Cardinals chat with Derrick Goold

Cardinals chat with Derrick Goold

Bring your Cardinals questions and comments, and talk to Post-Dispatch baseball writer Derrick Goold in a live chat at 1 p.m. Monday.




    Phew. Glad that's over. You think baseball's Hot Stove has been boring this winter? Allow me to present the Super Bowl. Here's the goal of the chat: To have a better pace and to punt less than the best team in the NFL and the Rams, who played so poorly I would be worried they might be planning to relocate again. But we're here to talk baseball. I was able to sneak away for a lovely holiday. On Wednesday, I'll land in Jupiter, and by this weekend Team PD will be cranking out the constant Cardinals coverage from the team's spring training facility. This is the last chat of the offseason, last chat before there is actual baseball activities on a baseball field to discuss, last chat before Florida. Enough prelude. Aloha.
    Do you think Tom Brunansky is the most underrated RF of the 1980s? He's right there in fWAR with Harold Baines. I'll hang up and listen, thanks.
    I do not, not as along as Dale Murphy isn't in the Hall of Fame.
    Who is this year's Hazelbaker type player that forces his way into the lineup after dominating Spring Training?
    Lane Thomas could be. Yairo Munoz was this past season.
    Were you happy to see the Rams lose yesterday?
    I was OK with the Patriots winning because greatness is great to watch, and that's what we're seeing with the Brady/Belicheck combination. Greatness. Like watching Michael Jordan win six titles. Let greatness be great. I'm OK with that. When it comes to the Rams I am relentlessly apathetic about the team and wholly irked by the lies belched by Kroenke and the NFL that cost the city of St. Louis millions that could have gone elsewhere. The move was rigged, and it's good that people are going to hold them to their scheme.
    What are your top 3 baseball movies of all time?
    I've been giving this some thought, and don't really have a certain answer. But three of my favorites that also would be on any baseball best list are:
     
    1. Major League.
    2. Eight Men Out
    3. Sugar
     
    I think this is a project I really need to sit down and figure out. Maybe I'll Moneyball this thing and come up with some real strong metrics to judge these things, like we did a few spring trainings ago with superhero moves.
    Earlier in the offseason, Mo and Girsch mentioned that they would only be interested in Harper if his market dipped and he was open to signing a shorter term deal for high AAV. His market has trended in that direction, but now it seems the front office is backing off those original statements. Is there any chance they are still in on Harper or should the Cardinals fan base finally acknowledge that we were never really interested in him to begin with?
    This is a good question. Let's go through this, point by point.
     
    -- Mozeliak and Girsch never said that. They have offered no comments, publicly, about Bryce Harper, and they don't talk at all about free agents. They might talk in generalities about their preferences for contracts and the types of players they're chasing, but they have never said this about Harper.
     
    -- Reporting by The Post-Dispatch and elsewhere did say that, did report that the Cardinals would have a greater interest in Harper if his asking price -- contract length! big part -- shrank back in their direction. That was not an assertion made by Mozeliak or Girsch, rather one developed and checked and vetted through the use of sources in the know of the Cardinals' plans and Harper's situation.
     
    -- So, they're not backing off original statements -- that they didn't make.
     
    -- One big thing did change from when the coverage of the Cardinals and Harper peaked, and for me that was at the GM meetings when I wrote a story about the Cardinals having a better chance than they realized at signing the outfielder and they were going to get the full Harper pitch from Boras, and that ownership had already been involved in conversations with Boras, etc., etc. 
     
    -- That big thing? They acquired Paul Goldschmidt.
     
    -- It became clear in conversations, comments, and coverage of the team in the weeks that followed that the acquisition of Goldschmidt changed their position and their pursuit on the high-end free agents. That was clearer still at the winter meetings when they did not seek a meeting with Harper, as reported by The Post-Dispatch there in Vegas.
     
    -- The Cardinals, like a handful of teams, lurked on the periphery of these conversations if the price dropped, sure, and if either Machado or Harper was looking to take a shorter term deal, the Cardinals, according to sources, weren't going to rule out at least having a conversation. That would be the window they would prefer. Shorter term is better for them, and they have, on the record, said that as a preference.
     
    -- There has been no indication that the market for these two players has softened that much. I know they have signed. But that doesn't mean they lack offers greater than what teams like the Cardinals would consider. They just don't yet have the offer that they desire. That's a big difference.
     
    Hope that helps.
    Will Harold Baines election to the Hall mean a(nother) change to the Era Committee structure? The Hall should be embarrassed by his election.
    Probably not. They don't seem bothered by it.
    Is Gregerson a lost cause?
    He had a setback this winter and is a question mark entering camp. That really does put him in a bind because the Cardinals have other options -- and they do need a spot on the 40-man roster for Francisco Pena (at least). He's going to have to show health and then performance and how he does that -- well, it's going to be more likely that he emerges later in the season if the Cardinals need the help. And if they don't ...
    Follow Up: They may not be, but are you bothered by Baines election?
  • Not much. Only in the sense that better players have yet to get enshrined. But that conversation is always going to be the case. This is what I'll say about Baines: 
     
    -- He was not voted in by the writers. He was voted in by peers, essentially.
    -- We all should have someone like Tony La Russa in our corner to argue our case.
    Genesis Cabrera is doing well in winter ball as a LH reliever. He has started several games in the minors. Does he have what it takes to relieve and then start in the big leagues?
    He has what it takes to be a factor as a reliever this season in the majors, and he will. As far as starting goes, he needs a feel for another pitch. It doesn't have to be a great pitch. It can just be a reliable pitch. But something off-speed that he can show the hitter that's different than what he'll use as a reliever.
    The trade market for Nick Castellanos has been tepid to the point where Detroit is planning to just hold on to him. Should we read this as sign as to what the interest level in Jose Martinez was/is?
    Nah. Different players at a different stage of their careers with different cost. What the Cardinals found when they shopped Jose Martinez was that teams were interested in him -- Cleveland, Tampa Bay, a handful of others, for sure -- but they were interested in offering prospects for him. Cardinals didn't want to further jam-up their 40-man roster, and if they moved Martinez they wanted to get a return that would help the major-league team, like he is expected to. That was the swap they wanted. Didn't find it.
    I still have trouble with what I consider doublespeak from Mo and Dewitt. Dewitt of course pointed out that the problem with long term contracts basically is the obvious end of contract years in the deals. Yet, they want us to be all excited and understand that signing Goldschmidt to to a contract for just those exact same years. Hypocritical and spinning.
    Here we are again. This is going to be the Yelich/Ozuna question of 2019, I'm sure. I'll walk you through it because I've got a lot a practice, but first can we agree on something?
     
    Explanation is not advocacy. 
     
    Because I am going to explain their view of this, please don't confuse that for my opinion or my view. I am offering the team's explanation for this stance. I think it's important that they explain it to fans -- and if they won't, then I will do so.
     
    But explanation is not advocacy. 
     
    We cool?
     
    Here it is: The difference between a five-year deal and a 10-year deal is five years of guarantee -- take the years out of it. The age is a factor and lessens the risk, changes how they factor the risk, but to the Cardinals it does not limit the risk to make the 10-year for a 26-year-old more appealing than a five-year for a 32-year-old. In a past chat, I used cars as an example. Say you have a chance to lease a brand new 2019 Tesla -- but you need to commit to a 10-year lease at $3,000 a month. Your other option is to get a used, but 2014 Jaguar -- on a five-year lease at the same cost. Sure it has more miles and it might have a better chance of breaking down. Say it does in year 2. That leaves you three years of sunk cost before you can get a new car. If the Tesla breaks down in Year 4 -- that leaves you six years of sunk cost before you can get a new car. The risk of longterm trouble is greater. The risk of longterm sunk cost is greater. That's how the Cardinals see it. That is apparently how a majority of teams see that. And then also, let's not ignore the obvious: the money. There is a big difference committing $3,000/month for 10 years ($360,000) and the same cost over five ($180,000). Which risk would you take with your money?
     
    And, yes, I realize that is not what those cards would cost. 
     
    Hope that helps. I'll come up with a different metaphor next time this is asked.
    Does Baines's election bode well for Edmonds in the future? Will he even get a shot via the Era Committee?
    If Tony La Russa is in the room. One huge concern for Edmonds' future chances is the same wall that Ted Simmons has run into again and again and again -- the scant support in the writer vote. I don't know what that comes to the table. Former players and former managers love to tell writers how wrong they are about the game, so they have this great chance to teach us all a lesson about how great Simmons was and yet they lose the writers' mistake to support their own. It's maddening. Simmons should be the Hall, and the support he didn't receive from the writer is just a cop out at this point.
    What do you think about the competing for at bats, make things tougher and complicating things that mo said?
    That is what they have been doing for the last 3 years? No competition for playing time.
    This is what the fans have been thinking mo was doing.
    What is your thinking on all this?
    I thought competition was a good thing, and the Cardinals are making a mistake if they think they have eight position players ready to go for the entire 2019. They'll need help from a depth they could improve.
    Why do you think Harper is widely considered a better player than Machado? Same age and almost the same amount of games played. But Machado is right there with Harper in every offensive category aside from OBP. What he lacks there I feel like he covers for by not striking out as often and playing a premium position. Not saying Machado is better, but I think he should be in the same category as Harper, not a notch down.
    Is he widely believed to be a better player? I haven't got that sense. I would say it's more split than you let on. The Cardinals, for example, have internal reviews that suggest that Machado is worth the longer-term investment than Harper because of the position(s) he plays. I know other teams see Harper as the better player because he has the MVP, power, OPS upside from the left side, but they also recognize that Machado is elite production and an elite fielder at third base. Some of this may be the disconnect between how teams see Machado at shortstop and how they see him at third base, whereas Harper is a right fielder and it's clearer to see how his production fits there. But it's not as "widely" accepted that he's a better player as you suggest, not from the conversations I've had with teams and scouts.
    The Red's are the mystery team looking at Machado. They are also going to trade for the Marlins catcher. Maybe sign Dallas K?
    Maybe. The Reds are the most interesting team in the NL Central, and it's not close.
    Thanks for the explanation. And I understand not advocating just explainimg their view. So I understand what they are saying (but don't accept). But thank you again. And the metophor-awesome!!!
    That's what I'm going for in this chat and on Twitter. You don't have to agree with the Cardinals' point of view or even my point of view, but the hope is that you're more informed so you can make a stronger argument. That's all.
    I can't believe that this Drew Robinson guy is the best option they could come up with for a left handed bench bat. I'd take Greg Garcia back in a heartbeat over this guy. Hope they pick someone up before the season starts.
    They will look, yes. That's their idea.
    So, it appears that Mariano Rivera has been appointed the best player in the history of MLB.

    What a shame that he is the first 100% vote in HOF history (he’s not even a Top Ten all-timer). These types of things are why a visit to Cooperstown is no longer on the bucket list.
    That is just absurd. I missed the memo where he was the best players in the history of the MLB. Consider for a moment that the voters are way different today than they were 10 years ago, then they were 20 years ago, then they were 30 years ago. Put this same voting body on the Hall of Fame elections when Bob Gibson was on the ballot he'd probably be 100 percent, or Musial, or Aaron, for sure.
     
    Comparing the voting of Hall of Fame ballots from now and 40 years ago is as silly as comparing phones from those same eras.
     
    Both have advanced. Celebrate that.
     
    And, fine, you don't want to go to Cooperstown? Shorter line for the rest of us. Your loss.
    Don't you think if healthy, Reyes should start the season in Memphis starting rotation?
    Sure. Or he could start there on a rehab assignment. Or he could start in the Cardinals' bullpen. Or he could start in the Cardinals' rotation. Or he could start in Memphis' bullpen. Or he could start the season at extended spring training.
     
    There isn't a player who enters spring with more possible outcomes for opening day.
    Word is that the Yankees, Cards, Cubs, and Dodgers all are going to skip the next 6 years of free agents and are awaiting for Fernando Tatis Jr.
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