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.

    Yep, and it all happened on my wedding anniversary. So that was fun. A few years ago, in 2017, that too was a busy winter meetings given all the things that happened in the final 24 hours.
    Some fans are quick to give up on players. Bader: plus arm, plus plus speed, plus plus plus defense, minus (minus?) bat. Those players do not grow on trees. His bat can improve to his 2018 level then all is happy in Cardinal nation.
    This is a fair school of thought.
    In the NHL, all free agents are signed within about two hours. Why is baseball different?
    No deadlines. NHL and NBA have a different free-agent culture and a different free-agent calendar. They want the whirlwind of excitement. Baseball is designed to keep itself in the headlines all year round. That was something that Selig wanted.
    Did the Cardinals reach out to Will Smith before he signed with the Braves, he seemed like the perfect fit as a LHP in the bullpen?
  • They met with his agent at the GM Meetings. They did not make a play for him; there's no evidence that they did. That's partially because Smith was going for closer dollars, not just lefty/Miller dollars. That was the goal. Or, at least, that was where the conversation was at that point.
    I agree with you that certainty is a nice attribute to seek in player acquisitions....however, I don't think the Cardinals are very good at acquiring such certainty, for whatever reasons...they seem to pay for certainty, trade for certainty, and then often, just don't get it! An expensive way to do business if the returns are not consistently there. That is why it would make sense for this organization at least to pivot more toward letting more of the young players, well, play!
    I think this point is interesting. Certainty is the way to contend year in and year out, but you're right about the Cardinals return on their investments recently and the trouble they've had getting the certainty they thought they acquired. There might be something to this. But you have to be willing to take the turbulence if you make this bet.
    The cardinals need thump in the middle of the order for next season. Third base and the OF are the 2 spots that, production-wise, is uncertain. Do they look at Rendon, Moustakas or Donaldson and move Carp or Edman to the OF or even Carp being traded?
    Not likely, not at all.
    When a trade or free agent deal is first reported(not by the team) does the person breaking the story get their info from the league, front office personel or an agent? Does the league encourage leaking the info just to keep the stove warm?

    Thanks for your long and comprehensive chats. I was reading a chat on another baseball site where the chat host told a chatter it was a long chat and his previous question was lost among the hundreds of other questions. It was a 90 minute chat. I actually laughed out loud and thought of your chats and how lucky we fans are to have you.
    I think this is a good question, but it's one that doesn't rightly have an answer, and I hope my answer doesn't come across as dismissive of the topic. It's a good one. But ... This would go under the heading of anonymous sources, and it's not right for me to out anonymous sources. I'm sorry. They wouldn't remain anonymous if I did that. The sources I use to report news like this are known to me and my editor, and that's because my editor has to be comfortable with my sourcing when I cannot name names. I also don't think it's right for me to out other reporter's sources. That's for them to do only if they choose. I don't know why the league would encourage leaking info. I do know that the Cardinals have made it club policy not to, and that in recent years they have gone to great lengths to assure trades and deals and their interest are not "leaked." They expect the league to follow this approach and they impose this policy on people looking to do business with them. It doesn't always work, obviously, and that's where the anonymous part comes in.
     
    Glad you enjoy the chats. This one is coming to an end -- and there are still going to be about 200 questions in here. The chatters make this kind of chat possible with the question and the readers that stay tuned, stay engaged, and keep bringing the 
    If I recall correctly, you had reported the Cards had interest in Wheeler at the trade deadline but the return requested by the Mets was "past the puke point". Now that he only costs money, is there interest by the team?
    Just a quick point of information: I reported that that Cardinals had interest in Wheeler -- but only after the deadline passed. I could not pin that down before the deadline. Only after. I tried. But I could never get a good feel on whether the Cardinals were in on Wheeler. They were. The Mets wanted an outfielder as part of package of players they'd get in return. The Cardinals interest in Wheeler is still there. Not as urgent because the deadline creates a different level of pressure to make a move than the lethargic winter market. But Wheeler isn't off the radar.
  • The stolen base attempt has always been an action packed moment in the game of baseball, and the game is looking for ways to inject more action and movement into the pace of play. But in the modern game, Catchers and pitchers are so good at suppressing the odds of success in the running game below an analytically acceptable threshold, and thus aggressive base-running, with its inherent action and excitement, has receded in significance in the modern game compared to past eras. Are there any rule changes that could be adopted that would swing the odds back towards baserunners? To me, this could both improve pace of play, and open up opportunities for a different kind of player to contribute more meaningfully in face of modern defensive shifts.
    I get where you're going, and I wish I had a good answer. A while back I asked around about this -- how do you goose the running game in an age when run-defense has never been better, timings are varied by pitchers, and so on and so on, and also there are more strikeouts. One of the answers I got was that the increase in uses of curveballs would invite more steals, more action on the bases, eventually, but not at a game-changing rate because the run-defense is still so good. Another answer I got was how the modern focus on damage just keeps runners tethered to first, when the are there. If the next guy is swinging for a homer, double, or strikeout then where's the chance or reason to steal second without 100 percent certainty, went the question? You're right. The game has conspired to remain the go-go game because steals are not calculated. They're not pickpockets anymore. They're insider trading. I don't have a good answer for a rule that would change that, except for the fact that I believe if you lower the strike zone by another inch or so you would get more balls in play, more action, more balls on the ground, and that has a chance to get runners in motion or put runners more often at first from a single. That seems to at least increase the odds of running.
    One way to look at whether or not to keep Molina is to examine his WAR. The last four seasons, it has been (B-R) 3.1, 2.0, 1.8, and 1.3. Trending downward, but not to the place that it's killing the team. I'm not sure what the target number should be, but if he gets to the place where he is putting up less than 1 point of WAR, then I would have to question his value as per a roster spot.
    Absolutely that is one way to consider it. The Cardinals do use publicly available WAR numbers when talking with agents. They also have internal metrics.
    Is it not fair for Cardinals fans to have reduced expectations-- especially for the offseason but the 2020 season itself too-- given the tone of the Cardinals postseason news conference?
    You're welcome to have whatever expectations you wish. I'm trying to offer background and statistics to inform those expectations. If you are down on the team for 2020, then by all means be down on the team for 2020. But if you come into the chat and tell me how I should be down on the team for 2020, have reasons. That's the field of play here, those are the rules of engagement. I don't promise high fives or a bat on the back for having an opinion, and I won't agree with every opinion entered into the chat because someone wrote it.
    If the Cardinals don't like what they're seeing with CMart over the offseason, do you have an idea of what kind of price point they would looking for in a free agent starting pitcher? Is there a hard ceiling? Does that ceiling move based on which pitcher can be had for X amount of dollars? Based on DeWitt's comments on payroll, I don't envision any scenario where Stras or Cole and their 30mil AAV would be in play, but the Wheeler's and Bumgarner's are intriguing.
    I don't know of a ceiling. They'd prefer to go fewer years and higher cost. That would be part of it. The ceiling always moves based on the market. They have to respond to it. They'd be looking for value where they can find it. And that's really the beauty of this market. At some point the music is going to stop and there won't be a seat for everyone of the strong pitchers, not at the years or dollars they want, and that's the area that the Cardinals could be. You're right not to envision Strasburg or Cole. That's not their tune. But there's a handful of pitchers still in that second shelf or lower that Keuchel, Bumgarner, Wheeler, as discussed, Hamels all fit in there somewhere.
  • DG the Cardinals had to part with players like Mayers, Leone, and they left Gant off the post season roster. On the left side they currently have Miller, Webb, and maybe Gomber and Cabrera.

    The point is that the bullpen is a lot better than when Brett Cecil was signed. Even if Cecil is healthy, would the "good Brett" we saw for a few months a couple years ago be able to win a spot in this bullpen?
  • Absolutely he would. Yep. The Cardinals would welcome that.
    You have mentioned a few times the apparent apathy for the Cardinals fan base this off season. Speaking for myself I think a couple of things come into play. One is how they finished the season, all the strikeouts and lack of any kind of hitting were just frustrating to watch. And two I think it’s hard to get excited when the team is banking on two guys (Fowler and Carpenter) who have been trending downward for the last three seasons and are a year older.
    Noted. Thanks for sharing your view.
    DG - You're the best. I loved Gordo"s idea about a relegation system for MLB (probably first time I've agreed with him on anything). I love the English Premier League and think baseball could benefit from that kind of system, it's crazy exciting!

    I realize it's a pipedream, could you see anything in the future that could make this possible?

    Is it just me or is Manfred opposed to any progressive idea that he didn't think of? His rule changes do not seem aligned with anything that resembles an evidence-based approach to addressing some of the game time issues in baseball, he seems like a dinosaur. What is your take?
    I don't see relegation coming to baseball. Peter Gammons has brought that up as an idea, and I get where Jeff Gordon is coming from. It's a good wish. It would definitely punish the tankers. But that's not the culture here. And, look, Baltimore as a city isn't going to flock to a big-league ballpark to see Class AAA baseball, and what happens to the team that suddenly has a down season (Red Sox??!) gets relegated and then has to meet big-league spending, big-league ballpark maintenance, big-league TV revenue, and in a big-league market while also playing minor-league opponents. The sediment from more than a century of baseball weighs heavy on the game and makes this just impossible to think through.
     
    I agree that the commissioner wants sweeping changes and too often sides with cosmetic ones that routinely have unintended consequences. He wants change. But I don't get how he's leveraged his power to make into these micro-moves that haven't really improved pace of play much.
     
    I don't think of him as a dinosaur. Not at all. Quite the contrary. He strikes me as a efficiency manager, a consultant brought in from the outside to improve a business and then move on to another outlet. Like an outside consultant that comes into a TV station, suggests that they improve their traffic by being more active on Twitter, and then doesn't have an answer when someone brings up how they need to drive traffic to their web site, not Twitters, so how do they do that? 
    Scott Boras recently said he believes the market will move faster this year, and it doesn't really seem to be accurate. Is this the spin master working his magic or could he be right?
    It's Dec. 2. Let's check how next week goes. Moustakas has moved. He's a Boras client. So that's a start. Major League Baseball wants to see more action at the winter meetings. This is important to the commissioner's office, and that will likely be relayed to the teams. We'll see how the market plays along.
    Please tell me that the Cardinals are at least looking at Moustakas as a serious upgrade at third. Clearly Carpenter is not the answer, his stats have taken a nose dive for at least 3 years. His extension is clearly a Mo screw up. Why should the team and fans pay? Maybe that contract should be paid by Mo!!
    Well, Moustakas was not on the Cardinals' radar. This was clear coming out of the post-season presser. The Cardinals didn't use names. They didn't need to when it came to how they viewed making a move at the third base position.
  • Do you think Shildt's success will give other managers without playing experience more opportunities or is he an outlier? Seems the new trend is young ex-players
    Let's hope so. We've seen this trend of ex-players with no experience play out. Some have worked well (Counsell) and some haven't. Some haven't twice. It would be a great, progressive move for baseball to see other teams follow the Shildt model or even the Snitker model and open the jobs up to a wide bandwidth of candidates. Also, could we see more minority candidates? It is stunning how much turnover there was this winter and how little change to the look of the manager ranks there has been.
    With Wainos awesome stats at home and his not so great stats on the road (6+ ERA Yikes). Could you see Shildt putting Waino on the IL for long road trips and giving Ponce,Helsley,Gant or Woodford a chance on the road? Waino does great when he has long periods of rest. Your thoughts? Love the chats.
    They cannot use the injured list like this, no. That would be a violation of the IL, and baseball would not sign off on it. Homesickness -- even with a note from the doctor -- is not cause for IL. They could however massage the schedule to get him more starts at home than on the road, and look for ways to pull that off. It would be a tad labor intensive to make them all at home and the strain would be on the other starters to work around him. So, I don't think that's going to happen. In the postseason, it's easier to pull off ...
    Alright, this seems like a good place to bring the chat home. Good questions this week. The number of topics covered in recent weeks is impressive, and I'm not sure if that's because we have to fill the vacuum of the pre-meetings winter or if that's just a sign of how many questions there are about the Cardinals and every facet of the Cardinals. I bet it's a mix of both. And it's appreciated. The Cardinals chat will return next Monday, live from San Diego and the 2019 Winter Meetings. Ben Frederickson will be there, and we'll have coverage coming constantly online and in print. There will be chats daily as well. The meetings start Monday. They end with the Rule 5 draft Thursday. Mike Shildt will hold court with reporters one of those days. There will be evening updates coming from the news of the day. So circle back in the evening for those. Hope everyone had a good holiday weekend. Let's all home the hot stove gives us sparks to talk about here in the coming weeks. Aloha.
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