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. After a week to sneak away and try to steal some days off, I'm back at the keyboard, back on the phone, and back in the chatter's box. There is a stockpile of questions awaiting me so enough prelude let's get to work.
  • Are Wacha and J. Martinez rumors indicate just that the marlins are interested in those players or they may already be included in an agreed upon trade proposal?
  • Jose Martinez is a player that is of interest to the Marlins. I mentioned him in the morning update/roundup that appeared here in Here's a little peek behind the curtain about different ways reporting is done: I've heard Michael Wacha's name come up as someone that the Cardinals would be willing to offer in a trade. That's it. What I have not been able to verify is whether the Marlins are interested, and that to me is where news is made. The Cardinals can offer all sorts of names from their roster, but if the Marlins aren't interested -- and we know they are interested in a top pitching prospect, and now there is a connection with Jose Martinez -- then it isn't much to go on.
  • DG, As always, thanks for the chat. In your article this morning, you made a comment about putting a value on Stantons production. Can you explain how that value is determined?
  • Sure. The Cardinals -- or any team for that matter -- have an internal way to determine future production. It's how they evaluate all players. The Cardinals will run their calculus on future production based on past production and trends and aging and all that stuff, and then it will spit on the predicted future production -- or a confidence interval (think of it as the meat of the bell curve), and then that production can be affixed with a price tag in the current market. FanGraphs does something similar with its value assessment of production. So if the Cardinals expect Stanton to go out and have a series of four consecutive MVP-type years worth, say, $35 million on the market place, and then have that dip in later years to $15 million in that final year, they come up with a total value -- and that's the number I'm talking about.
  • 2 questions:
    What are the chances the cardinals could get Juan Nicasio and Alex Colome?
    If they don’t get Stanton how about moving Dejong to third and getting zack cozart for SS and Yelich or Ozuna for right field?
  • The Cardinals and Nicasio had talks about an extension before he became a free agent; when he became a free agent they both decided to see what else was out there and the Cardinals have made advances on other options. There was a perception headed into Thanksgiving that the Cardinals had momentum with Reed. As for Yelich or Ozuna --- of course! That's part of this whole thing. Any conversation with the Marlins is a conversation that could yield the bat for the Cardinals. That's it. That's been true all along. That's why you've read here and elsewhere why the Cardinals want to stay involved with the Marlins when it comes to trades. If it's not Stanton, it could be Yelich. And that still is a possibility. Heck, they would already have a good feel for what would be involved in that deal. Was just joking around that the Marlins could come out and say OK Stanton approved deal to Giants, but hey we also made a deal with the Cardinals.

    As for Zack Cozart. The Cardinals believe they already have a Zack Cozart. His name is DeJong.

    If the Cardinals pivot away from the bat and go after a shortstop it will be a defensive whiz, one that would really put an emphasis on run prevention, and you would see DeJong move to third at that point.
  • Hi Derrick! Are we to expect action very soon?
    I skip the Stanton question and go with Diaz...can you explain the FO thinking here? Did STL get a legit prospect, or did they just get rid of a former All-Star now fallen out of grace?

    Thanks for the great coverage!
  • There are appears to be three motivating reasons for the move of Diaz to Toronto. OK, four. Well, no, let's go with five:

    1. Free up a roster spot.
    2. Free up a roster spot.
    3. Wasn't going to be involved in deal with Marlins, Rays, or others.
    4. Free up a roster spot.
    5. Outfield depth in minors.

    Action? Yes, it's picking up around baseball, and the Cardinals have long expected that if they could not get a jump on the market -- they didn't -- then they're going to have to act fast within the market, and there is going to be a lot of that as the winter meetings approach and so much talking is going to lead to completion of deals. I guess, to quote Larry David, it depends on what you mean by "soon." Is soon two days? Three days? Or is "soon" two minutes? Three hours? Soon, as in before the end of the winter meetings? Then yes, that's soon.
  • Is it Stanton or bust? In other words - is plan B the doubling down of defense and run prevention, or are there other moves for offense to be made in between Stanton and the pivot to defense?
  • It is not nor has it ever been Stanton or bust.
  • I knew we’d be selling low, but I had not realized that Aledmys Diaz’s trade value had fallen so low. I had hoped Diaz could be a good back up middle infielder as a bounce back candidate or a smaller part of a trade package for a reliever or other asset. Why did the Cardinals trade him for a single A OF ranked 28th in the Jays system? Like…why even bother?
  • Have to agree with your view. I would have bet on Diaz's bounce back. We're clearly not running teams.
  • When do the Marlins/Cardinals lose patience in waiting for Stanton to make a decision? I've read your reporting that the conversations the Cardinals and Marlins have set up the foundation for a deal involving Ozuna or Yelich. How long before they move to that if Stanton doesn't want to play for St. Louis? Winter Meetings?
  • Derrick, Great articles from the PD today about Stanton, but was wondering if you could comment on on item I’ve yet to hear anyone talk about:
    It seems like there is talk that the opt out year could be moved up, but I’m wondering if the Cardinals would be willing to restructure the money. It seems like a Win/Win to front load prior to the opt out as opposed to how contract is structured now. Is this posssible? Do you think cardinals have explored? Seems like that could help their case. Thanks, as always!
  • That is a possibility. I just haven't heard that as a wish, on either side. The Cardinals went into their pursuit of Stanton -- and this goes back to the trade deadline, really -- believing that the contract was structured to give him every reason NOT TO USE the opt-out. That it would be in his best interest to stay and that any offer should be tailored to expect him to stick around for 10 years. That has somewhat changed because of the opt-out trial period theory. In a sense, if Stanton wants to be a Dodger or an Angel or a Padre or a Yankee or whatever, that he could get free from Miami for three years, go to this new team, and then opt out after Harper, Machado, Kershaw and, yes, Trout have inflated the market and go where he chooses to go as he enters his 30s. That's possible. Now, moving the opt-out up a year would be akin to shortening that trial period. Stanton would have a two lease-to-own, not a three-year lease-to-own. And that's what it would be. A lease to own.

    Rearranging the money to give him more upfront would, yes, increase his reasons for going, and I'm not sure what the motivation would be for a team other than they just want out from the out years of that deal.
  • Why are so many baseball contracts backloaded? For example, by some estimates, Giancarlo Stanton’s production over the last three years of his contract was worth about $100 million, while he was getting paid $30 million over that time. By the end of his contract, he’ll be getting paid a lot more each year than the value he produces (like Albert Pujols right now). Why do teams do this, or players want this? Why don’t they front load more so that when the player’s productivity goes down, his contract is also twilighting, so as not to cripple the team at the end of the deal with a highly paid albatross?
  • There are a few reasons for this. When it comes to the Marlins, they have backloaded contracts to telegraph trades. They did this with Reyes and with Buehrle, and at the same time they did not offer them no-trade clauses, because it was against team policy. So, the Marlins would have the lower salaries at the front end of the contract and then have motivation to move those players before the salary climbed. Another reason teams do this is simply inflation -- or betting on increased revenue. Stanton's deal is an example of this because it does mirror what you'd expect to happen for a team as inflation and increased revenue came in -- salaries rise and a $30 million future salary has a present day value of less than that. Also, Stanton's deal is structured that way to give him reasons to stay through the opt-out.

    The Cardinals, and a few other teams, have at times gone for the frontloaded contract because they're paying for the better production up front. One we've detailed in here before is Peralta's. Jhonny Peralta's deal was frontloaded for two reasons. First, it paid him the most when he was going to have the most responsibility on the team (shortstop, middle-order hitter), and it paid him the least as he moved off of shortstop to another position and the power possibly faded. Two, it made it possible for the Cardinals to trade him toward the end of the deal to a team that didn't want to take on a bulk contract or wanted to have a cost-conscious designated hitter.
  • Something other than a Stanton question. What is your assessment on Alydmis Diaz regression last summer. I still have a phot shot in my mind of his last defense attempt in his last game before being sent down. The camera caught his dazed look as he realized he botched getting over to grab the grounder.
  • I thought there was ample evidence that Aledmys Diaz was improving defensively. The metrics as he approached the demotion showed this. I'm not sure what happened at the plate. To me, it appeared as if he fell out of sync and then had so many voices on his shoulder telling him to do this, to do that, to do this more, to do that less, to do this again, to do that again, that he was awash in suggestions with no real solutions. The league adjusted to him. The league used his eagerness to swing against him. And from there it was like he didn't have an approach that he could really rely upon.
  • What do you think were the key selling points the Cards' top guys used to try to sway Stanton?
  • Chance to win. Crowd. History. Chance to win a championship. Minimal travel through year. Facilities in spring training. Spring training proximity to Miami. Future pitching staff. Talented farm system. Chance to win with that youth. Spring training where he already has spring training. Chance to win a ring. History. Rinse. Repeat.
  • I know you mentioned "a club could consider upping Stanton's opt out to 2018." But, do you believe that that was something the Cardinals did to differentiate themselves in the running for him?
  • I didn't say 2018. That would be next year. That be a one-year rental deal and it would cost a lot to get him already. I don't know if the Cardinals talked about that -- but that would severely curtail who the Cardinals were willing to offer to get him. He'd be a rental. And we'd just back in the same spot talking about the same thing and looking at the same options for the Cardinals 12 months from now in the chat.
  • If Stanton fall through and the Cards move on to Abreau, would Bader, Flaherty, Alcantara, and Knizner suffice?
  • I don't get the sense a) Abreu is the next stop for their shopping or b) that's the deal they'd offer.
  • Are the Cardinals interested in any of the prospects that the Braves lost?
  • Yep. A few of them, though pinning down the names beyond the obvious hasn't been readily available:

    Goold: Braves' punishment frees up 'phenom' prospect Cardinals could chase

    stltoday.comKevin Maitan, a switch-hitting infielder, has been scouted by the Cardinals since he was 13, and reportedly is now a free agent.
  • Can you sum the Diaz trade, and the Matt Adams free agency, as: the price of a fair to good batter,that can hit as many as twenty homers, but with limited fielding skills, and is going toward arbitration, is an average hitting Class A ballplayer? Is that also the result of expanded pitching rosters is thinning the bench players?
  • I think both are entirely fair ways to look at it. I've also heard that both deals show the value teams are placing on roster spots, keeping them open, and using them for young players who are, yes, cheaper and have more years of control. This is the cost of teams going younger and younger and churning through those "middle-aged" players who don't have a solid role, who don't have a multi-year contract, and who are stuck in the same spot that a zero-to-three player can fill.
  • After Stanton makes his decision where do we look if he goes somewhere else and if we do sign him do you see Cardinals making any more moves for offense.
  • Yes. They must make a move for offense. I'm always unsure how to answer this question because it seems like we go through the same list of names every chat and in almost every article in print, and when I point that out there this backlash that I'm not being helpful, or I'm being a jerk. There are dozens of questions in here about Plan B, and Plan B has been detailed so much that I'm not sure it does anyone any good to just rehash over and over again. Please advise what to do here.
  • Do you think that there is a chance Stanton just says "yes" to waiving his NTC to both STL and San Fran? If so, he comes here, right? Do you think it's a good chance he'll waive it for both?
  • That is certainly one scenario. The Cardinals have made the better offer. That is the perception of people I have heard from, people I have talked to, and other reporters who have tweeted such info.
  • Are the Cardinals holding up the hot stove? They apparently are waiting for word on Stanton before making any significant moves. I’m assuming agents and execs know the Cardinals could be majors players this off season so waiting for them to dive in before working deals out? Seems like a correlation to me
  • No, the Cardinals are not the only team "holding up the hot stove." Baseball is not a Redbirdcentric market, believe it or not.
  • St. Louis is a baseball town, Stanton would be THE guy if he came here, the Cards only missed the 2017 playoffs by a handful of games, he would pay less income tax in MO than CA . . . any other ideas of what Dewitt, Mo and Girsch may have mentioned to try and woo Stanton for his services?
  • All of those things and the farm system.
  • I know everyone wants Stanton (me too), do you get the sense from the front office if Stanton chooses elsewhere they will add two bats? I think we need a Marlins outfielder and if it's not Stanton, then Yelich/Ozuna plus Hosmer. Mo and company think this way at all?
  • I do not get the sense that they intend to pursue two bats unless they whiff on a series of the single bats that they have identified as possible trade/sign targets.
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