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.

    I guess. If they had the same opinion as Keith Law, that would make sense. Maybe they don't. There might be teams that make deals based on what we writers say about the players and how we rank those players, but I doubt it. Wouldn't you be concerned if the Cardinals invest so much money in analytics and their front office and all they really needed was an ESPN Insider subscription to evaluate their players? I'd be concerned.
    Your explanation on what you try to do in your chats should have always been understood by readers, but probably hasn't been. Oh well. If the Cards are indeed looking at LH-hitting bench players, any reports on possible names other than Derek Dietrich? Thanks as always.
    Yeah, with Asdrubal Cabrera off the market that's one less. Dietrich has been of interest to the Cardinals. Some of the other options don't hit lefthanded. That leads the Cardinals back to the trade market, and that's been an area where they've wanted to explore in spring training. Hard to get a feel for that at this point because we'll see those names shake loose based on roster spots and injuries in spring training. This is definitely a question to ask again, especially in March, or as games begin. 
    I don't mind giving that explanation. If anything this past weekend and even today has reinforced the importance of media literacy. It's up to the reporters to explain what things mean to readers and to set ourselves a part with the accountability and standards you know that we have to meet.
    "There was a sense in Arizona that the Cardinals made the trade with a good idea of what it would take to sign Goldschmidt to an extension and that they are ready to make that offer -- once they know that he wants to stick around."

    This fascinates would the Cards come by this information? Quasi-tampering? Market research? Friends in the Arizona front office?
    I believe the phrase the Cardinals and other teams use is "due diligence."
    Has a mystery team ever tried to sign you?
    If Tom Brady can take a pay cut for the benefit of the team, why do baseball free agents insist on taking every last dollar even if it cripples their organization? Also, it would be interesting to have an agent on your podcast.
    They don't. Matt Holliday offered to defer money so the Cardinals could do something for the roster. I've seen players take less to stick with a team, knowing that taking more would handcuff the club. See that a few times a year.
    An agent would be a good guest. I should pursue that.
    In the poll: 61 percent feel the Cardinals are contending for the division title.
    In the questions: 80 percent are convinced they're not doing enough to contend for a division title.
    The chat disconnect continues. But that's illustrative.
    DG thanks for this off-season where you have maintained reasonable journalistic integrity as you share the pulpit with the (quoting Cher) "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" who fuel the hot stove on a daily basis.

    I have examined my tea leaves and have the following thought:

    The 2019 Cubs = The 2016 Giants.

    Just throwing it out there.
    Not a bad comparison. Possible. The Cubs are curious. The Reds are rising. The Brewers are good. The Pirates are mending their sails. The Cardinals are better.
    Isn't it a bad look to have a payroll lower than last season?
    I guess. The Cardinals likely won't so I'm not sure about the teeth-gnashing.
    Can you at least eliminate that Reyes won't start the season on the 60-day DL (assuming there are no setbacks)?
    I don't know yet. He could easily start on a rehab assignment.
  • Hi Derrick.
    Thanks for the chats. I have a question about how the Cardinals team finances actually work. If the team keeps payroll low and makes a profit, does that profit build up sort of like a college endowment? Are those funds are available for future years? Or do the owners take the profits out of the team every year
    This is an interesting question, and I'm not sure how to exactly tackle it. But here goes. Baseball teams are run like a business. So, profits go to the owners -- split out based on the amount of ownership, like shareholders. Overages could spill into spending for the next year, for sure. The Cubs have been dealing with that kind of budget. They saved during their tanking years and were able to carry some of those savings then into the contending years, ala Heyward and Lester, for example. That was how they managed their finances. Now, one huuuuuuge thing here is that the payroll is not the only expense on baseball operations. Player acquisition costs (free agents, draft, bonuses, etc.) are not the only expenses on baseball operations. Somethings where teams have spent more and more money in recent years:
    -- Coaching salaries. (Maddux is one of the highest-paid pitching coaches in the majors. Jose Oquendo is one of the highest-paid minor-league coaches in baseball. The Cardinals have had to up the salaries of several members of their minor-league staffs in order to avoid losing them.)
    -- Front office salaries. In November, the Cardinals promoted Randy Flores to assistant general manager. That gives them two AGMs, and salaries to go with that title. It used to be that teams had a GM and a AGM and then the usual structure beneath. The Cardinals now have a president, a GM, and two AGMs, and a handful of special assistants. Those salaries have climbed -- and yes, it should not be lost on you that those salaries have climbed because they're better at spending less money to get bigger value from players. Owners dig that.
    -- Analytics. The Cardinals have invested millions in their analytics infrastructure.
    -- Dept. of Performance. Several teams, including the Cardinals, have spent recently to establish development departments and training programs that mirror the rich world of professional soccer performance departments. This means paying the salaries of doctors, of trainers, and improving facilities and funding studies. The Cardinals have spent more than a million on improving and changing the facility in Jupiter, Fla., so that it is modern. And they have millions more they intend to spend on creating a pitching lab in Jupiter, Fla.
    -- Tech. Self explanatory. An intern isn't counting spin rate, guys.
    -- Academies. It's almost a given that a team will have an academy in the Dominican Republic. The Cardinals have one that has a high school in it. And they run two teams there for the DSL. That's two coaching staffs, too. So there's a cost.
    Look, all teams have money to spend. That's the bottom line. Baseball isn't hurting for revenue. But when a team talks about its spending it is taking into account all of the above -- and more. The Cardinals have increased their spending in the above ventures tenfold or more in my time covering the team. And so have 20 other teams, I'm sure. The Cubs have, for sure. When fans asking about spending they're talking about the major-league payroll. We've talked a lot about the disconnects between fans and teams this winter in these chats, and here's another one. They don't even mean the same thing when they talk about spending.
    Alright. Seems like a good place to stop. I've got a baseball practice to attend. I've got some packing to do. I've got a plane to catch later this week. I've got coverage to start Thursday from Jupiter, Fla., and I've got a package previewing spring training coming for Sunday's Post-Dispatch. The next time we talk, I'll be in Florida -- and we'll have actual action to discuss. Baseball is nigh.
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