Cardinals chat with Derrick Goold

Bring your Cardinals questions and comments, and talk to Post-Dispatch baseball writer Derrick Goold in a live chat from Los Angeles at 11 a.m.

  • As Bernie points out, the market never really developed for Fowler, which allowed the Cards to sign him. So, why will the FO not go past "the model" when there is competition for a player, but then offer Fowler a contract (w/ full NTC) through his age 36 season? It seems like their strategy is to make what their best offer first and then do nothing else. Thus the overpay for Fowler (and Cecil) and missing out every time there's competition
  • That's not how it worked for Fowler, however. They made several offers. I agree that for Cecil and Peralta and for a few others, the Cardinals try to stay ahead of what they believe the market will be, make a substantial offer, and then see if the player bites. Cecil did. Other teams were gobsmacked at the market that then forced them to react to for lefthanded relievers. Peralta bit, and the Cardinals got good return on that while being validated with what happened later in the market. Fowler wasn't like that. Toronto felt it had a shot at signing Fowler -- though there's some skepticism on whether Fowler would have gone there or just needed another team to play off of and whether Toronto was trying to sell its interest for PR more than actual interest (both have merit). With Fowler, the Cardinals had to make an updated offer. They had to get to that extra year. I wrote about it at the time, so I don't think this is breaking new ground or anything but when Washington pulled off the deal for Eaton and the Cardinals met in the hotel to pivot and consider what direction they needed to go if trades were truly going to cost that much, they had an offer out to Fowler. It was likely in the four-year range. When we departed Washington, the Cardinals knew that they had a likely deal in place for Fowler because they knew they had met the asking price given to them the night before -- or at least met the demand presented to them after an offer. By the time I landed in STL, I received a note from a source very aware of how the Cardinals viewed things and how they approached their pursuit of Fowler and that note said the Cardinals, in the previous 24 hours, went "over the top" to sign Fowler. They upped their offer. And, yes, in someways the Cardinals were bidding against themselves -- they were bidding against themselves to show Fowler they wanted him, even ahead of the market he maybe had elsewhere.
  • How much money do the Cardinals have to give to the Braves in the Matt Adams trade? Seems silly they had to give them money when he is only making $2.8 million per year
  • Depends on how the Braves see it. Cardinals are either covering most of the cost of Adams' salary for this season (most likely) or the cash for that will help offset his cost for next season (possible). It depends on how Atlanta keeps its books.
  • In your opinion did the team reach as far as practical for Luis Roberts, should they have gone higher or was it not even the money but the number of Cubans already with the Sox??
  • That he is not a Cardinal answers this question.
  • Derrick, thanks as always for the chats and exceptional coverage. Did Voit/Bader/Dejong/Wisdom's scorching starts play any role in the Adams trade? Or was it just a roster crunch with JMart on his way back? That extra 40 man roster spot will come in handy this summer.
  • Absolutely. And this is a good point. The Cardinals felt they were developing some redundancy in that role, and that they didn't have the same thing going on on the reliever side, because, really, when does a team looking for relief ever have enough? So, yes, Voit's strong start and success in Class AAA has completely rewritten the depth chart at that position. Cunningham has helped. Wisdom, too. DeJong is legit. Anyone who has read these chats over the past years has heard that before. He's a legit upside power, batting prospect. Oh, and he can handle shortstop. He can play second. He can play third. So, yes, the Adams deal is in someway a chance to clear a spot for one of them to emerge later.

    It's that reason why I continue to see this Adams deal less a moment in time from this past weekend, and more of the opening move for Mozeliak on the chess board of the coming months. It won't be as swift as Duncan being traded one day and Matt Holliday arriving a few days later (see: 2009), but it has some similar trappings of that move and the 2014 moves that cleared playing time for Oscar Taveras. We're going to look back at the Adams deal and see some interesting things: 1) Whether it was a prelude to a more substantive change to the roster and 2) If Atlanta flips him at the trade deadline and gets more than they gave.
  • What can the cards do about their short bench. 13 pitchers seems over kill
  • Well, they could survive on 12 pitchers. It is possible. Other teams do it. Really. Promise.
  • Goodness, the bullpen is such an easy target. The poll so far is a surprise.
  • Hi Derrick, Many times in this chat, chatters are wanting to trade a bag of balls to another team for a player that could impact our club. This notion is often laughed off as unrealistic and unreasonable, as it should be. Do you feel this is what happened with the weekend deal of Matt Adams? But instead of a bag of balls we received a "lottery ticket".
  • No, I do not. Please scroll back in the chat for the discussion of leverage. I think it was more of a sign of what team had the leverage to make the deal.
  • When Carpenter was thrown out at third, wasn't it another case of a batter watching the flight of the ball to see if it was going to go out, rather than running full tilt to first base? Yes, he should have stopped at second base because of when he got there, but it appears he could have made third if he sprinted out of the box.
  • I didn't see it that way at all. That's a double out of the box. Trust the teammates to win.
  • With the Cardinals showing themselves not willing to win a 'manageable' bidding war for Robert, it is clear to me that they won't win one for one of the young franchise players set to hit the market (e.g. Machado). To me, an elite middle of the order bat is the Cardinals highest need. They don't appear to have this sort of player in the system, and they missed a unique shot to potentially add one in Robert. With the emergence of Jedd Gyorko at third, that no longer seems like an obvious place to upgrade. Which leads to this question...

    Would the Cardinals consider trading for Giancarlo Stanton? He is still young, and likely suppressed somewhat offensively by playing in Miami. People speak of him having a monster contract (and he does), but in a few years when Harper is making $40+ mil a year, Stanton's deal will look rather reasonable. I've read a few things about the Marlins being willing to move him, especially with the team being sold. Obviously the Cardinals have a glut of outfielders, but I'm not sure they have any with the elite-level talent Stanton possesses.

    What do you think? Thanks!
  • The kind of return that the Marlins would expect for Stanton would be ... berserk. I agree that Stanton is a lineup-altering force the likes of which the Cardinals could use and would be lucky to get, but it just seems like there is a better way to do that then meet the price and lose the prospects. Since this is an interesting question, if you'll permit me the time, we can do the math on this.

    Stanton has $285 million guaranteed on his deal from 2018 onward.

    So, the cost would start there. And then you'd start adding on the control years and possible return of the players being sent to the Marlins. It's a loose estimate, but let's go with the FanGraphs estimates on production from some young players that are similar to what it would cost to trade for Stanton:

    (NOTE: I am NOT saying these would be the players, just that prospects like these players once were would be involved, and that's the control group. Please note. Thank you.)

    Wacha -- averaged about $14 million in open-market production past few years.
    Rosenthal -- $6.2 million in value right now, this season
    Wong -- about $10 million upside
    Piscotty -- capable of $22 million, already reached in career
    M. Gonzales -- $100,000 into the majors at this point

    If you take the fact that Stanton will cost $285 million in cash outlay, and then stack the value (control years, too) being given away as prospects, you're going to quickly get to $330 million in overall cost, and quite possibly substantially more because more cash will be necessary to replenish the lost depth. Why not just pay that money and keep the prospects?

    Oh, and Stanton can opt out after 2020, which would really be a bummer for the new team.
  • Do you see anymore trades on the horizon? Pitching help, power bat etc?
  • Yep. If the horizon includes July.
  • We sent cash along with Matt? Were they in that big of a hurry to get rid of him?? Sure sound slike it and looks like it. all for a low A guy???
  • In reality they were. They needed the roster spot. And weren't going to demote a pitcher.
  • Sorry, but I don't get the Adams trade to all. The Braves *needed* a first baseman and yet all we rec'd was a low A ball player? Adding an apparent insult to an obvious injury, we also lost our LF handed power hitter off the bench/ How was this a good deal for the Cards?
  • They got a roster spot. Outside of that, I am not sure. It's a weird one.
  • Will Yepez have more at bats in his MLB career than Adams would have had the rest of the season as a Cardinal?
  • Mozeliak was quoted as saying the savings from not signing Robert will be redeployed... Redeployed where? Another over-priced reliever?
  • And the chat has taken a turn.
  • Hey, Derrick. I don't mind that they traded Adams in principle, I just think that they should have been able to have gotten a real prospect for him. ATL badly needed a 1st baseman but this trade came off as if the Cards were the desperate team.
  • The Cardinals couldn't even get one of the Braves' Top 30 prospects (per for Matt Adams? But I thought he was in the best shape of his life -- what gives?
  • good morning dg and thanks again for doing these. What is your opinion on why the majority of HRs from Gyorko come with the bases empty, not only this year but last also. I cannot find a RISP average for anyone on any of the sites, where does he place in the RISP stat for the team? thanks again!!
  • This is a question that could take us to an interesting place, so let's start by looking at the RISP performance for a selection of the Cardinals' hitters so far this season. For the sake of brevity, each of the following players is listed with their NAME, At-Bats with RISP, BA with RISP, and finally OPS with RISP. Here goes:

    Sierra 11, .455, .909
    Wainwright 8, .375, 1.250
    Fowler 23, .348, 1.295
    Gyorko 27, .333, .881
    Adams 14, .286, .639
    Piscotty 26, .269, .733
    Grichuk 42, .262, .799
    Wong 38, .237, .795
    Diaz 36, .222, .608
    Molina 24, .208, .531
    Carpenter 23, .174, 871

    That low number there for Carpenter really stands out. No, not his batting average. He has, so far this season, as the Cardinals' No. 3 hitter come up with a runner in scoring position 23 times. That's 23 times in how many games -- a quarter of the season! He's on pace to have fewer than 100 at-bats with runners in scoring position. That's bonkers. The No. 3 spot in the Cardinals order should be a bonanza of opportunities for RBIs, and yet it isn't.

    Why does Gyorko come up with fewer RBI opportunities, the bases empty so often -- well, I was tempted to say that it's because Carpenter is cleaning the bases before he gets there, but no it's because the top of the order is not doing well at all getting on base. Gyorko comes up so few times (27) with the table set for runs because he's the table-setter for runs! Check out the imbalance in the lineup

    Grichuk and Wong combined have 80 ABs with runners in scoring position.
    Carpenter and Gyorko combined have 50 ABs with runners in scoring position.

    The lineup is working backward.
  • Mr. Goold: Mike Matheny has said several times that he wants the players to be aggressive running the bases ... going first to third, taking the extra base, stealing a base. To me, there's a difference between being aggressive and being recklessly aggressive. In my opinion, Matt Carpenter is a prime example of being recklessly aggressive running the bases. Do you know whether or not Matheny ever says something to a player who's recklessly aggressive? And one more thing. Does Carpenter not realize he isn't fleet of foot? Thanks
  • Matheny does indeed have a coach say something to players who are recklessly aggressive, and he wants players to know the difference between aggressiveness that should be celebrated (even if it's an out) and ill-tie aggressiveness. Tony La Russa would constantly refer to this as playing for the scoreboard. Always know the inning and where the team stands, and adjust your aggressiveness accordingly. That kind of view would have had Carpenter put the brakes on at second. Instead, it seemed like all the innings without a run were getting to the team. Eleven innings one night. Speeding toward 12 the next. And Carpenter wanted to make something happen, for the team to make the poor through. The better move, obviously, would have been to run to the scoreboard. Get to second. Two outs score you. Do that. Carpenter knows his speed. He's got an awareness of that, for sure. It's the situation that we don't hear Cardinals talk a lot about.
  • Hi Derrick! Thanks for the chats as always! So cool we get to do this. Do you think if the cardinals were building a new stadium they would make any significant changes from the current Busch stadium?
  • Interesting question. They might reconsider the facets and the gaps they've created that suppress offense -- but I bet they, in their heart of hearts, want a pitcher friendly park. Fits their preferred team better. They would probably put in the LED lights that teams have, the lights that can go on and off and don't need to warm up and cost so much to maintain. SafeCo has gone to them. Yankee Stadium has them. That's why you see the stadium lights flicker and dance at those places when there is a home run, and you don't see it elsewhere. That's an upgrade/modernization they would make. Honestly, I've been impressed with how Busch has gotten better from when it opened. It was off when it opened. It feels more new now than it did back in those early days of 2006 when it was new. It had this half-finished feel. Now it seems to be developing a character.
  • Thanks for the great coverage. Do you think the bullpen could be strengthened from the return of Zach Duke and promoting some of the prospects( thinking Double A) before looking externally?
  • Duke is still a stretch off. He's headed to Florida here in the near future to begin that process, and yes his return will help. Power from Class AA will be this year what Rosenthal or Martinez were several years ago. So, yes, there are options there. But here's the reality: The Cardinals need Brett Cecil to be Brett Cecil and that would bring the bullpen together. That has to happen.
  • Could/should the Matt Adams roster crunch have been alleviated by a more creative use of the 10-day DL (if not by deciding to carry less than 8 relievers)?
  • Teams shouldn't lie about the DL. That's a bad precedent, and I look forward to the day that a team truly gets caught doing that the punishment comes down hard from MLB.
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