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 1 p.m. Monday.

    Salutations. Welcome to the trade deadline week Cardinals chat to be Named Later. The Cardinals are coming off of a 12-5 stretch to start the second half of the season, though they had two of those five losses this past weekend to Jeff Luhnow's mighty Houston Astros. That should add a special spice to today's questions -- and that's even before we get to the trade talk. So here we are:
     
    -- Marcell Ozuna is off to start a rehab assignment. Matt Carpenter is on one already. Yadier Molina is undergoing review by specialists, and he's catching bullpens. His grip strength has not returned to the level needed to be closer to return than Ozuna's.
     
    -- Cardinals are shopping. They're buyers, GM Michael Girsch told me. 
     
    -- Additional reporting has informed us that they're looking for a lefty reliever, and that they are exploring the market for a starter. This is something they have quietly been doing for awhile, as you probably know. They're interested in a starter that has at least another year of control. It makes the price easier to stomach at this point, and it would also add to their depth/answers for 2020 as well.
     
    Away we go ... 
    I’m writing from an alternate universe and wondering if the Cards will pick up Matt Carpenter’s option after this season.
    There's a multiverse?! Comics always told me that was true, but I never believed it until now, in this chat. Amazing. Is Twitter a happy place of constructive dialogue in your universe? Do I have better hair?
    How can the Cards continue to carry a CF hitting 152 over the past two months with no power?
    Dexter Fowler is the center fielder these days because of that. Bader's struggles have cost him the starting job out there. Bader has started six of the 17 games since the Cardinals left the All-Star break, and Munoz starting out there is not an accident. Nor, is Shildt mentioning Tommy Edman as an option in center, if needed.
    I heard there were some teams contacting the orioles about trey manceni. Are the cards interested in him?
    Have not heard any connection between the Cardinals and Mancini, or really for any other outfielder as a matter of fact. Castellenos, for example, is not drawing much interest from the Cardinals. There interest in a bat is significantly lower than their interest in pitching, and they have long felt, internally, that the offense is going to have to fix itself with the names they have being the hitters expected.
    Do you think we could see a surprising trade off the 25-man to improve the team elsewhere?
    Mozeliak dismissed this idea swiftly when I brought it up to him. The question/theory I posed was this: That a 2011- or 2014-style would make the most sense for this 2019 team, especially as the front office took the fence-sitter stance. They could try a little addition by subtraction and rearrange the roster for a new look, a new vibe, a new feel, and create some openings for younger players now or in the future. He outlined some differences between the 2011 and 2014 deals -- and then added how he was not actively seeking a move that would involve anyone on the current major-league roster, not unless they shifted into sell mode. They haven't. They don't want to. So, it's buy. And the preference is to make a move off the roster.
     
    Although Mozeliak and others wouldn't comment on this, sources have indicated to me the one exception would be Michael Wacha, because he's likely to walk as a free agent and there could be interest in getting something in return for him now if they need that roster spot for a second/third lefty after the deadline.
    Wholly independent of how this Cubs series and season works out, what's the level of confidence in Mozeliak/Girsch/etc. on the part of ownership? There've been a LOT of awful trades, extensions, and signings over the past several years, many of which didn't look defensible at the time of the transaction. (Voit turning into a legit hitter gets a free pass; I don't think anyone saw that coming.) Does the FO see this deadline/this October as make-or-break for their future with the club, or do you perceive them as having a longer leash?
    You had me until the use of "leash." But I'll explore the question for the general thought, if not the unfortunate use of that word. 
     
    The Cardinals' front office does not see this trade deadline as make-or-break for them. But do not discount that as a reality that October is referendum on the team and the organization. Missing out on an October for the fourth consecutive year would bring changes, and some of those of those changes are going to happen anyway. The Cardinals have already acknowledged how they intend to revamp/rethink their analytics group to strength it and give it a modernized look. The farm system is going to go through changes at years end as well with changes in roles. Mark DeJohn is retiring, so there will be a new field coordinator (Chris Swauger?) and that process is already underway. The Cardinals are not thrilled with the performance of the minor-league teams and how thin the minor-league pitching has become this year. That's going to prompt an audit and some changes, inevitably. There's going to be what they call "natural churn" in the structure of the organization, and a lack of October will result in ownership making other moves, reassignments, or reorganizations. They have not hid from the stated goal of getting back to October -- and arriving there as the division winner.
    The Cubs are 6-0 vs the Cardinals, even though the Cardinals had multiple run leads in 2 games. The Cardinals are 3-0 vs the Cubs in St. louis. Is this upcoming series a must win sweep? Seems like it is to me if you believe in playing .500 ball vs your closest rivals (Cubs and Brewers) and winning racking up as many wins vs lesser teams like the Pirates and Reds(as they did the last 10 days).
    It is not a must-sweep, no. Winning it would be good because winning series is important this stretch. Ten of the Cardinals final 60 games are against the Cubs. That's a lot of head-to-head chances -- including six in the final two weeks of the season. The Cardinals could be swept this week and still win the division. The Cubs could be swept this week and still win the division. The only must this week, to me, is the trade deadline.
    Do the Cardinals plan to push Carlson to AAA this year or let him finish out the season in Springfield?
    It would be a lot clearer if the Cardinals had a playoff-bound affiliate, honestly. Carlson could see Triple-A by the end of the season if the Cardinals make another move to clear a starting job for him there. That is one thing being discussed. If Arozarena makes the leap here in the near future, then Carlson to Triple-A would be a corresponding move discussed.
    Has there been an effort to get more women and minorities in front office roles by the Cardinals? MLB?
    Yes. And it needs to even more aggressive, and teams should really look at what they're doing with internships to allow for more diversity. That would include investing more in the internships so that interns are compensated fairly and not compensated with a pittance because they are lucky to work for a major-league team. Better compensation would allow for applicants and a broader diversity that would also increase the talent pool for future major-league front offices. I think that's important.
    It seems like Marcus Stroman's price was pretty attainable - is there any reason that you know of why the Cardinals weren't playing in those waters more seriously?
  • Candidly, I never heard from sources that Stroman was near the top of the Cardinals' list. On it? Sure. But the feedback I got around the All-Star break was that they had other, preferred targets ahead of Stroman. And while some of those targets may not hit the open market, we do know that some will -- Ray -- and there have been others who could be available -- Thor -- that would be higher on that list for the Cardinals.
  • Do you have any info that the Cardinals are interested in Syndergaard?
    Only that they reached out to find out the asking price, as you'd expect them to do. I do not know how aggressively they are pursuing him, but he fits the profile of the starter that they think would alter the look of their rotation, and be an upgrade.
    I find it ironic that at the beginning of the season we hear the oft-repeated "small sample size" mantra, while in contrast at the trade deadline we hear about seeing what a few more games will bring. An additional five to ten games won't change what the numbers say with regard to need. Now, if we consider the bluffing aspect of trading ...
    Totally agree. But I would contend that too often teams talk about the team they are, the team they are, the team they are, and the point of the trade deadline should be -- what team do you want to be for the rest of the season? You don't just have to improve. You can also change.
    With how Wanwright has pitched this year, do you foresee him signing another deal with the Cardinals like he did this past offseason?
    At this point, today, right now, I would not expect that, no. We'll see how the final two months go. Adam Wainwright isn't talking about retiring at season's end, but he's also not thinking about 2020. Maybe the chance to pitch in London lures him back.
    I agree with Mr. Law (ESPN) in that the Met's trade for Stroman makes little sense. Maybe they expect to trade Thor and that will be the replacement. We should have a good relationship with Toronto so couldn't Mo have done a deal?
    Maybe he could have. Not sure. It is entirely possible that the Cardinals did not have a prospect of interest to Toronto -- or that they weren't willing to part with said prospects. That is a factor at the deadline, and always will be. For the Cardinals, they don't have the depth that they used to in the farm system, and that's going to mean the same names coming up and up and up again in trade talks. Oviedo is one. I do know of some teams that see the Cardinals as a team that doesn't have much to offer in that midrange, and a team that is reluctant to part with the top-shelf prospects. Opinions on the Cardinals' system are going to vary -- slightly -- so the Cardinals must find the team eager to move, or the one that means they have to take on more salary and the other team likes what they have to offer.
    When will Ozuna start for The Birds This Week? In weekly fantasy would love to plug him in?
    He's headed to Memphis. Oakland at the earliest, it seems. That is what Marcell Ozuna told the group of us reporters at the ballpark Sunday.
    The injuries to both Reyes and Gomber have really hurt the Cards depth this season. Though the situation with Reyes has been extensively covered, much less info has been given on Gomber. I know he has a shoulder issue, but that's it. Can you provide more info?
    Gomber has had difficulty returning to and staying on a throwing program. His arm has not responded to the rest. His situation has been likened to Ryan Helsley's of a year ago. It didn't result in surgery. It did require added rest. It did require a new strengthening program. Gomber's biceps issue could stem from the shoulder issue, so keep that in mind. This is about treating and addressing the cause as well as the injury.
     
    Yes, you're right -- those injuries have drained the depth of the Cardinals' pitching. But that's the only reason. The Cardinals started spring training with 11 candidates for the rotation, and take a look at where they are now, and the real reason they've been thinned this summer:
     
    Miles Mikolas -- still starting
    Adam Wainwright -- still starting
    Jack Flahertry -- still starting
    Dakota Hudson -- won starting job, still starting
    John Gant -- setup man
    Austin Gomber -- injured
    Carlos Martinez -- closer
    Michael Wacha -- long relief
    Daniel Ponce de Leon -- under review as starter
    Alex Reyes -- injured
    Ryan Helsley -- relieving for Class AAA
     
    Moves to the bullpen -- out of need, for health, or for performance -- have had the greater impact on the Cardinals' rotation than injuries. As we've been saying all along, the Cardinals intended to throw quantity at the rotation in hopes that quality would emerge.
    What will it take to let Bader go back to Memphis and figure out his swing as late inning defense and spot starts are not helping his growth? Munoz/Edman/O'neill and Fowler can cover CF. This change has to be made.
    A transaction. That's it. Ozuna's return may prompt this move. The Cardinals have discussed it in the past month as an option for Bader, and one that they may explore when they have to make a decision on the outfield and the active roster.
    You've opined (correctly) that the Cardinals whiffed badly on Max Scherzer. Gerrit Cole checks a lot of the same boxes as Scherzer does and will be on the FA market this offseason. He'll be highly sought after, but it sure seems as though Cole represents a mulligan for the front office. Am I reading into this correctly?
    Agree entirely. Has to be a conversation the Cardinals explore this winter. For sure.
    When Grichuk and Wong were struggling badly, they got to Memphis to find their swings. What's taking so long with Bader?
    Injuries to other players. Ozuna's injury came at a time when the Cardinals didn't have the extra outfielder and needed one for the bench. That's the reason. Numbers game.
    Given the state of the Cardinals today...their 3rd baseball is 0 - 16 in AA balls, their Center Fielder cannot hit, their pitching is struggling can a single trade fix all that is struggling? Certainly, no one wants to take ownership and admit that mistakes were made and the present roster with the IL members is no where near a playoff team.
    They're tied for first place. Seriously. As of today, they're in the playoffs. Why give them an out? They've won 12 of 17. They've played better with some of the better players injured. And you want to give them ... an out? Nope. Sorry. They're in first place today. Act like first-place team. And their center fielder, today, is Dexter Fowler. Just FYI.
    Hi Derrick; what can Cards fans reasonably expect if FO picks up a starter on a 1-10 scale with 1=Tyson Ross> 10=Noah Syndergaard?
    No clue. It has been really tricky for reporters and for teams to figure out the level it takes to move a team into a sell mode. What kind of return they must get? That is gaining clarity with each passing moment we get closer to the deadline, but as of today the asking prices are still significant. The urgency is definitely on the side of the shoppers, not the sellers. And that can cause a market to move slowly. It is definitely a sellers market, and it got more so yesterday when the Mets removed one piece from the board (Stroman) and they control two others (Wheeler, Thor). I know, I know, I know it's not super-dramatic to say this, but it's true: It takes two teams to make a trade, and until the Cardinals can Jedi mind trick their way into a deal they won't have control of it. They didn't with Goldschmidt. They didn't with Ozuna. They won't with Starter X. But they do intend to aim for 10, and whether they get a 10 or have to scramble for 1 will be decided by the market and the price demanded for a 10.
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