Cardinals chat: Derrick Goold takes your questions at 1:30 p.m. Monday

Cardinals chat: Derrick Goold takes your questions at 1:30 p.m. Monday

Bring your Cards questions and comments to a live chat with Derrick Goold at 1:30 p.m. Monday

    Ahoy. Welcome to the weekly Cardinals chat here at StlToday.com. It's been quite a week for news -- and that includes baseball. There's a new owner in Queens. A GM job open. There's a lawsuit in Houston. There's been a free agent signing! No, seriously. There has been. And the Cardinals -- well, they're pretty status quo since last we talked. That probably doesn't limit the questions you have. Sounds like some new Van Weezer is coming on shuffle here, so away we go ...
    Given the great speed and lack of power of this roster, could you see them embracing smallball a bit more next season? If so, are they actually going to learn how to bunt? Wong was the only one really able of doing it, and now he's gone
    Sorry, there was a popcorn incident. Give me a second. Thanks.
    I'm not sure how "great" the speed is on this team. Of offense, speed is only as good as your ability to get on base, and while the Cardinals had a tidy OBP this past season, they didn't really turn that into much offense. It's Whitey Herog's birthday, and while I certainly see the appeal of WhiteyBall making a comeback, I don't think the Cardinals have the roster to do that, and the game increasingly doesn't reward that -- whether that's because of the style of other teams, or because of how players are compensated. Defense does rule. And the Cardinals did do well with speed and positioning on defense, so that facet is in play. Just not the offensive part of it. I would not expect the Cardinals to bunt more. Learning to bunt? Well, that would be a good thing even if they aren't going to do it more -- because there are some players who could do it more proficiently, for sure.
    Hi, thanks for the chat. Reading the Luhnow lawsuit news, I thought about Chris Correa. Do you know what his status is at this point? I still find that whole episode deeply strange.
    At last check, after living in the D.C. area for awhile, Chris Correa was working in the Los Angeles area. At my fingertips I don't have the specific group that he was working with -- it's not in baseball -- but he has spent some of his time committed to prison- and prisoner-related concerns with non-profit organizations and working on issues and things he learned while serving his sentence.
    Derrick, loved the article on Friday about platoon or mix & match ideas for the Cards' line-up. While I do agree that looking outside of the organization for those types of players (like Pederson) is the best way to do this, does Edmundo Sosa fit into that idea, perhaps at 3rd base with Carpenter (or any other position)? Thanks for the great coverage!
    He absolutely could, yes. Where he fits on the depth chart for the coming season will be clear as the Cardinals continue to tidy their 40-man roster and nip and tuck it in places to create room. The Cardinals were encouraged -- even emboldened -- by how Sosa did last winter, and he's off to play some winter ball again this year. That jump in his offensive performance put him in the competition for an opening day job, and they saw strong improvement from him in spring training. The season was obviously not the launchpad for him or the opportunity the Cardinals thought. It's easy to seem them looking to this winter as affirmation of the role he could play.
    Piggybacking off of Mark's question about Sosa at 3rd, what about Ravelo? I know he played 3rd a bit in the minors
    The Cardinals consider Ravelo playable at third base, yes. They've had him working out there, and getting more time there, and that was something that he did get reps at and the Cardinals think it's reasonable to play him there, at times.
    If the Cardinals are "devoted to run prevention," as stated in a recent article, how can they justify losing Wong and continuing to play Carpenter and Fowler? Maybe if it said "devoted to saving money and a refusal to admit past contract mistakes" it would be more accurate.
    OK. There's an argument that your sentence cancels itself out. How can say they are both "devoted to saving money" and have also made "past contract mistakes" that involve them spending a lot of money. Perhaps, you should argue that they are "devoted to not spending more on top of past contracts"? Would that be better suited for your argument? That would make them a lot like every other team in baseball. Maybe not the Dodgers, who can spend spend spend spend to cover over sinkholes, or the Yankees. But we even saw the Red Sox make choices that implied they weren't willing to spend on wallpaper for a remodeling they regretted. 
    The Cardinals are committed to run prevention as a style of play. That's pretty clear if you've watched them at all over the past two seasons because it's not the offense that has carried them. They have done harm to their run prevention by not picking up the option on Kolten Wong.
    And, yes, saving money is the reason why. 
    Wong is gone. Why aren't the cards down with OBP?
    They are. It's the one offensive thing they did above average this past season.
    Derrick,
    Good afternoon. Can a player and team negotiate a 2021 contract for specific pay, regardless of the number of games being scheduled or played?
    If I understand you correctly, they could backdoor that by making it a signing bonus. So, for example, a player would agree to a salary for the 2021 season that might fluctuate based on games played, but the weightier part of the deal would be a signing bonus that would be paid out over time -- or upfront -- depending on the agreement. Paul Goldschmidt has a signing bonus as part of his deal and the portion owed in 2020 was paid, in full, as scheduled.
    It sure seems like Nolan Arenado is available and the price maybe at an all time low. Do the Cardinals have the stomach to buy low on the player they’ve always wanted?
    I see no evidence that this would be a buy-low situation. He has a year remaining on his deal before he has an opt out. If he's willing to move that back or negotiate a way around it entirely, then the Rockies are going to ask for a return that is worth that length of control. There have been -- and will remain -- two huge hurdles for an Arenado trade:
    -- The Rockies wanting talent in return based on the length of contract.
    -- The interested team not wanting to give up much talent because of the potential Arenado can walk after what is now a year, and then only getting a draft pick as compensation.
    We can throw into the mix that the Cardinals have specifically said that they don't see it likely they'd add his salary to their payroll, not for 2021 and for beyond, and thus to get the Rockies to shoulder some of that cost (as Cardinals did for Mike Leake, for example) then the prospects going the other direction have to be more.
    What would change the equation is if Arenado says he wants a trade. That remains the one thing that shift the leverage and the conversation outlined above. He has to do that. Otherwise, forgive me, I still don't see this as a buy-low proposition. Nor should it be.
    What are your thoughts on So-Crates? Are we really just dust in the wind, dude?
  • We are all just pixels in the ethernet, my friend. I think the soundtrack to Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey is underrated.
    How would you feel about signing Cesar Hernandez to man 2nd? Could he also hit enough for to be our lead off batter?
    Makes plenty of sense for the Cardinals to explore, for sure. A .350 OBP this past season and in his career is appealing and that .730 OPS with a Gold Glove win would fit what they're looking for, if the price is right, and the length of the deal is likely to be shorter than what other infielders are going to command. Like Wong, he's 30. And you can definitely see how the Cardinals are going to let the market work to their benefit.
    Has the front office given any indication that they will be reallocating some of the money saved from Wong and expiring contracts to actual top free agents or should we expect the usual mix of overhyped also rans?
    They have given no indication either way, except to say that they are planning to reduce payroll. They do not yet have a budget for 2021 because they do not yet know if they'll sell tickets or how many tickets they'll sell in 2021, and that's partially because baseball still does not know how many games it will play in 2021 and so on. 
    So there has been none of this, except that payroll will likely drop.
    Lindor makes a ton of sense to me.
    He makes a ton of sense to every team that doesn't have an MVP-caliber shortstop and one of the best at his position in baseball. So, what's that -- 25-27 teams?
    DG,

    I want to stay a Cardinal but I’m getting some traffic from other clubs. Will MO and Co. fork out the Benjamins?
    Probably not. The Post-Dispatch isn't making either of them available, last I checked.

  • I don’t quite understand all the angst over Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina not being back with the Cardinals in 2021. It’s not as if the Cardinals will shrivel up and die because they play for another team. The Cardinals will survive.
    I get the sense that fans like them both as players and representatives for the team, and because of their fondness for those players they'd like them to stick around. I'm not sure why you wouldn't let fans be fans and want to keep players around, especially ones who have come to define an entire era. There are people who wore a Yadier Molina jersey to their first day of Kindergarten and a shirsey under their graduation gown for high school. I'm sure you can appreciate the fan who wants to see a career end where it started.
    Derrick, Thank You all so much for doing these chats as it makes the winter months pass a little faster! Is there any time frame as to when we might know about the DH in the NL and has there been any news on the Molina situation? Thank You
    Last I checked, NL teams wanted clarity on the DH as the offseason meetings began. The GM meetings were supposed to take place in person, but instead will be over Zoom and less confined to three days together in one place. Mozeliak said he hopes during the course of the meetings happening last week and this week that the commissioner's office gives them an answer. The catch is having the union also agree at this time, and both sides have the need to use the DH as a chip for future bargaining, so what's the rush to give it up?
    Molina remains status quo. Fielding interest from a handful of teams. Three teams and the Cardinals have expressed the most interest, from what I've been told. Molina continues to instruct his agent to see what deal is possible to return to the Cardinals. Some people outside of that conversation believe that the Cardinals are trying to get a deal done with Molina first and then move into the market or conversations with other players. No one actually involved in those talks has confirmed that, for what it's worth. Another source believes that the Cardinals may be the team most likely to offer him a two-year deal, though he's got plenty of time to shop around for on. It's not like the market is moving fast.
    It seems like the Cardinals' 40 man roster isn't integrated that well together, especially when compared to the Dodgers and Rays. I'm thinking of the times in 2019 when when the front office would call up well-regarded young players like Arozarena or O'Neil, and Schildt would play Munoz or Edman in the outfield ahead of them. There's a hierarchy between the major league bench and these prospects that I think keeps the players with higher ceilings like Arozarena, O'Neil, Knizner from being honestly evaluated at the major league level. Basically, Schildt should know that Arozarena and O'Neil have put up way better numbers in AAA than players like Munoz, but he still puts the bench guys ahead of them. It was the same thing with Matheney. This is something that doesn't seem to happen with Dodgers.
    I don't think that's a problem with the roster. And you kind of outlined why. The Cardinals have, for the most part, stuck to the notion that the front office makes the active roster, and the manager plays it. That was Tony La Russa's stance, and it was probably most dramatically expressed when Mozeliak put Anthony Reyes on the roster, and La Russa said he gets to decide the role and how often Reyes would be used. We saw that with Matheny and Wong, and as a result Wong was sent back to Triple-A because the front office didn't want him sitting around and not playing. Clearly there has to be some meeting ground for both sides, and that is something that Arozarena should reinforce. Just when it looked like he was going to get playing time, the dugout and manager went back to Bader. That should be explained on both sides. The front office made it clear that when Dylan Carlson got to the majors, he was going to play, and play he did. So, build on that conversation. I don't see that as a problem of the roster -- certainly not the 40-man roster -- but rather an example of how communication between the manager's offense and front office remains essential to coming to a consensus on players and playing time, and if a manager doesn't want to play a player as much as the front office wants that player played -- why? 
    It might happen less with the Dodgers. But it happens. They've had some young players who haven't caught on with the lineup, but the front office there is also, by all accounts, heavily involved in the lineup.
    Can the Cardinals get to the World Series with Bader in CF, Carlson In LF, Carpenter at 3B, Carlson or DeYoung batting Clean up, O'Neal DH (if we have a DH)? Yes I omitted others that are locked in, like Fowler, a Catcher whomever, 2nd Base is a ? But the point is this seems like the classic Shildt lineup.
    Sure seems to me like they need some OPS added to the lineup because it was lacking this season. That has to come from outside, not from hope.
    Twitter lunch is ablaze today. If the Indians called and offered Mo and the Cards Lindor for DeJong straight up—would they take it? Or do they value the cost certainty versus performance of Dejong more?
  • I don't think Cleveland would do that. But let's tease this out. DeJong is under control through 2025 with options for 2024 and 2025 that total $27.5 million, or slightly less than what Lindor will try to command for one season. Yes, the Cardinals value cost certainty and control and they don't have an heir apparent at SS if, say, Lindor bolts after 2021. So that would put them back in the market for a shortstop, and there would be plenty for them to chase -- all of them at high dollar, long commitments, but plenty of them for sure, from Seager to Story, Correa to Lindor, unless extensions happen. So, this deal would leave the Cardinals with one year of Lindor at close to the cost of four years of DeJong, and it would leave them with a hole at shortstop, a compensation draft pick, and more to spend.
    It's more likely they keep DeJong, his contract that they like, and his versatility that they may yet turn to by 2021 to play third base.
    And Twitter would break. Good thing that's not a call Cleveland is going to make.
    How much does Tommy Edman's offensive upside and defensive DRS ratings factor in to him potentially replacing Kolten Wong at 2B, along with the obvious financial difference?
    Not as much as the obvious financial difference. Clearly, Shildt trusts Edman, and like the offense he brings. There is a question whether he'll have the same OBP skill as Wong displayed over the past few seasons, and Edman has worked on that element of his game and adding more walks so that he's not prone to being a streaky producer.
    Derrick, thanks for the chats. They are appreciated especially in these “quiet” weeks on Cardinal news. I find watching baseball has become boring with the swing and miss offense in today’s game. Do you think the FO is losing patience with that offensive (pun intended) approach? Many fans are.
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