Cardinals chat with Derrick Goold

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

  • Greetings. Through these doors GMs, presidents and owners walked last week in Florida, and out they walked with new info on rules, transaction intricacies, and maybe just maybe a sense of future trades to make. Let me guess what you want to ask about. Cue the speed metal soundtrack. Let the weekly mosh pit commence ...

  • Do you see the Cards cutting/trading anyone today, or will 5 open slots on the 40 man be enough?
  • An official told me recently that five is enough, but that they would continue talking about some tuneup deals. Those haven't happened, obviously. I do need to update the story on with some additional info. Will do that during this chat and share with you.
  • Why not protect as many of the kids as you can with available spots? Then deal with the issues for FAs when/if they happen? I think Wisdom and Poncedeleon both have good arguments for being protected as both could be useful for MLB teams
  • Fair question. One reason is to keep some flexibility for free agents or trades. Another is to participate in the Rule 5 draft. A team with a full 40 cannot take a player. Simple as that. Another is to avoid losing the player if and when that roster move is made. See: Rosario, Alberto. He became a minor league free agent because that is what happens when a player is outrighted for a second time. It's in the weeds, I know. But leaving some room has reasons.
  • This chat will pick up pace, promise, once I can get through a phone call. I'm multitasking!

    It's going to be that kind of day.
  • Any idea what was included in the Cards offer for Stanton?
  • The two teams have discussed a variety of deals that include different players. To the best of my knowledge, there has been no final offer made, and the Cardinals, on their side, expect other conversations on their way to a hopeful fit. I know and can confirm what we've had in the PD: a variety of moves have been discussed, and an openness to include a top pitching prospect is there. But I've also heard this described as "early stages" and "just a beginning."
  • That phone call about the details of the soon to be announced Stanton to STL trade???
  • Alas, no. I'm a source of constant disappointment.
  • I am not quite sure I understand the point of the Cards going through all the machinations of a trade negotiation if there is high doubt Stanton would agree to a trade to St. Louis. Would not the Marlins just being using them as leverage with the other teams in the bidding?
  • That, in many ways, is the question. And it's one I wrote about last week in Florida: the power of the no-trade clause, perception and reality. Miami has all the reason in the world to keep Stanton's wishes to themselves. I asked Hill if he could negotiate in good faith with a team he knew Stanton would veto. He said that's on the team. Do homework. Left unsaid is this reality: what is Marlins only take the best offer they create for themselves to Stanton and say, OK, it's accept a deal to Team X or stay in FLA as the tears down the roster around you. All of a sudden the choice is real, not theoretical. That's when there is no presumption, no speculation, just Stanton's true wishes, open.

    I'll add this: I asked an Astros official why they kept after Verlander when they were led to believe he would nix a deal to them. They had to try, I was told. They had to go and try and push until he --- the player, personally --- said no. Otherwise they would always wonder.
  • Let's say the Cards do end up with Stanton, can they / will they be able to do anything else, or will he be the only move because of the contract and pieces involved?
  • They will be able to --- and will need to --- add at least a reliever, and perhaps two depending on whether another trade or a related trade brings in the second arm. The Cardinals have the payroll space to do so.
  • Alright, now we should be able to get a good pace going -- until the next call is returned.
  • I know it could be late next month before a deal is complete but won't we know the teams that he won't go to soon? Stands to reason those will come to light soonish??
  • Probably not, no. For reasons detailed in a recent answer. He doesn't have an honest choice at this point. To the best of my knowledge -- and that's based on comments from the Marlins -- Stanton hasn't been presented with a choice. An offer has not been taken to him or his agents. They have only talked to him about his preferences. But until he has an offer in his lap and has to make the call mentioned just a few moments ago we don't know the choice. His preferences are already known as he has talked about going to a place that has a chance to win and he has expressed an interest in the West Coast, closer to where he grew up. Those are the points we know. Everything else is presumption until there's a real choice.
  • The Stanton situation reminds me of the title of a Sean Connery “James Bond” movie - Never say never.
  • Until it's Dr. No, that is the case.
  • Derrick, are we Stanton yet?
  • You and I will never be Stanton.
  • As always, thanks for the chats, Derrick. These are always fun. :-)

    I've heard some buzz that Zach Britton is asking for a trade from the Orioles. (I'm curious as to whether you've heard the same.) If the O’s wind up honoring such a request, do you think they’ll concede a bit for 2018? Ultimately what I’m getting at is: do you think that at the point that the O’s make a trade involving Britton, that anyone else on the roster could be had (e.g., Machado, Jones, [insert interesting slugger here])? Or am I overestimating Britton’s value to their club? It just seems like that puts them in an even worse spot than the one they’re in, at least in terms of pitching. Or do you think they will even make Britton available?
  • My understanding is that Baltimore is exploring what Britton could return, and that does not signal some kind of fire sale for the Orioles. That means they are trying to cash in on a reliever at his high point when relievers who have control stand out in this market -- and maybe turn that into the players the O's really need. They could use an outfielder. They need starting pitching. One way to acquire those is via trade. The Cardinals are one of the teams that has had some kind of exploratory talks with Baltimore about Britton. Just as they did the same with Tampa Bay about Colome.
  • If Stanton ends up getting traded, do you believe it will happen before the end of the year?
  • According to officials I spoke to this past week in Florida, none of the sides want this carrying into the holidays. The Winter Meetings was mentioned as an area of time when a deal could be done -- or by then. There are a few pressures steering the teams to that date and keeping it away from lingering too long into the month. First and foremost, teams want to set their payrolls. Teams want to know what they're going to be able to do elsewhere in the market. The Cardinals have less concern here than any other team. San Francisco, up against the luxury tax, has payroll issues. Boston has young players about to make bank and want to know what the payroll is like going forward. Yankees have well-advertised goals, and so on. The Cardinals feel they have the room to expand the payroll and get the relievers they want without having to get an early answer on this. What is driving them here is a wish to avoid being stuck without a move. The music will be going on few a little bit, but eventually teams need to pick a chair.
  • Been reading over the weekend that the Cards are trying everything they can to land Stanton. When this fails, what's their back-up plan? Who is next on their wish list?
  • Thanks for reading the Post-Dispatch, Double D. It's appreciated. The Cardinals have interest in the other outfielders the Marins could move, and from there thy have interest in shifting to the corner infield spots possible via trade. Eric Hosmer is a real consideration for them. The team has also tried to understand what the market for Carlos Gonzalez is and reasons behind his difficult first half. What Toronto intends to do with Josh Donaldson if the Jays cannot get an extension done with him is also part of the equation. They're circling the same names over and over and over again, it seems. Very few secrets in this market.
  • What is your opinion on saving a roster spot for someone like Greg Garcia versus someone who is a "potential" major league player and could be picked off in the Rule 5 Draft? I really like Greg Garcia and I think players like him ARE NOT a dime a dozen.
  • Greg Garcia has a spot on the roster, and he has a role with the team. Moreover, he's still a value play for the bench given the production he's provided in spot duty and some longer looks at important positions. Alex Mejia being moved to the Class AAA roster leaves Garcia as the backup shortstop alongside Aledmys Diaz. That depth matters. That depth is good to protect.
  • WOW! That HoF ballot is packed... how are you ever going to get it to just 10? I don't envy you...and look forward to your always insightful "thought process" article about your final vote. Good luck.
  • It's going to be tricky. I'll use the same tools that the Hall gives us every year -- ranking the players and then cleaving the list down based on information beyond just their production. It's not ideal that the Hall asks us to rank the 10 most-worthy players and doesn't just ask us the question that matters most, "Is this player Hall of Fame worthy?" That's the binary ballot that gets talked about every so often. I proposed it here:

    Goold: A modest proposal to improve Hall of Fame voting

    stltoday.comA backlog of PED-laced players and an archaic rule have made voting for Cooperstown difficult. Here's one way to fix that.
  • Leave it to the Cardinals: Three weeks before season ticket renewals go out they put out an offer for Stanton and his 29 million dollar a year contract for numerous years. Don't you think DeWitt is holding his breath like he did for Puljos right before he offered him his contract renewal 6 years ago hoping he would turn him down? Wonder how much this Stanton interest is "for show" to stir up fan interest and then they will go after a less expensive alternative.
  • It's fair to wonder all you want. I'm sure there are plenty of theories and suggestions out there to support whatever rabbit hole you want to follow. But consider this: Cardinals and Marlins have been talking for several weeks. The Cardinals and Marlins spoke several times last week. What exactly were they doing besides sorting through possible offers and structures of deals and players of interest -- and they will continue to do so even this week. That's how trade talks go. They are rarely static unless a team is taking a stand as a "final/best we got" or a deadline is arriving such as July 31. Otherwise, trades and offers are being formed via text and email and phone conversation all throughout the process.
  • So...All the talk of having to make a trade early to make room on the 40 Man Roster before the Rule 5 Draft locks was much ado about nothing? How does the Rule 5 draft work? Any protection on how many players can be taken? Who does San Diego get from us this year? Wisdom?
  • It was much ado about something -- until they removed Rosenthal, Rosario, and Mejia from the roster. Those were the moves they made to clear spots, at least one of which was unexpected. The Cardinals valuing a roster spot over Rosenthal was a bit of a surprise given the team's view of Rosenthal and their need for a reliever in the future and a chance to possible workout a deal with him (which they still could, honestly). So there was something that happened to free up the spots. That was the direction the Cardinals went.

    One second and I'll answer the other questions there.
  • -- The Rule 5 draft works like this: All teams with at least one opening in the major-league roster are eligible, and the draft works in the reverse order of the standings. The major-league portion of the draft lasts as long as there are teams selecting, but once a team bows out, it's out. The minor-league portion of the draft is handled the same way.

    The draft signals the end of the annual winter meetings and then everyone affiliated with a team races to the airport to fly somewhere else, sometimes home.

    -- I would have said Oscar Mercado, but he's in line to be protected. Wisdom would be a smart play for an American League team. Arturo Reyes? Maybe he's the guy the Padres take this year, if he's available.
  • Other than years of control, how do teams evaluate and assess the monetary worth of a player? For instance, how would you determine how much money Flaherty would be worth?
  • Good question. Teams use predictive algorithms that are partially based on similar players. For example, teams will compare Flaherty's stuff and Flaherty's performance in the minors and Flaherty's age and velocity and all of those things and get a pretty good sense of what a similar player did in the majors with that combination of stuff -- and then what that player earned, or, more specifically, what that production is worth in the marketplace. FanGraphs does a somewhat similar thing by attaching production to monetary value -- and teams just do that with a predictive quality to know what kind of value that player is going to return. A young player, like Flaherty, if he brings $17 million in production as a starter on the open market, but he only costs the minimum than you're talking about a year of $16.4 value, and so on.

    That is a big part of it, because while I try to stress control years in here as people work out deals and try to understand how the sausage is made, the value of the production in those years is also part of the equation. Cardinals would be willing to get up 12 years of control for two young players if those two young players in those 12 years aren't going to produce the same amount of value that say the veteran they can acquire will offer in the next three years, next one year, next six years, next whatever.

    That's the area where a deal is made.
  • Hello Derrick. This is a follow up to a comment you made about sports journalism in your last chat. Perhaps it's a trend that cannot be reversed, but in following other teams in other markets, not to mention ESPN, there's such an obvious decline in the reporting. When newspapers are satisfied to post "3 Reasons Why X Team Defeated Y Team" 30 minutes after the end of the game, you know you're not getting any serious analysis. It's not much different than talking about the game with your buddy after watching it on TV.

    All that to say: your readers know you have a higher standard that you try to attain to. We can't fight the industry trends, but we can and do appreciate the guys like you who still put in the work.
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