, in part because that market just hasn't really opened up.
    This is the new: 

    Wainwright wins MLB's Clemente Award; sixth Cardinals player recognized by MLB's highest honor for charity, leadership

    STLtoday.comWainwright receives honor for his leadership on the field and his charitable work off of it, which has included constructing clean-water systems and creating a way to help his peers
    Nope. Just have to meet other assignments at the same time, and cover news as well.
    Spring Training will start ________________, with Opening Day on _______________.
    1) At some point.
    2) I have no clue.
    The virus and our response as a country to it continue to be in control, and there's really no way to possible have a sense of when things will move and how they'll move for baseball until we know whether the spikes subside, the infection rate drops, and teams and MLB can know when/if and how many fans can be in the ballpark.
    Afternoon, Mr. Goold.

    I'm having a difficult time projecting Dejong's offensive production. Do you have any insight as to what the cardinal's, or other, front office expects from him moving forward?
  • They expect him to be an above-average shortstop, especially when it comes to power. They believe his swing, his strength, his exit-velo suggests that he'll be above-average when it comes to SLG from a shortstop, and they've seen that in his homer totals. It's important to note that offense is on the climb at the position around the NL, so that's going to change what it means to be average when it comes to SLG at a position that includes Story, Tatis, Seager, etc.
    Hello DG:

    Kolten Wong was a prospect who struggled , and took a few years to find consistency, but the Cardinals stayed with him, and the wait paid off with Gold Glove defense and more consistent offensive production.

    Is Harrison Bader on the same track? Or is he so lacking in offensive potential that he is not worth the wait?

    Keep up the great work!
    It's a fair comparison, and I could imagine the Cardinals hope that turns out. How long they can wait is different -- because the lineup around them is different, and the expectations for offense from outfield is different than second base. Wong had to find his identity as a hitter, and it helped that he could connect with Mark Budaska as a hitting coach who helped him find that hitter, find that approach. Bader has to get to that point.
    Re the Astros cheating scandal, it seems the only one who paid a price, other than Luhnow, was Carlos Beltran. Finch and Cora are back with jobs and Carlos lost his chance to manage the Mets. It seems unfair. Do you think Beltran will get another shot to manage and will the scandal hurt his chances for the Hall of Fame?
    I hope he gets another shot. I hope it does not impact his Hall of Fame chances. He deserves to be in baseball, and baseball is better with him in it. I agree with you. He took the brunt of blame -- or seemed to because he wasn't an active player and didn't have that protection. Unfair. Brutally unfair. I look forward to his next act.
    DG, Are we watching a huge game of chicken this off season in FA and trades? Chicken doesn't get interesting until the last second. Teams like Cleveland who advertise that they want to move a Lindor are mostly saying their budget is very tight. IF that's true of CLE, or Cleveland, whoever, the return for those players seem more likely to decrease than to increase. Seems like even more reason to sign a Dahl.
    More of a staring contest than chicken. A game of chicken implies that two entities are moving toward each other with imminent collision as a possibility. A staring contest is more boring, just inaction waiting for someone to blink or sneeze. And here we are. That has a lot to do with the factors in play on both sides. Teams don't yet know their budgets -- as we continue to mention and needs to be said because of the ticket-sales factor -- and players don't know, as a result, the teams that could be interested in them. If your Wong or Molina -- why jump at an offer now, when there could be more teams interested in two weeks, three weeks, due to LeMahieu or Realmuto signing elsewhere, or there being clarity on a season or certainty on some ticket sales, etc. etc.
    The best way to slow a market is to have incomplete information.
    Both sides do at this point.
    If Harrison Bader's can replicate his OPS+ of 111, is that enough to keep him in the lineup, or does the underlying production have to be less sporadic?
    That would do it, yes. That's a good OPS. Some of it depends on what others around him do. Please keep that mind. If the offense sags as a whole, they'll need more from somewhere, but that is a solid production level for a plus, plus center fielder.
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