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 11 a.m. Monday.

    Derrick, thanks for taking questions. As a subscriber, I thoroughly enjoy your thoughtful responses. Question: do you think the Cardinals would ever try to make a deal that brings in a long-term, position player who could impact their line-up for several years? I know the return would be immense, but I'm thinking of someone like Ketel Marte, Rafael Devers, or Xander Boegarts. Of course, it takes two to tango.
    Thanks for being a subscriber, Mark. 
     
    They would love to do this. This is their model. This is their preference. This is what they want to do, seek to do, and have tried to do. They would argue this is what they did with Goldschmidt, would have done with Yelich, did with Holliday, and Edmonds and Rolen and on and on. To get Goldschmidt they sent Arizona two players who spent the year in the majors and a third who the Diamondbacks expect to get to the majors at some point in 2020. That's a heavy return considering there was only one year of guarantee. To get Ozuna, they traded a starter who was the Marlins' All-Star rep and will be in the rotation as a seasoned regular this coming year. So, yeah, it costs quite a bit to pull it off, and the Cardinals are constantly looking for these kinds of moves. You're right. It takes two to tango. I'm not sure why any of those three players you mentioned would be traded, not by their current teams. 
    I for one would be willing to see two of the younger OF's play the season and see where it gets us, what say you?
  • I appreciate your optimism and belief in probability. I'm more of a pragmatic production type and it seems like the best way to improve the offense is to find a certainty, not just throw quantity at the problem.
  • Thanks so much for the chats! Absolutely love your insight! My question is I will be in San Diego next week and was wondering if the MLB hotel where the meetings are being held are open to the public? I was looking to take the grandkids down and hang out in the lobby. thanks again and happy holiday to you & your family!
    The winter meetings are at a hotel in downtown San Diego that is an operating hotel even while baseball takes it over, so yeah, it's open to the public. If you walk with purpose and carry a three-ring binder you might even have some job-seekers approach you with their resume, their algorithm, their data for a job. The lobby ain't like it used to be, but it's there. Not sure how many baseball folks you'll see. So many of them are cloistered out of sight these days.
    Good morning, Derrick. Thanks for the chat and hope you and family had a nice Thanksgiving. Last week's chat ended exploring the mystifying question on why a few chatters persist in downplaying the Cards' 2019 accomplishments. Sure, the Washington series left an incredibly bad aftertaste, but who would thought in late July, when the team was basically at .500 behind 2 not great, but good teams (and then the Cubs picked up Castellanos, while the Cards stood pat) that they not only would win the division, but overcome a demoralizing Game 3 loss and beat a very good Atlanta team to be in the "Final Four", out of 30 teams? Two reasons for the negativity I believe. 1) some people are never happy....unless they are unhappy. Never, ever see the glass is half full. In fact, when looking at a half empty glass, they "see" a glass 90% empty. 2) they don't want to admit their gloom and doom predictions for 2019 (I admit I was trending that way in July) were wrong, so they compensate by downplaying the accomplishments.
    I think your second point, No. 2, is well-stated. There is a lot of evidence that it's a strong motivator for this culture and hypercriticism (we see it elsewhere, particularly in movies/Tv shows where they call it "fan service"), and it's a great point to bring up.
    How do you think STL will handle the 26th man? Fixture? Fluid role, or same role (extra pen guy) with fluid rostering?
    It's just going to be like the other spots on the roster, Nos 20-25. There will be many people who have it through the year. And I'm really not sure how we'll distinguish between the eighth reliever in the bullpen or fifth player on the bench as who the 26th man is. One thing that is possible is carrying a bat, a hitter, a pinch-hit specialist. And that could change based on injuries and effectiveness several times through the years.
    Has there been any interest drawing around Michael Wacha? What is his current situation? Other than being a free agent.
  • Wacha is one of those many, many, many, many starting pitchers available, and as such there's been conversation -- but not action. That's because the market is still so deep with pitching, and some sorting is still necessary. One thought being floated about Wacha is that he'd seek that pillow deal, or look to the kind of contracts that Lance Lynn signed once he shook loose from the draft pick compensation. Could be a one-year deal with an option, one-year stacked with incentives that would include an option, and that makes him appealing to just about every team.
  • DG, do you the cardinals or any team for that matter, have a two strike approach or is it do damage no matter the count?
    Damage is the goal (even the priority, let's go that far), and yes teams have shifted away from choking up and poking singles, playing the odds that math tells them they're better to not put a ball meekly in play when they can try for damage even at the risk of striking out. That's a change across baseball. That does not mean teams don't have a two-strike approach. It's just different than it was in the days of the Gas House Gang. The Cardinals are no different. And also, it's individualized. Lorenzo Cain is going to have a different two-strike approach than Mike Moustakas, and Paul Goldschmidt is going to have a different two-strike approach than Kolten Wong, and Mike Trout is going to do two-strike things differently than, say, Tommy Edman.
    Really enjoy your chats over the years, so thanks for the time and knowledgeable answer. One of my favorite players over the years was Ted Simmons. I can’t believe he didn’t make the Hall of Fame in his first shot and even mor stunned that he missed by one vote last year. Do you think he’ll make it this year, it’s a pretty attractive field.
    I think this is the strongest chance yet he has to get in. I too am astonished that he hasn't already been a fixture in Cooperstown for at least a decade. It's long, long, long overdue and the voters seem to be aware of this. Strong group. But there's room for Simmons to get the Call this year, finally.
    Hi Derrick, I am of the belief that the return for Mookie Betts will not be something the Cardinals want to give up. With that being said, I've read that Benintendi may be an option. I find this confusing - I get that he's a "brand name" player but overall he's got an OPS+ of 109 during his career and an OPS slightly under .800. Is the thought that he's going to get better than this? His career numbers certainly do not seem to scream "middle of the order bat." Thanks for these chats!
    You outline one of the things interested teams must consider, and it's a point in a career that all young players get, right? It wasn't too long ago that I watched some of a Red Sox spring training game with Tony La Russa and he raved about Benintendi, and said how he was the best, rising hitter of the group. That's key, right? He was rising. He was improving. He was projected to get better. At some point every player is projected to get better -- and then reaches that tipping point in a career where he is what he is, whether he projects to be more or not. That's the challenge for scouts/evaluators/analytics. Finding that moment. There is still a sense around Benintendi from scouts and from analytics, that he's ascending as a talent, still on the upswing, still able to produce. Bill James Handbook for 2020 projects this for Benintendi: .275/.356/.445 and .801 OPS with 16 homers and 39 doubles. Over at baseball reference, the projections have him at .807, the same homers, and 33 doubles, just to offer another example. So, yeah, the thought is that Benintendi will get better than what he did last year, that he'll seek the norm of his career, but at 25 he's at that classic point in his career where the sliding scale shifts from potential to production -- and one huge reason for that is because his salary is climbing. It's a lot easier to wait for a hitter to be what you THINK he'll be when he's making close to the minimum.
    Pittsburgh needs catching and bullpen help. The cardinals have a surplus. Could they possibly pry O’Neil Cruz away.
    I don't think that's likely at all. Marte would be a conversation. Cruz is the rising talent for the Pirates -- a team that needs to have that cost-controlled talent as it rebuilds.
    Do you think there's a decent chance the Cardinals will get Keuchel or Hamels for the rotation and, if so, which is more likely?
  • With the market barely inching, I don't have a feel for how likely this is -- and I'm betting that neither do the Cardinals at this point. Again, they're going to be taking cues from Carlos Martinez in the coming week or two on his recovery, and that will change/influence/shape their shopping list for December. That's always been how they've explained it publicly, and also how some agents have had it explained to them privately, too. Keuchel told me he sees a fit with the Cardinals, and the Cardinals have not dismissed that. Hamels has said before he would welcome a chance to come to St. Louis. He has family ties here. He would have approved and even welcomed a trade here a few years ago. That didn't happen. The Cardinals are going to compare both pitchers against what they think they can get from Martinez. They would like a lefty in the mix, all things being equal. But if it's not equal, then they aren't going to get a lefty just fill a quota.
  • Thanks for another chat DG,

    What can we realistically expect this offseason? Is a third base upgrade (Moustakas) out of the picture because of their faith in Carp? Is Ozuna only signing for 5 yrs? Which I would imagine the Cards would say no thanks to. Is a starting pitcher in the discussion? Do they wait till Spring Trainig to determine their needs?
    1) The Cardinals have been very public saying Matt Carpenter is their 3B. Pending another move that moves Carpenter elsewhere -- LF? -- then don't expect much action for them at the hot corner. That conversation has drifted from the start of the offseason.
     
    2) No. He'll seek that. And he should. There are examples where other outfielders like him got that much as a free agent, even more. Doesn't mean he'll get that.
     
    3) Yes. Starting pitching is in the discussion. It has to be. The market welcomes that and the Cardinals' situation does too, especially as they get clarity in the coming weeks.
     
    4) They know some of their needs now. They know their wants. Of course, spring training will bring clarity to all of it as well. So, they'll assess their wants now, and then evaluate their needs in spring training. That's standard for all teams, candidly.
    With O'Neill,Bader,Fowler,Martinez,is there room for both Randy A. and Thomas?How many of'ers are too many?
    Five OFs, with Jose Martinez included in that group, seems like the number on the roster. That would be just right. And, no, there's no room for everybody then.
    Do you ever comment on BenFred or Commish's chats? I've seen comments in those chats signed -Derrick Goold before. (and some signed Derick Gould)
    I do not. This time is for readers to ask question. That's how I approach it now. There was a time a few years ago that I would seed a columnist's chat with questions, just to get a topic going or maybe to slip in an inside joke. That often was when we were in the same room and a bit exhausted from a month in and month to go at spring training. 
     
    Also, a good hint would be that I know how to spell my name.
    Blake Treinan is rumored to be available for cost reasons from the A's - fit for the Cardinals?
    Sure. A fit for many teams. There are many teams who are going to see him as a "buy low" candidate, and then a team like the A's is going to say, nope, not around here folks. He'd be a good get for a handful of teams, the Cardinals among them. Another player reportedly available from Oakland is Jurickson Profar. I remember when Cardinals Nation was obsessed with him being the answer at shortstop.
    Any word on the Rays moving to Montreal part time? Full Time?
  • Nah. That was a leverage play. Everything is the same as it was. Check out Marc Topkin's coverage of the Tampa Bay Rays. He's got all the insight on that stuff.
    Not looking to rehash the trade, but I'm curious as to why Voit didn't get more of a shot in St. Louis. His minor league stats were really good and he played a position that wasn't really on lock down in 2016-2018, judging by the innings given to Jose Martinez and Matt Adams. What did the Cardinals miss when evaluating him?
    They had Matt Carpenter at first base. The Cardinals felt that they were going to have Matt Carpenter at first base for awhile, unless they had a chance to get somebody better than Matt Carpenter at first base, and that's when they later made the deal for Paul Goldschmidt. The Cardinals' evaluations of Voit were that he would be a good hitter in the majors, but not necessarily an everyday player, not for an NL team. He was similar to Jose Martinez in that evaluation, and the Cardinals also had Martinez in that spot, plus he could play the outfield. 
     
    Allow me to offer one argument against your assertion that first base was "a position that wasn't really on lock down from 2016-18." The numbers just don't support that. Carpenter played a lot of first base in that stretch, including two seasons as the primary first baseman. Here are the performances, by OPS, by first regular/everyday first basemen from 2016-2018:
     
    1. Joey Votto, CIN, .955
    2. Freddie Freeman, ATL .946
    3. Paul Goldschmidt, AZ .929
    4. Anthony Rizzo, CHC .892
    5. MATT CARPENTER, STL .873
    6. Miguel Cabrera, DET .854
    7. Jose Abrea, CHW .845
    8. Brandon Belt, SF .822
    9. Mark Reynolds, COL .821
    10. Justin Bour, MIA .820
     
    Seems pretty locked down, at least two me.
    I'm curious how a proposed 13/13 breakdown would handle Ohtani
    So am I. So are the Angels. So are a few GMs I asked at the GM meetings. MLB has to iron out this rule with clarity.
    In YOUR opinion will Matt Carpenter and Dexter Fowler play everyday at their respective positions in 2020?
    Probably not. Trends aren't going that direction.
    It seems we will need some type of impact bat to go with goldly he can’t do it alone what do you think
    That would be helpful, absolutely. They need another bat to improve the offense and to bring some thump, for sure.
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