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.

    Ted Simmons should be in the hall of fame his stats prove that. I can’t believe being in small market hides that what’s going on
    It has ZERO to do with the size of the market. Zero. Nothing. Nada. If it is market-size, then why has that not held any other Cardinals candidates back? The Cardinals are part of the fabric of baseball, they are baseball royalty, and voters have always taken notice of the great players here. Ozzie Smith, for example. There is just no evidence of market size playing a part in this, sorry. I'll welcome examples, but then you'll have to explain how the voting process that now features Simmons has regularly inducted players from all different sizes of markets.
    I think the disenchantment with the Cardinals' season pretty solely rests on the fact that their offense was mediocre and definitely not very exciting to watch. I've talked to many fellow fans and we all agree watching the team is exceedingly frustrating and about as pleasure filled as a root canal. They are just not much fun to watch because they don't put up much offense in an age of offense. You get the sense that if they give up 3 to 4 runs early, they are done for the game....
    Fair criticism. Thanks for sharing. There's something to that.
    Hey DG, really enjoyed the article on Mark DeJohn. At a time when analytics and numbers are more important and discussed than ever (and rightly so), it's nice to be able to step back and read stories such as DeJohn's. Good work, as always.
    With respect to your pragmatic production comment, the Cards have three young OFs, maybe more, Carlson, Thomas and Arozarena who appear to have significant upside. If 800 OPS is the magic number for an OF, all 3 of these guys seem to have the potential to reach that mark. How do they know if they don’t give them the chance. Is pragmatic production how older declining players are given bad contracts?
  • You're siding with the team. That's the argument that the Cardinals are making. I'm just not agreeing with it. But it's important to point out that an .800 OPS was the EXAMPLE given, not the target. The example. The floor. The anecdote. They would prefer to get .850, .900 because the better player and the better production is always preferred. But, in this case, the Cardinals appreciate you agreeing with them.
  • Derrick, thanks for the chats. I read somewhere that Corey Kluber could be on the trade block. Would the Cardinals be interested in his arm? I feel like he's a great fit. If the Indians would somehow want to get rid of Jose Ramirez, then oh boy would the Cardinals be in business (one can dream). Anyways, thanks for your time
    Kluber would, yes. But don't get greedy there. Cleveland doesn't give away players and Ramirez is a good player, and I don't see any sense in trading him, not for Cleveland.
    Recent reporting in the P-D seems to discount the chances that Alex Reyes can rebound and be effective in 2020. Any updates on his progress? What odds do you put on a full recovery and finally getting to his original potential?
    Huh? I'm not sure what reporting you're talking about. There was an update on Alex Reyes in the opening minutes of this chat. I don't think it's fair to expect him to be a starter in 2020 and log the innings of a starter and be the standout starter that his talent would allow in 2020. He's had three years undone by injury. He has tons of ability, for sure, but you have to be reasonable, and going from zero to 180 innings? I don't think that's reasonable. He could be an impact reliever, have a big role in the coming season, and maybe emerge as the closer for the team before Hicks returns. That's possible. I just think it's important to be cautious, conservative. He has given the team reasons to be hopeful that he'll contribute.
    Do you know how the front office views Mitch Haniger? He seems like a great candidate to bring some certainty to an outfield position and it sounds like he might be available.
    They talked to Seattle and saw Haniger as a possible fit for their needs a year ago. They like his upside. They had the better chance -- that is, a chance -- to trade for Goldschmidt at the time. And it wasn't like Seattle was an eager seller, just intrigued in gauging the interest. Now, the Mariners have Haniger coming off a thinner season and about to make more money. The timing isn't exactly right for the M's to make that move. But Haniger does offer an example for what the Cardinals prefer to do, where they prefer to shop.
    Molina has hinted that he wants play longer.If you were GM,how would you approach this?
    Talk to him about an extension this spring training with the awareness that it would be at the same annual salary, and that to get the most production from him and in those years the playing time will shift. That said, as the GM, I'll know ownership will play a heavy role in this decision, and ownership sees the value of keeping Molina for the entirety of his career.
    Great poll question. But didn't Fowler already have his bounce-back season? Is it even possible to have two "bounce-back seasons" in a row?
    It is, yes. Given the tone of these comments/questions so far in the offseason. Also, it was just a few years ago, in 2017, that he had that .850 OPS -- and that would have been a team-high this past season.
    How would you evaluate the following trade for both teams - on a 1-10 scale with 5 being balanced, are the Cardinals underpaying or overpaying here?

    Mets trade Noah Syndergaard to Cardinals for Dakota Hudson, Harrison Bader, Andrew Kizner, and Daniel Ponce De Leon.

    My reasoning is that we know the Mets were interested in Bader this past deadline and have a need for a controlled, quality defensive CF, they also need upside and controllable pitching depth and Hudson and Ponce provide that for both the rotation and bullpen, and Kizner would be a longterm fit at C for the Mets. The Cardinals would be gaining a co-ace with Flaherty, and I think Helsley could replace and even exceed Hudson in the rotation. Kizner and Bader would both be traded relatively sell-high, from positions of depth.
    Let's pick this part, but first agree that 1 would be tilting toward the Mets and 10 would be tilting toward the Cardinals, and that as you suggest 5 would be a win-win balance deal. Noah Syndergaard is in the arbitration process and is going to earn around $10 million and climbing. That's a good salary, but palatable to both teams given his ability, his position, and everything. So, the money is part of it, but it's not a massive driver, and thus I'm not sure exactly what the Mets want to achieve except for getting a haul of talent in return, and also control.
     
    Syndergaard will be a free agent after 2021, so you're looking at two years control.
     
    On the other end you're looking at:
    Dakota Hudson -- five
    Harrison Bader -- four
    Daniel Ponce de Leon -- six
    Andrew Knizner -- six
     
    So you're trading 21 years of control, including five of a starting pitcher, for two from a starting pitcher, and that's a volatile position, given the injury chances. It's hard to see that. I appreciate that it's a bigger, better package than the Cardinals had to give Arizona for one year of Goldschmidt and much more certain talent than the Cardinals sent to Miami for two years of Ozuna. It's the inclusion here of both Hudson and Knizner that gives me pause. You're talking about three players who could be on the Cardinals' major-league roster, and three players who could be on the Mets' major-league roster all for one significant standout player at an ultimately volatile position. 
     
    This is the kind of conversation the Mets would like to have, and the Cardinals would want to shift in a different direction because on the scale agreed to above this is a 3, listing toward a 2. And the Cardinals don't appear as urgent to undermine their pitching depth (Hudson) for Syndergaard, when there's going to be an internal argument that they'll get more from five more years of Hudson than they would from two more years of Syndergaard, and that's before you throw in the other players.
  • Some pitchers come back from Tommy John with a slight uptick in velocity. Dare to dream this could happen with Hicks?
    Some of that is because of the chance the pitchers get to work on their total-body health as well as the chance to throw with a healthy ligament for the first time. We'll see. Seems like Vintage Hicks is fast enough.
    If the Cardinals opt to leave open a spot on their rooster to participate in the Rule 5 draft, is it more likely they might take a flier on a pitcher or field position draftee?
    Don't know yet. I'm still parsing the names available and trying to get a sense if any are of interest. As of today, if pressed to give you an answer, it would appear they'd look for the pitcher who might contribute as a reliever, but they have a stockpile on hand that they want to get a look at, too. Junior Fernandez for example.
    DG does this sound right? The rotation right now looks like: Flaherty, Mikolas, Hudson, Wainwright and a competition for the 5th starter?

    Right now I have them talking about Cabrera, Gant, Gomber, Helsley, CMart, Ponce de Leon, Reyes, and Woodford being stretched for a starter role in ST.

    Honestly I like the chances of one or more of those guys seizing the moment. What on earth are they going to do with a free agent starter?
    Carlos Martinez is the starter they want in that spot. That's where the Cardinals are right now. Today. They would like to see Carlos Martinez win that spot, or at least have a chance to do so. And if he falters in spring -- then they have the bullpen ready for him and those other options that you list. They don't want to ignore this market, however, if they have earlier word on Martinez and a chance to upgrade that position. 
     
    This would be a pragmatic approach for the Cardinals at this point: Look for someone in the market, some pitcher available now, that would be BETTER than a conservative estimate of Martinez. Sign that guy. Bring that guy into spring training. If Martinez is All-Star Martinez, then what's the harm. If that guy is just as expected, then you've got Martinez set to be there in the bullpen as closer again. Two answers. One move. That's a good return, if you they can find the right upgrade at the right price, and this market seems to be ready to make that pitcher available.
    What is the big deal about trading Bader or Wong? They are the easiest players to replace! Bader could easily be replaced with Arozarena , Thomas, Fowler and O'Neil. Wong could easily be replaced with Edman, Sosa, Schrock, Carp,Munoz, Montero. I'm not suggesting that they give them away but if they could be a package or part of a package to get a cleanup batter or starting pitcher then let trade them! They're mlb baseball players not the family pet. Thanks for the chats.
    #KeepWong. That is all.
    What is the front office's view about the need for a lefty in the starting rotation? If C-Mart is ready to go, then it seems like adding a lefty is less likely. Is there less urgency given the trend in MLB to go to the bullpen sooner than later? Thanks for your great coverage of our Cards!
  • It's a luxury they'd like to have. But they're not going to force the issue. The way it has been explained to me is this: Lefty would be the tiebreaker. But it's not going to be graded on the curve. They'll go with the five best starters -- or the fifth-best starter, in this case. And if that fifth-best starter is a righthander ahead of a lefty, then lefthanded isn't going to get the other starter ahead. All things being equal, they'd prefer a lefty. They just don't have a roster right now where all things are equal.
    I think LP Robbie Ray of Arizona would be perfect for the Cardinals.

    I would like to have your support. I believe a left handed veteran pitcher is what the Cardinals are missing to get them to the next level.
    Indeed. Arizona has asked for the world, and the Cardinals have not been inclined to meet the asking price. He would be a good fit for many reasons -- but one of them as of yet is the asking price.
    Based on the Cardinals mixed results at throwing pragmatic production at positions of need, could you argue that they have had more success throwing quantity at areas of need? Wouldn't Tyler Webb, Gallegos, and Gant be examples of that methodology from last year vs the approach of paying for Cecil and Miller for bullpen innings?
    Oh, it absolutely worked for the pitching this past year. They threw depth at the situation and it paid off greatly, and even against a lot of odds. I mean, consider the fact that the Cardinals had one of the best rotations and one of the best pitching staffs in the National League and did so without Alex Reyes, without Carlos Martinez as a starter, without Austin Gomber available, and so on. The Cardinals entered spring with 10-11 different candidates to start, and by the end of April they had seen that list dwindle. And still they got quality from throwing quantity at it. It worked. Kudos.
     
    That's what they're going to try to do with the outfield. It would help greatly if one of those outfielders decided to be the Jack Flaherty of the group.
     
    Dylan Carlson has that look, eventually.
    I see a lot of conjecture on the outfield roster next year and don't recall seeing anyone giving Munoz a mention. His defensive stats suffered with his shuffling between SS and other positions with limited playing time. But when he started, he produced. He's got a plus arm and decent tools all around. Cheap salary. I see him as a valuable piece who could win playing time in spring training.
    He'll get that chance. But he has some serious challengers to his spot on the bench.
    Just curious how you practice your trade. When you go to the winter meetings, do you have a list of possible stories already in mind, or do you go where events/facts take you? Also, how do you and BenFred divide assignments? Finally, do you line up any interviews in advance or just catch people in the hall ? I advocate (lobby) Cap Hill so am wondering if the tactics are similar (not to compare you to a lobbyist of course).
    1) I do both. We need to have stories/issues that we're going to chase, so that we can fill the assignments each day. You respond to the news, but you must, must, must be ready for there not to be any news and 50 inches of copy to fill. By preparing for numerous stories, you also have a backlog of research and reporting that can help provide context when breaking news does happen.
     
    2) Ben Frederickson is a columnist, so he will be writing opinion and breaking news with opinion from the winter meetings. I'm a beat writer, so I will be providing the news and offer the occasional analysis that is built upon reporting.
     
    3) Both. Scheduled interviews and in the hall or lobby or randomly when getting coffee. There is also time with managers that is scheduled. There's a good blend of planned interviews and serendipitous interviews every day. 
    Have you ever seen general managers literally huddled around a hot stove?
  • No. But that would be a great scene -- though curious in San Diego.
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