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.

  • That is too many moves. It's like a game of Twister. Just play Connect Four.
  • I was thinking about the Tyler O'Neill for Marco trade and wondered whether the Cardinals would trade players struggling to get on their 40 man roster for top players in other team's systems that are a year or two away from having to be shielded from the Rule 5 draft. Not sure if that is feasible or the willingness for teams to make a prospect swap trade. Any thoughts?
  • Sure. If that deal was out there. That's one they have made -- as you illustrate -- and would again.
  • I saw a report that if or when Lance Lynn declines qualifying offer, the Cards only will get a sandwich pick between the end of the 2nd round and start of the 3rd. In prior years, I recall the Cardinals qualifying for revenue share. What happened and when for the Cardinals to lose out on that perk?
  • The Cardinals have not been part of revenue sharing -- smack in the middle as a team that didn't receive it or pay it. They had the market size, but their revenue was high enough to sweep them out of eligibility. The calculations have changed for the current CBA, but any shift isn't going to be significant for the Cardinals. They qualify for a competitive balance pick, and they have slim odds each year on getting one of them, and the reason why the qualify for it is the size of their market, not their place in the standings for their participation in revenue sharing. What you're referring to is the new structure of comp picks, and how the Cardinals because of many factors, and revenue sharing being part of it, won't get a pick as high as they did in the past. They'll go to the back of the second round. All of this happened with the new CBA that was agreed upon a year ago.
  • When evaluating the cost of a free agent (like Stanton), do the Cardinals factor in the revenue that player would bring in? Stanton (or others) would offset their $30m salary with jerseys and additional ticket sales.
  • Stanton is not a free agent. But, in general, yes the Cardinals consider the ticket sales that a good player could generate. Keep in mind, however, that jersey says are shared with the other teams. All merchandise is. So if Stanton goes to the Giants and the Giants sell a bunch of jerseys, the Cardinals are going to get about the same bounce. So jerseys and hats and LEGO figures and pennants and likenesses and bobbleheads and all of that stuff sold at the store is not going to give you the argument you desire.
    Now, where your question really hits is this: Would the Cardinals add a headline player who would bring in the crowds (see: McGwire, Mark, late 1990s) ahead of a winning team that they are trying to use as their brand (see: 2004-present)? The Cardinals would obviously rather have both a contending team and a signature star, but they don't believe their market buys tickets to see one star player, not ahead of or at the same rate that fans buy tickets to see a winning team. That's their view.
  • Any idea if Stanton is willing to accept a trade to the Cardinals? I know he has a full no-trade so if he's unwilling to come to "the Loo" then all this discussion is moot. I'm guessing with the amount of rumors that he's at least considering it.
  • There has not been a concrete answer coming from Stanton. But the Cardinals still believe there is reason to talk with the Marlins, and thus someone out there is thinking there's reason he might be interested.
  • I think you accidentally hit the nail on the head with your Matt Carpenter comments -- he was great in 2013. It's not 2013 any more. He's had one great year, and that year was an aberration.
  • He was, for the span of three years, the most productive leadoff hitter in the National League, and 2013 wasn't even his best year. Check out, oh, 2016: 

    Goold: Carpenter stakes claim to the leadoff crown

    stltoday.comCarpenter is either the most productive modern leadoff hitter in the game or one of the most productive ... ever.
  • Is Dexter Fowler the center fielder next season, even if the cardinals trade for Christian yelich or sign Lorenzo Cain as a FA? Seems like dexter signed to be the CF and lead off man and might be unhappy if he has to play RF or LF. I don’t know if he is unhappy with batting third instead of first.
  • He might be unhappy. He would have some right to be. A lot of it would be how the Cardinals manage this. They could ask Fowler how much of his troubles in 2017 were related to his health and leg issues and foot issues and so on, and then offer him all of spring training and all the games he wants there to prove that he's through those injuries and back to speed in center. The Cardinals could also do what we've seen Pittsburgh do, a lot. That is, put a guy in center field and then position the better fielders around him in such a way that all parts of the field are covered. Center is the name. Doesn't have to always be the responsibility. Either approach is possible, and in that way the Cardinals give Fowler the chance to let his performance dictate his position, while having an honest conversation with him about the other options the Cardinals have.
  • Other writers have said that dexter may be traded this winter? Is this really a possibility and if it is, would he have any trade value or would it be more like a mike leake dump?
  • All outfielders are on the table and open for discussion with the Cardinals. All outfielders are on the table and open for discussion with the Cardinals. All outfielders are on the table and open for discussion with the Cardinals. These sentences appeared several times in The Post-Dispatch in September and again in October, and they remain true today. That is a possibility as long as the Cardinals are willing to listen, and if they find a team that is appealing to Fowler and gives them the return they need that opens center or somewhere else for the upgrade the Cardinals are seeking. All outfielders are on the table and open for discussion with the Cardinals.
  • The Cardinals unveiled their ticket designs for the new year. The players on the tickets are Carlos Martinez, Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright and ... Dexter Fowler. Last year it was Martinez, Molina, Wainwright and Carpenter. Am I reading too much into this to wonder why Carpenter was "demoted?"
  • It's interesting. Fuel for the message boards, I imagine.
  • G'day Derrick. Last week you advised a wannabe beat writer to read a ton - sound advice! As a casual fan who lives a loooooong way from baseball country, can you recommend: a top notch writer at another organisation, and also a really good book or two? The best I've read so far are "The Boys of Summer" and Pat Jordan's "A False Spring".
  • Pat Jordan's book is crazy good. Glad that you already have that on your list. It's so good. During a recent break from the paper, I was able to reorganize a lot of my office clear out some things, frame other stuff, and reorder by baseball books. Buster Olney's book The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty is really one of the most excellent baseball books out there -- and it, honestly, has helped me think about how I cover a team. The goal is to always get that kind of detail -- not just waiting around for the book, but to get it out there every day and make sure that if anyone swoops in and writes a book about the Cardinals, they're left to repeat a lot of what has already been covered. Halberstam's books on the Yankees and Cardinals are also excellent. George Vecsey on Stan Musial and then Jane Leavy on Mickey Mantle are great books to read one after the other, or just one if you want. Both are strong. Moneyball. Numbers Game. Lords of the Realm. Get through that group and you're well into my list of The Great Baseball Books that leap to mind. Ball Four and Eight Men Out also belong on there. 
    You would do yourself a favor to sit back in the coming week, if you haven't already, and read the Los Angeles Times coverage of the Dodgers during October. I want The Post-Dispatch's baseball coverage, especially during a playoff run, to stand beside or above all others, and when the Cardinals have faced the Boston Red Sox in recent World Series we talk about that, about going head-to-head with The Globe and The Herald and seeing how our coverage compares. Well, LA upped the game this October. Strong stuff from that group.
  • Wouldn’t Moustakas make much more sense than Hosmer for a team that already has Carpenter, Martinez, etc.? Seems like there’s much more chatter (I dare not say “reporting”) about Hosmer.
  • Love your work Derrick! You mentioned earlier that the preference would be to not move Hicks. Is this because of the overlap of players like Reyes, Hudson, Flaherty etc. close to major league ready and the fact Hicks is in the group (in terms of proximity to the majors) behind those guys where they have less of an abundance?
  • Somewhat. Also his upside. Jordan Hicks has a big, big arm and big, big athleticism, and there's a sense that he could be a starter who maintains that velocity late into games, or he could be that fire-breathing dragon that is going to take over the ninth at some point for the Cardinals. Remember the buzz coming out of Class AA about Carlos Martinez or Trevor Rosenthal? Yeah, get ready for that kind of comparisons and that kind of interest in what Hicks could do as he nears the majors.
  • Simba is on the modern era ballot. Will this get him that HOF entrance he deserves?
  • Oh! I misunderstood the question earlier. That's my fault. I do not have a vote on this ballot, no. But, yes, Ted Simmons belongs in the Hall of Fame, and you're about to get me to go off on a rant here. OK, so one of the reasons why Simmons has had difficulty get through these committees is because committee members keep telling us that Simmons didn't last very long on the writers' ballot. He was one a one-and-done guy, like Jim Edmonds most recently. I've heard this over and over and over again. I've heard this from Johnny Bench. I've heard this from one person who told me they voted for Simmons in the room -- but really they didn't vote for Simmons in the room. It's all very maddening, and I will tell you this: It's absurd. 
    Reason No. 1: Simmons time on the writers' ballot was short for curious reasons that no one has rightly explained to me. Part of it was he played in the same league as one of the best ever to play his position, Bench, and like Trammel to Ripken or Raines to Henderson the Hall of Fame candidacy of the second-best is always limited when the best-of-all is in the same generation. This happened with Edmonds as he appeared alongside Griffey Jr. and his support suffered as expected. This is an old saw for me, but it's still in tune, and so you'll hear it again. Simmons shouldn't be dinged for being second best to Bench in his era; that should be a positive, a boost to his candidacy.
    Reason No. 2: So, you're telling me that former players get in a room and use the opinion of baseball writers to guide their vote? Give me a break. Players and managers should relish the chance to tell writers that they got it wrong. They like doing it when we're talking about the modern game. What's better than doing it now? I find it odd that I could go to a former player and suggest that Simmons is a Hall of Fame catcher and that player will tell me, "But you're just a writer. You never Played the Game." And that same player, when confronted with a chance to vote for Simmons in the Hall of Fame would say, "But the writers said." Give me a break. Shove it in our faces that we got it wrong. Shout it from the mountaintops that the writers messed this one up. See? The writers got it wrong and the players needed to swoop in and put Simmons where he belongs. With his peers. In the Hall of Fame.
  • Cardinals have given Trevor Rosenthal his release.
  • As expected, the Cardinals gave Lance Lynn a qualifying offer. (He'll reject it, unless he's just feeling frisky enough to want to return to the Cardinals for kicks.) The Cardinals have also cleared two other spots from the 40-man roster: Alex Mejia and Alberto Rosario.
  • The Cardinals had entertained what to do with Rosenthal when it comes to giving him a two-year deal, but on the other side of the equation was Rosenthal possibly seeking what Greg Holland just pulled off and wanting a deal to reflect that. That put the Cardinals in a spot where they might have to pay Rosenthal well beyond what they'd get from him in his rehab year, and then come back with an incentive-heavy contract for 2019. Now, what he's got is a chance to pull off a Holland deal. Recover. Then go into the marketplace as a free agent and get a deal rich with incentives and a chance to get out after one year, like Holland did.
  • Among current major leaguers, Matt Carpenter has the 11th highest lifetime OBP. He's not in the top twenty in any other statistical category. He's a subpar fielder, and he'd be the slowest player on the team if Yadi weren't around. He's a one tool player at this point -- he gets on base. "Carpenter is either the most productive modern leadoff hitter in the game or one of the most productive ... ever." You're describing a mythical player that doesn't exist.
  • Huh? A couple things on this. I get what you're doing, and fine, it's fair. Appear to be quoting from a story a year ago about production that was a year ago and not taking into account current factors, such as an injury (or two) that we learned were significant and significantly limiting. Let's move on from there and suggest that you're using OBP to make an argument about the value of a player when the name of the game is getting on base. In fact, Joey Votto is a leading candidate for the MVP in the National League because he got on base so darn much. That guy, not making outs. What a thing. So, yes, OBP is valuable, and ranking high in OBP is an important and necessary and even standout trait especially when there's someone right behind that OBP player who can turn OBP into runs.
  • I have to step aside quickly to write up some news.
  • What is the deadline to offer Lynn a QO, if the Cards haven't done so already?
  • Today was the deadline. Cardinals did as expected. Lynn has seven days to decline. He'll need seven seconds.
  • Is Carson Kelly the primary backup catcher in 2018? Is there any concern that his overall development was hindered by not playing every day?
  • That is the Cardinals' current plan.
  • Derrick, back to your star vs team mentality. If you have a star, fans feel cheated when he sits that day (TLR speciality for out of town fans coming on Sunday).
  • I guess that's part of it. If your brand is to contend, then you need a good team to contend. If your brand is social gathering, then you need a good ballpark where people want to gather socially. If your brand is glitz and sex appeal, then you need a player that brings that. And so on.
  • So long, Trevor Rosenthal -- for now.
  • Expect a Holland-like return somewhere.
  • Do you think there is one of the minor league outfielders that you think has a better chance to make an impact than the rest? Does the club have a favorite? Thanks
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