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

    Greetings. The end of the Super Bowl means the beginning of baseball season -- as if baseball season ever ends. Welcome to the final chat before the week spring is scheduled to start. Some Cardinals are already Jupiter-bound. Others are planning to follow in the coming week. The team has planned one more bit of big business in the coming hours, days. You'll probably have some questions about that. In the middle of the chat, I may have to step aside for an interview -- and, as always, if there's news, I'll need to get to work.
    Eager to see what the tone of this chat becomes and the direction the chatters take it.
    Away we go.
    Is Knizner the backup catcher this year “if” Molina re-signs?
    Likely. The Cardinals have added one catcher, Tyler Heineman, to compete for the backup spot, and then give the Cardinals either Knizner at Class AAA for lots of playing time or a veteran presence with the Redbirds for the pitchers there.
    Do you think there’s a chance we sign Max Scherzer next year in free agency? 3 year deal to end his career in his hometown to replace Wainos spot in the rotation?
    There's always a chance. There's also this reality: The Cardinals will be keeping an eye on the available starters going toward the trade deadline in July. Check the standings and see where the Cardinals are in the division and where teams like Washington is -- and consider that the Cardinals would be looking for moves that strengthen their October look. A good place to do that is adding a dominant starter for short series. That would be a place the Cardinals, if they're contending and if they're leading, will go shopping.
    How did the pandemic shortened season impact Carpenter AB clause for his 2022 option? Do you expect he will see at bats or will the Cardinals try to avoid the opportunity for his option to vest?
    At some point I'm going to just copy paste previous answers to this question so I have the math handy. Let's spell it out so I can refer back to this answer when this comes up again:
    Carpenter's contract calls for a vesting option if he has 1,100 plate appearances in 2020-2021, and at least 550 of them must come in 2021. So if he doesn't get to 550 in the coming season, the option wouldn't vest even if he has more than 1,100. The short season prorates the plate appearances. 
    The Cardinals played 58 games and Carpenter had 169 plate appearances, so that is the equivalent of 472 plate appearances in a full season.
    That leaves him 628 PAs to get in 2021 to vest the option.
    He has only had that many in four of his eight full seasons in the majors.
    A bit of a general question that you cannot possibly know the answer to, but would still like to hear your thoughts on it. I find myself wondering if the way this pandemic has played out with the Blue Jays will temper the enthusiasm of the owners / MLB for an expansion team in Montreal. I mean, of course this is a once in a lifetime event. But it has demonstrated the problems that can arise from allowing your product to be dependent upon governments (Federal, Provincial, Local) in Canada that view the world very differently in some ways.
    Quite a beginning to a question -- I'm going to ask you one, but my belief is that you couldn't possibly know an answer. We're off to a rocking start!
    The answer is no.
    Expansion will go where MLB believes there is money to be made and a market that can help grow the wealth of the game. Montreal is well positioned to be one of the markets in the running, and depending on who you ask it is a market that is in the lead. When the Cardinals visited there for exhibition games a few years ago, they already had a downtown site picked out and getting ready for a ballpark. 
    There is an interest in MLB to expand at some point, and the timing of it will be interesting -- because of the reason you mention. The pandemic. Expansion fees can be a quick infusion of a lot of money for owners, and that would jolt the sport back possibly from the reduced revenue of the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Now, someone will point out that MLB has said it doesn't have immediate plans to expand. No kidding. With expansion comes expansion fees. Expansion fees go to the owner -- and what's that on the horizon?! What's that coming into view -- ah, the expiration of the current CBA and the rhetorical storm that's already brewing. Since expansion isn't going to happen for the 2021 season, you can see how MLB wouldn't have immediate plans because it needs to know what the next CBA looks like, and of course the union is going to want to know all about the additional revenue the owners will get from expansion fees and how much a cut the players can count on.
    Hope that helps.

    Thanks for the chat Derrick.
    What length and cost should we expect Yadi's contract to look like? Your opinion.
    Cardinals have been talking to him about a one-year guaranteed deal. Wouldn't be a surprise if there's some team option or a vesting option even of some type. With McCann's deal setting the AAV for him at $10m, the argument from Molina's side of the table has been that he's worth that much as well. The structure of the deal, given his age, could be that he hits incentives that push it beyond that AAV. But the precise number, I don't know, not at the moment. The moves the Cardinals have made recently mean they can add Molina for that $8m-$10m range and still be under last year's payroll.
    Cards still looking for help on offense?
    They hope to find it from the young outfielders. You may have heard that before.
    Does Nolan Gorman have the ability to play other positions or is he a 3rd base type only?
    UPDATE: My apologies. I see now that this question was about Nolan Gorman and not Nolan Arenado. I had intended to click on a Arenado question and had that name in mind. I'm sorry for the confusion and the poor reading comprehension. The question about Gorman is answered later in the chat. (Short answer: Think LF, 2B, or DH). This answer feels out of place, but I'll own the mistake ... 
    He's the best defensive third baseman of his generation and one of the best of all-time. Why someone would have him play another position when he can play that premium position so well, I don't know. But given that he can play that position so well, I imagine he can play any position, honestly. Need a few innings at shortstop, he can find a way. Need him to play center -- he won't have the range of Bader, but no one will run on him. And so on. Yadier Molina can play first base, but he's better at catcher and catcher is harder so he stays there. Nolan Arenado can play many places, but he's best at third base and third base is really hard, so he should play there. Change the game there, not change his position.
    I guess the Cards couldn't find any takers to dump Carpenter and Carlos Martinez on?
    You don't need to guess. They didn't look to trade one of them, and they haven't had any luck trading the other for the past two years.
    Are the Cardinals still eyeing Jake Odorizzi? Also how soon can we expect Yadi to re-sign?
    The Cardinals have interest in Odorizzi -- but the current asking price could sweep him elsewhere. They're not walking away and will be there if he cannot find his asking price with another team. The Cardinals always prefer those shorter term deals, if a player is also looking to slingshot back into free agency in another year. Think: Lohse, Kyle. Same kind of thing going on here. 
    Yadier Molina's Puerto Rico team lost to the Dominican Republic's rep in the Caribbean Series on Saturday. Return travel Sunday. Back home Monday, and the Cardinals hope to have this all finalized in the near future. Here's my bet: Watch Molina's Instagram for clues, or for the announcement. 
    Hey Derrick, Do you think Carp has brought out his outfielders glove? Surely no thoughts of 2B for him! Speaking of 2B, is Edman a lock, or will Sosa get a legit shot? Sosa is another young kid who hasn't gotten a good look.
    Huh. I remember a few years ago begin scolded about mentioning in the chat that Matt Carpenter could get a look at LF. It didn't happen. That doesn't mean it wasn't discussed internally, as the Cardinals moved around positions. Cardinals do see Carpenter as an option at second base. And at DH. Most likely DH.
    Does Junior Fernandez have a chance at breaking camp with the Cardinals?
    Yes. It's going to be quite a bit of competition for him, Whitley, and Oviedo. There will be talk from the Cardinals about Genesis Cabrera in that competition, too. Eager to see how they view him coming into camp -- and how long they might give him as a starter, with Austin Gomber now in Colorado. Cabrera seems primed for a breakout year.
    Is the Areando/Goldschmidt tandem better than the Pujols/Rolen one?
    Albert Pujols is one of the best righthanded hitters in MLB history. He has three MVPs and was a given for .300-30-100 for a decade. That's a high bar for any duo to clear.
    With such an abundance of pitching right now, wouldn't it make sense to trade some of the pitchers..meaning: Elledge, Whitley, Woodford, Junior, Rondon, Oviedo...? Even consider Cabrera, Helsley and Ponce.
  • Not unless the Cardinals can get something solid in return. They should trade some depth to improve the team -- not out of charity. Say it with me: You can never have enough pitching. And as long as those pitchers have options, they can go to the minors and be ready when needed. All of the players you listened have at least one option year remaining, and there is no need to rush to trade them just to trade them when the Cardinals don't need to.
    Hey Derrick ive really been try to understand what the cardinals are exactly on the hook for money wise in this Arenado deal, as far as year to year. There have reports ranging from free this year, to 20 mil this year. Wondering if you could clear it up? Thanks as always for the excellent work.
    Sure. So, the Rockies are paying $15m of Arenado's $35m salary for the coming season. The other $20m is being deferred to be paid later. As part of the deal, the Rockies are sending the Cardinals' $50m (or $51m, including the inflation) in cash over the life of the contract. The Cardinals don't get all of that money if Arenado opts out. But if Arenado stays -- does not elect to be a free agent after the 2021 or 2022 season -- then the Rockies will pay that money, and it includes the salary for the 2027 season. It's a little more complex than just saying the Rockies are paying Arenado all of his salary for 2021, though the total value of the cash coming from Colorado is equal to that and the 2027 salary. It's just that the money is deferred, some of it paid by the Cardinals as a result, and not all of it is coming to the Cardinals if Arenado opts out. I know it gets tricky.
    Do you feel that Goldschmidt being signed long term was a prerequisite for Arenado being traded here. Has Arenado ever played with a 1B as good defensively as Goldschmidt? Hopefully there is no sign of decline from Arenado but, if he does begin to, I suppose having Goldschmidt at 1B over say, Matt Carpenter or a Jose Martinez type, would help nurture the investment.

    Basically, is Arenado here if Goldschmidt is not. Thank you.
    I don't believe so, no. Not Goldschmidt specifically. It doesn't hurt obviously that they are friends, and that Arenado can get a straight answer from him, but he also spoke to many other former Cardinals -- Holliday, Descalso, to name two, and they would have given him reasons even if Goldschmidt wasn't at first. But the process the Cardinals used to trade for Goldschmidt and sign Goldschmidt was an example of what Arenado has sought when he says he wants a team to contend. So, it could have been Goldschmidt or it could have been a yes from Stanton or it could have been signing Ozuna long-term -- any of those things, had they happened, would be an example of the commitment that Arenado was looking for from a team that he feel he didn't not get from the Rockies. It's the acquire and keep, acquire and keep, and acquire and plan to augment that Arenado was seeking -- and Goldschmidt is an example of that, so too is bringing Wainwright back, or developing young pitching, or signing their young shortstop to an extension. Or promising Arenado that they will keep going out into the market to add from outside, because he's watched them do it with Ozuna, Goldschmidt, Heyward, and so on. 
    Goldschmidt was a surprise move the Cardinals learned they could make and then pressed hard and aggressively to get it done fast before Arizona ownership reconsidered. Arenado has been a long process -- where Cardinals positioned themselves to get him just as they did Goldschmidt. Didn't happen. So they kept checking, kept loitering, kept on it. In some multiverse there's a Cardinals team with Arenado and no Goldschmidt. They weren't a packaged deal.
    Todd Helton has won as many Gold Glove awards at Goldschmidt and was widely considered an excellent defensive first baseman.
    Did you hear the story about Bauer trolling Mets fans by selling autographed Mets hats hours before signing with the dodgers? Any opinion on whether this is all in good fun or mean-spiritied?
    Or an accident? The Mets thought they were really close to a deal, according to Joel Sherman in the New York Post. Maybe Bauer thought that, too. I saw the video, and it seemed to me that he recorded multiple endings just to be safe.
    It was like the movie Clue, I guess.
    I'm not willing to say it was "all in good fun" because Bauer's activity on social media is definitely to promote Bauer, and some of it has definitely not been fun for the people who have seen his treatment of others on Twitter. 
    Any names you haven’t heard about but think the Cardinals could be looking at in SP market for a possible trade? If not names, is the type of pitcher a 3-4 type in your opinion?
    Haven't heard any trade targets for the starting pitcher. That hasn't come up. It was only recently that the Cardinals were connected to the starting pitcher market via free agency. About a month or so ago, I was told by two sources the Cardinals were "largely absent" from the market for pitchers. They were focused on Wainwright, several people said. That shifted, and they've at least explored if they're fit for Odorizzi, as the PD reported this past week.
    Were Carson Kelly and Andrew Knizner never really projected to be Yadi’s replacement? If Molina would have departed, (assuming he isn’t) would Knizner have really caught 125 games?
    They were absolutely projected to be Molina's replacement. It's uncommon for a catcher to be as durable and play as much as Molina has done at age 35 or older. There have been 111 seasons when a catcher age 35 or older has logged at least 100 games and been the catcher in 90 percent of them. 
    That's according to Baseball-Reference.com's database.
    Watch the number drop:
    35+ -- 111 times.
    36+ -- 59 times
    37+ -- 28 times
    38+ -- 16 times
    39+ -- 5 times
    40+ -- 3 times (Bob Boone twice, Deacon McGuire)
    Cardinals were prepared for Molina to have a career like many of his peers at the position, and had Carson Kelly timed up to share the position or inherit it -- if Molina left as a free agent or moved on because of health. Oh, and check out Knizner -- he's ready to go when this most recent contract ended. So, yes, definitely they were both set to take over, and the Cardinals were really willing to do that.
    Knizner would not have caught 125 games this season. The Cardinals would have been more active and landed one of the other veteran catchers out there. Avila, for example, and the position would have been shared for 2021.
    RIP to Pedro Gomez. By all accounts an incredibly decent man. Any stories you can/want to share?
    Baseball is less today. There's a hole. There's heartbreak.
    A great storyteller, and a greater person. You have probably seen the outpouring of compliments and grief from his peers. Not too long ago, as I had those drives all around the country from city to city Cardinals series to series, Pedro was one of the baseball writers who would call to help me pass the time. We swapped stories about TLR as I drove through Arkansas. When I was a young baseball writer, there were plenty of people telling me how I couldn't be one, wouldn't last as one, didn't belong as one, had no place in the press box, and so on, and then there were people like Pedro who told me why I could be a baseball writer, why it was worth chasing and trying, and how to do it.
    And I'm not alone. One of the reason Pedro means so so much to baseball writers is because so many of us can point to the person he mentored, the moment he stood up, the story he told -- the way he contributed to each of us, and our friends.
    He was one of the 13 reporters to go to Havana and Cuba in December 2015 on what MLB called a "goodwill" tour. It was an emotional trip for him, and still he was there to help many of us, give us background, negotiate what we could not. As you can imagine, the Wi-Fi was tricky but we knew of a hotel that had a floor with a strong single. With Pedro in the lead, we found a way to create a bureau setup in that floor -- like a newsroom. Were we could all work and trust that we could file our stories, or send back photos. 
    Our flight out of Havana was delayed by hours -- and it was unclear if it would ever come that day, honestly -- and while we waited Pedro and I spoke about the trip, what it meant to us, what it meant to him (his parents left Cuba shortly before he was born), and what it meant for the future.
    I'm going to post that podcast later today, to share it again.
    Hope you have a chance to give it a listen.
    Thanks for taking our questions, Derrick. Do you think the Brewers signing Kolton was sort of like the Cards overpaying a few years ago for Dexter? Sort of taking a key piece from a competitor and adding to your clubhouse? Will Tommy E be a capable 2B or do you think it was a mistake not to work out a deal for Wong? It doesn’t seem like he broke Milwaukee’s bank to sign.
Powered by Platform for Live Reporting, Events, and Social Engagement