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

    Just for next year, don't the Cards have a bigger offensive hole in the infield than the outfield? Carlson will help in the outfield, but the current configuration of the infield means a declining Carp will have to play a lot. So, do you expect the Cards to add both an outfielder and an infielder this off-season?
    No. Their outfield production has been dramatically lower than the league average at positions that are supposed to provide offense. Full stop. They are looking to add an outfielder and they could add an infielder as they look for their matchup correction. But outfield is the most direct route to improvement. The Cardinals' lack of slugging in the outfield is essentially turning that group into a glove-first shortstop. That is no way to produce offense. The outfield must be addressed. That is the area of need to change the look of the offense, however that is done. But for the previous two years, the outfield has been a drain on their production. You can find all of those numbers here, and they aren't subtle: 

    Out, looking in: Cardinals bet big on getting better outfield production, but are left with familiar struggles

    STLtoday.comCarlson and Fowler had bursts of production and Bader set career highs, yet overall the performance of the outfield overall shrank, putting a drag on offense.
    Have the Cards ever considered trying Andrew Knizner at third base? Seems a shame this guy is always trapped behind Molina and we never get to know what he's capable of.
    They have, yes. They have alternate options there.
    You answered the question on Carp, thanks. I just thought they would not want to be stuck with owing him a large sum in 2022.
  • If he's a productive player, it answers the question. Always does.
    Derrick, I've read discussions going back and forth about trades and signings. Players, owners, and GM all are trying to max out value. IF a team has to move a player with salary such as Arenado or Lindor because of money, pressure from the Virus, how much can they expect back this off season? I realize that I do not know the urgency that teams have wit their budget but I do believe it exists. So the number of teams that take on a high salary has to be a all time low. Nolan at >30 mil, one year rental of Lindor hast to have a small number of takers. So I seen your reply to a Lindor Q, In your opinion what would it take from the Cardinals?
    Top-end pitching is the kind of deal that gets Lindor. We now in both scenarios that the teams will at least get a compensation draft pick. Start there. Assign a value to the talent that the team things it can get with that pick, and then add to it. Because you're trading for a year of the player -- and that draft pick at the end of it. Have to sway the team away from the money and keeping that player to get the pick. Then broaden it, like we saw with the deals for Ozuna (two year control) or Betts (one year), and maybe it's the Betts deal that has you going in this direction. Yes, the more a team has to take on financially, the less they've had to give up in talent -- in the past. That was the kind of deal that Jocketty made often. That's changed recently as teams just want talent in return, controllable, dream-on talent. Now we're in a spot where teams don't want to take on heavy salaries of any type let alone with added uncertainty and that definitely chills the conversation with Colorado when it comes to Arenado. He still has to force the issue, as I've said many times. And if Colorado wants out from his salary, then what takers are out there? And if Colorado wants to cover some of his contract to get more in return, then how does that work? It's really difficult to figure out.
    Can you help me with a paradox? I always hear that pitching beats hitting and a great pitcher is worth more than a great hitter. The Cardinals seem to be able to generate good/some great pitching, but are never able to swing a deal for a top 30 hitter on the climb or in the prime of their career. This would seem to indicate that great hitters are in fact worth significantly more that great pitchers. How do I resolve this?
    I've never run across this paradox, so maybe that resolves it from the start.
    Yes, we've all heard that pitching beats hitting, and we're watching a game where that has never been more obvious. This is probably the hardest time for hitters ever what with increased velocity, increased movement, increased pitch-craft, and oh yeah shifts. It's a tough time to be a hitter.
    I've never heard that a great pitcher is worth more than a great hitter.
    The salaries don't tells us that. The draft doesn't tell us that. I've never had anyone in baseball tell me that, and in fact I've had the opposite told to me many times -- that a great everyday player is one of the rarest and hardest to find commodities in the game. Albert Pujols comes along only every so often, and then a Mike Trout does and there are always 29 other teams searching. A great hitter plays every day. A great pitcher dominates his one game every five and has the spillover benefit for the bullpen in days before and after, but a great hitter also has the chance to resonate and influence the lineup around him.
    I think we've resolved your question by saying it's a paradox based on a false premise. Great hitters are worth a significant amount, and that's why we see teams chase and chase and chase after them, and why the Cardinals have made the moves they have to try and land one.
    Can you come up with any logical reason as to why the Rockies would let David Dahl go. I don't get it.
    Nope. But I'm no brain surgeon, just a writer in a selfish industry doing selfish things who has never led anything in my life, or so the Rockies GM will tell you about me, a person he has not met, because that's how he described baseball writers.
    Clearly I cannot comprehend the genius behind that move.
    It looks like the 3B bridge to Gorman is not long enough and there will be a gap there in 2022. Does it put more emphasis on signing a 3B of some sort this year on a short term deal? Like Turner if he becomes available?
    Goodness. Earlier in the chat, people were asking if Gorman was going to be a factor and power source for 2021. Now he's not arriving until 2023. It's more realistic to suggest that Gorman is part of the conversation for 2022 than it is to say he should be a starter in 2021 or that he'll be delayed to 2023. I don't see the Cardinals making a play for Justin Turner. That's an overlap they can avoid on a bridge that will probably be just fine -- if they can get some minor-league baseball games for Gorman to play.
  • As soon as I entered my comment, I sat back and thought about it a bit. I live in northern Indiana, near South Bend, and am fortunate enough to have a minor league team within 30 min. of where I live. Being so close to their affiliated club (CHC) for rehab starts, etc, along with great attendance and wonderful fan experience, helped keep them from being on the chopping block. Thinking about it, I did miss making our family's annual pilgrimage to StL for games; however, I think I was more disappointed that I wasn't able to make the short trips to see the local A-ball team. Even more so, because I wasn't able to take my daughter, in her first summer, for a few games the same way my dad did when I was a little guy, and has continued to do so. As much as I love the Cardinals, that experience with the local minor league team has such a personal connection to me and the shared experiences with my dad, that I missed it way more than the "big league experience" this year - and shoot, it's even a Cubs minor league affiliate, so that should really mean something! I would be heartbroken if they didn't play another season in the middle of a labor mess.
    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on this. Minor-league baseball and its wingspan through the country -- reaching places where the majors don't go, or don't ever go -- is part of why baseball can still call itself America's pastime. Consider for a moment how there wasn't a day in the summer where most people weren't a couple of hours drive from a ballgame, right? We may not be able to say that in 2021 and beyond. Or the level of play won't be the same. In some places it will be better. In some it will be different. But the erosion of grassroots baseball will have a reckoning for the sport in the future, and it may force us to reconsider the America's pastime name.
    Any chance Yadi (assuming he’s signs) could convince Rosario to sign w the Cards? They are both from Puerto Rico and I think Rosario has participated in some of Yadis charitable efforts there.
    Maybe offer insight and information, but convince? Not sure how much players do that. Rosario did play in Molina's Home Run Derby. But I think it's dangerous to suggest that because they're from the same place that it's a definite connection. We didn't think David Freese could lobby Max Scherzer to be a Cardinal, so the same thing is in play here.
    I think most (maybe all) MLB teams out there would take Bader over Dahl in a heartbeat. Do you agree? I know that isn't the Cards' choice here, but maybe that puts their relative value in perspective.
    I do not agree with the word "most." I think it's more accurate to say some.
    Re Gorman I just see 2022 as the year he eases into a starting role. Expecting him to handle the position from Day 1 in 2022 puts a lot on his shoulders, that is all, especially with the lost year of 2020. But maybe he is that good. You
    Gotcha. Thanks for elaborating. Well the bridge isn't going to overlap too much in that regard. Probably not a good idea to sign a veteran player for high dollar and a promise of starting only to have in year 2 a time share with a prospect. Not sure if that's the best way to get the production going. Maybe better to have the versatile veteran in place, who can start sometimes and then move aside for the rookie and play elsewhere.
    Hi Derrick. I was wondering if you could clear up a couple of points. I think I remember reading in this paper by someone that it has been determined that (1) recent draftee Masyn Winn is no longer going to pitch; and (2) there is serious discussion about Elehuris Montero moving off of 3rd base.

    I did some searches to try to find the article where I thought that was mentioned, but I can't find it. Am I just pulling that out of thin air, or are those two things correct?
  • 1. I hope that it wasn't around here, and I couldn't find a story that said that. The focus for Winn this past summer during the Springfield camp was at shortstop and as a hitter, and the Cardinals have prioritized his experience and exposure to that first, to get him going as a hitter. That doesn't mean pitching is out of the picture. They're not abandoning the idea of him getting a look at both if there are games or whatever development there is in 2021. The emphasis just has been at shortstop, and some of that was protective of his arm, as you can imagine.
    2. There has been, yes. That's been going on for more than the past year. Driving that conversation at one point was having Gorman and him at the same level and Gorman getting the play at third base so where would Montero be? A position move made it possible.
    In this era of arbitrage ball, and with the promise of a vaccine on the horizon, couldn’t a GM make the argument that now is the time to buy while others are selling? Long term over 1-year control? Load up on youth at bargain prices? It looks like an opportunity for a dynastic organization.
    Sure. One catch: There is a reason why the players who are available are available in such high numbers -- with the exception of a few free agents, they were let go because their performance/promise outpaced what their team wanted to pay at this moment. Keep that in mind. That said, there is an opening there for a savvy front office able to identify the talent overlooked or the talent misunderstood and take risks that could be hugely beneficial in the immediate future. The auctions are going to be different, and the opening is there for a team to capitalize. A team like the Cardinals. But it may not be the Cardinals.
    If I were someone who competed in triathlons and I could run like the wind, I had the endurance of a machine on a bike, but I couldn't swim, would you say that I was good at triathlons? That's how I feel when we talk about the Cardinals offense. You're not wrong to point out the excellent pitching and defense. That can absolutely be the backbone of a good team, but it can no longer carry it by itself. This offense is terrible, and keep in mind the Cardinals let Ozuna go before the pandemic. In an earlier answer you said that many teams go for the best value and not the best player. That's true but there is also a key difference. If the Padres make a value play in the outfield their guys at shortstop and third are in their prime studs. The Cardinals have a lot of the former and none of the latter. I really like Carlson, but I think he's going to be more Robin than Batman. Some people point towards Gorman coming, but to me he sound like Mike Moustakas might be a good comp. I don't say that as a nock on Gorman, or Moustakas for that matter. That's a beneficial player, but it's not an anchor. What do the Cardinals see differently than I do?
    I guess, for one, they saw Ozuna not perform like they expected and didn't want to commit to him for the years he wanted. If he came back for one year, they would have eagerly taken him. He didn't accept the QO, and then went to Atlanta for less and the one year. The Cardinals' biggest issue is determining why they didn't get more from Ozuna when he was there -- was it all about the shoulder? Was there something else? Was there a connection with approach or coaching or clubhouse that they were lacking that they need to correct so that when they make a move for a player again they maximize that player's performance. 
    Another thing that you have that they do not is hindsight. You are judging the offense on what you've seen in the past. They have to make the decisions before, and some of those decisions have not worked out as they or you likely expected.
    The Rule V draft is Thursday. With there not being a minor league season this past season, do you think we'll see much activity there, leaguewide? How about with the Cards, specifically? Any names/positions spring to mind that they could target there? (I personally like Omar Estevez, RH INF from the Dodgers)
    Will be doing my research on that later this evening and tomorrow, once we get through some other assignments, candidly. The expectation is for there to be a good buzz around the Rule 5 draft. That's the indication now. There would have been more if MLB came out and said there would be 28-man rosters in 2021. That would be something that would really make the Rule 5 draft hum.
    The Cardinals, at this point, have positioned themselves to make a pick. Will be writing more on this in the coming days.
    I wish people would stop saying GMs can be more aggressive with spending since the vaccine is coming. No one knows exactly when the vaccine is coming. It’s projected to be available in the spring. But things can change.
  • I'm doing what I can to convey that.
  • Just to push my point a bit further, both Dahl and Bader are basically the same age. Bader has a lifetime WAR of 6.5. Dahl has a lifetime WAR of 0.9. Dahl's lifetime OPS is 200 points better in Denver than on the road. His road OPS is about the same as O'Neill's lifetime overall OPS. So, isn't he more of a lottery ticket than a sure upgrade? Don't the cards already have enough lottery tickets in the OF?
    They do have room for both, and the more lottery tickets they try the better the odds they get one that returns, no? Isn't that the idea? Get more talent? It's fair to point out their WAR. But you do need to mention that the bulk of Bader's comes on defense, and we're talking about a team that needs, craves, desires, must have more offense. Period. So that WAR is great and helpful and pretty -- but then the corner outfielders must be doing the heavy lifting. Dahl has upside offensively and upside with power, and no one is saying he's a sure thing, but he's got the upside to at least consider taking a chance. Heck, teams have taken the chance on less talent than he has and gotten more production from it.
    Are you able to cover anything that’s going on this week with the virtual Winter Meetings? It’s not like you can surf the Zoom calls like you work the halls during a regular meeting. Do you anticipate any signings or trades this week, from the Cards or other teams?
    There isn't any "virtual" coverage of the meetings, not from what I can tell. Each team appears to be approaching the media part of that differently. But the Cardinals are not going to include me on their Zoom calls with other teams or agents, and media don't have a seat at the meetings of officials with MLB. At least I don't. 
    It could be another slow week in the winter. This winter is going to test your patience. I cannot say that enough. It will test you patience.
    If there is movement, it will be on a few specific, target non-tender players who find a match they want with a team that wants them. But as of right now some of those players have just as much reason to wait on a better offer as the teams do to wait to make an offer.
    And no one knows how effective the vaccine will be. Even Fauci has said that. We can't assume everything is fine once the vaccine is here.
    Correct. Hence, the virus is in charge. And the best way for us to get closer to seeing baseball together in 2021 is to remain vigilant in the ways we know will stem the spread of the virus and help the heroes in our world -- the first responders and health-care workers pushed to their brink every hour now in hospitals. We can act respectfully and selflessly by changing some of our habits, wearing a mask, and doing what we can for the health of others and the possibility of watching a game together, in person, in the near future.
    Hi Derrick. I appreciate all of your efforts to bring us the coverage that you do. You are, in my opinion, unrivaled.

    My question centers around the international market. I was recently reading about the top 30 international prospects, and the Cardinals were not listed as a potential or likely spot for any of them. Why is that? Are they not willing to spend the dollars associated with the top tier of prospects? I think it's pretty clear they will not be spending big this offseason on the big league club, so I'm wondering how they plan to infuse talent into the system.

    Thanks and keep up the great work!
    Thanks for the kind words. And this is a good question. In the international market, the Cardinals have really spent a lot of time in the middle area -- not the high end, big dollar signings, and not the sign dozens of players for low cost and hope that a few turn out. They kind of mingle in the middle. Shocker I know. They also don't talk a lot, even quietly about their interests, honestly. They keep a good lid on that, and they're not thrown around a lot as in the mix for some of the top players. When it comes to this year's class, that's partially because the teams for those players have defined themselves long ago and the Cardinals know they're out, or were never in. The players are getting younger and younger when teams are making the play for a commitment. The Cardinals have a couple of players that are of interest on the horizon, and we'll see if they rise into the top rankings, or if the Cardinals can keep pace with their interest when they do.
    Thanks for your advice to stay patient this winter. Luckily - this has been a fun season thus far to follow Tottenham in the PL. And a wonderful day yesterday to see them spank Kroenke's team. :)
  • Agreed. Enjoyed Spurs' victory Sunday tremendously. A fun team to watch. I'm thinking about ordering a kit.
    That brings us to the end of another weekly Cardinals Chat. The chat will return next Monday here at StlToday.com, and the Hall of Famer Rick Hummel will be at the keyboard to answer all of your questions coming out of the Winter Meetings that wasn't. There will be plenty of coverage this week -- just not from Dallas. The Rule 5 draft is this week. There's another in our weekly series of Where Are They Nows planned, and there's already the news about Adam Wainwright winning th 2020 Roberto Clemente Award. It's one of baseball's highest honors. 
    Look forward to chatting with you later in the month.
    Stay healthy. Stay informed. Stay tuned. 
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