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 starting at 11 a.m. Monday.

    Salutations. Welcome to the Christmas Eve's eve Cardinals chat. Bring your good cheer and your questions. We've got some time this afternoon -- though I do have to ask for your patience at the front end. I have an assignment for tomorrow's paper and the Christmas morning paper that will take me away twice for interviews during the span of the chat and then require some deadline work later in the afternoon. We should get a good run here to start the holiday stretch, which has become somewhat of a slow time for baseball with a few teams even officially closing their offices for the weeks of Christmas and New Year's. But that won't stop the coverage or the conversation. Still have visions of a hitter dancing in your head? Resigned to a lump of coal in your stocking? Still swept up in the Simba Spirit? 
     
    On Donner, on Blitzen, on Cupid and Vixen, on Questions, on Criticisms, on Complaints and whatever has you Vexin' ...  
    Hi Derrick, Happy Holidays. Could you give us your analysis of the KK signing, from brilliant to solid to disaster and why? Appreciate your insight.
    Seems like a classic value play. We won't know if it's a disaster until he starts throwing pitches for them -- because it's an open question how his stuff will translate. There are of course good indicators. He doesn't walk many (some of that is the style of league). He has excellent, smooth, repeatable deliver. Clear athleticism -- and we all know how much the Cardinals prioritize that when it comes to finding/developing/acquiring pitchers. He has a plus slider. Now, if he's just a two-pitch pitcher then his durability and ability to handle innings may not have as much value because he won't see that third time through the lineup, or may be moved over to the bullpen for that reason alone. That's where the value comes in. While some of the pitchers the Cardinals were interested in wanted to only start and didn't want to sign without the promise of starting, Kim was open to either starting or relieving because his goal was to be in the majors. He got that promise, not a promised role.
    Has the lack of open roster spots on the 40-man roster affected the Cardinals' stance in free agency, and if/when they sign another free agent who could be the next man up (to be DFA and/or traded)?
    Somewhat. It gives them a baseline of where they want to go with that spot. For example, they haven't signed a veteran catcher to a major-league deal yet because a) they can wait, b) their preferred options (Wieters) hasn't signed yet, and c) they have a full roster and would prefer not to have to give away another player from it. This is why the Cardinals have spent so much time trying to make a trade from the 40-man roster that would package outfielders for one move, or to acquire a player that doesn't need to be on the 40-man roster. The Cardinals designating Garcia for assignment was seen by some as a dual-pronged move -- it cleared a spot for Kim and it forced the trade conversations to take on some urgency so the Cardinals could see who was really interested in him, not just kinda sorta maybe someday interested. That happened. The Rangers jumped the line to get ahead of Miami, etc., by trading for him.
    What was your take on the Garcia trade with the Rangers? Are you surprised there wasn't more interest from other teams? Did the "juiced" balls last year hurt his perception as a power hitter?
    I have been somewhat surprised that the Cardinals have not been able to move one or two of their outfielders for greater returns. It could be that they want too much -- or that they want a specific return. It's not always easy to trade players on the 40-man roster because the team getting that player has to keep him on the 40-man like the Cardinals do. They'll lose the flexibility in come cases that the Cardinals are trying to gain. That said, the Cardinals and Rangers clearly matched up, and we spoke about it I believe in the chat, certainly we had it in print. The Cardinals and Rangers spoke about how to swap outfielders. Mazara moved to the Sox. The Cardinals were not keen on the cost of Mazara and fewer years of control than they would be trading, but that was the kind of deal the Cardinals at least explored. 
     
    And, yes, the baseballs at Class AAA have skewed the view of hitters there -- and that's true with the perception of the Cardinals outfielders, internally and externally.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!! Are you surprised Marcell has not signed on somewhere? Any feeling as to his still preferring to resign with the Cardinals and that may be why he has not singed on else where yet?
    I am not at all surprised. One big major huge reason: Castellanos hasn't signed either. The two are linked. Some of the same teams are interested in signing one of the players, not both, and so that is going to influence how they negotiate. They are represented by different agents trying to play off the market to improve the offers. If Castellanos signs first then Ozuna not only has a baseline for what to try and meet, but he also has one fewer team shopping so the demand could go up for the other teams. Or, the opposite would be the case for Castellanos. It's a staring contest at this point, and that doesn't surprise me at all. 
     
    From talking with people who know Ozuna, he has not backed off his preference to re-sign with the Cardinals. I have been told he was intrigued by the idea of going to Cincinnati and the damage he could do at that ballpark. The Cardinals are in the talks until he signs elsewhere or they are told it's not working out. That's pretty common. The Cardinals don't want to be the one that closes the door. They'll let Ozuna do that, but I wouldn't call them aggressive with their offer, not when it comes to the length of the deal they're interested in doing with Ozuna.
    Cards need to get the deal done for Nolan Arenado...NOW
    That would certainly make for a lively chat. Actually, no, it wouldn't. If they did it now, we'd cancel the chat because there would be some writing to do. Are you really telling me you'd rather have Arenado than a Christmas week Cardinals chat?
    More than none, for sure. According to reports in Denver and sources I've talked with outside of the Cardinals organization, the Rockies are entertaining the idea of trading him. That seems to suggest a pivot for the Rockies or an openness on Arenado's end to relax his no-trade clause. That's interesting. It's a crowd group of available players at the hot corner. That's for sure. Of the group, the one -- the one, the only one -- at this point that seems to interest the Cardinals is Arenado. But at the price? It would be like paying him free-agent dollars and spending talent to do so, for the promise of only two years.
    Have the cards had any luck in trading some of their OF?
    They recently traded Adolis Garcia to the Texas Rangers for cash.
    These chats are good but Arenado is a difference maker, just sayin
    So these chats aren't a difference-maker? Sounds like a New Year's goal to me.
  • It seems odd or peculiar how the FO views some batters that are prone to high strike out totals and are allowed to take up a roster spot while other high strike out guys are dismissed as unworthy, (to retain a 40 man spot or to be signed to take up a spot on the 40 man roster.) Wisdom or Garcia versus Joc Pederson.
    Well, we can start with Joc Pederson isn't a Cardinal. So I'm not sure how to connect the dots here, but I'll try. Yes, high strikeout rates definitely inform some of the decisions the Cardinals make when it comes to acquiring players or removing from the roster. That's not unusual. Part of the Garcia move was definitely to spur trade talks for him, and the Cardinal had to know there were teams interested. The Rangers were one, based on previous conversations with them, it seems. As mentioned earlier the DFA move put a clock on such trades, and that would spur the offers, get the talks going toward completion and did. Now, we can debate whether the Cardinals got enough for him. That's entirely fair as a criticism. But they were in a spot to get something now or nothing as he skated off to the first team to claim him. Again, I'm not sure how Pederson enters the picture here. He's a lefthanded bat. He's an outfielder. He was at least part of some trade talks somewhere, according to reports. And he's got some remarkable platoon splits. To my knowledge, the Cardinals never dismissed him because of his strikeout rate, per se. When I asked around, the review I got was that he would start against righthanded pitchers for sure, and that the Cardinals were interested in trying to find an everyday certainty in the outfield. They already have enough players to put together a committee of outfielders. And also it would take a trade to get Pederson. The cost would be a consideration, and what that cost would be for a most-days player. It wasn't like the Cardinals were going to get Pederson for cash considerations.
    Merry Christmas! Any chance the Cards, or MLB will ever change batting practice so the home team is last? I take my son to games, but I miss the BP experiences I had as a kid!
    Great question. I've heard this come up every so often -- and I've never really understood why it's been dismissed. There is, however, a trend in baseball for teams to not hold batting practice at home all that often at all. As workload management takes front stage with teams they have reduced the time players are on the field before games, bringing that work down into the cages, into the controlled environment there, or having some players skip those on-field swings altogether. It might be something to do in September, when there are plenty of young, bench players around sure to take their swings. But I've been at the ballpark more and more in recent seasons when people have BP passes for before the game and get on the field to find no one taking BP at all. There are some relievers warming up. That's about it.
    Outside of Waino and Yadi who do you think are the Cardinals leaders in the clubhouse? If both are gone next year who are the guys everyone is turning to during a slump?
    The most veteran players aren't always the leaders on a team, so let's keep that in mind. The players who speak the best in front of a camera or come across as a leader when the red light is on aren't always the actual leaders in the clubhouse. Sometimes it's the exact opposite. Adam Wainwright clearly sets the tone for the rotation, and he has been a leader whether he's pitching or sidelined, and that last part is not easy to do. Flaherty and Hudson have been drawn to Wainwright in the same way he was drawn to Carpenter, and there are obvious parallels. According to his peers, Michael Wacha does not get enough credit for what he was doing as a leader the past few years with some of the young pitchers. Molina sets the tone for the players who gravitate toward him -- especially Latin players and catchers. And when he chooses to speak up in the clubhouse, you can bet it gets attention in all corners -- if that's the kind of leadership you're talking about. Dexter Fowler has helped some of the younger players who were looking for ways to fit into the clubhouse culture, to maintain their personality in that atmosphere. More quietly, Paul Goldschmidt does all of that same stuff, player to player and out of sight, often in the cage. I had a few relievers tell me stories about how Goldschmidt has helped them, or given them an example to follow that you might also consider leadership. In a vote of players for who embodied the example set by Darryl Kile and provided leadership on and off the field for his peers, Goldschmidt won the Kile Award for 2019. If both Wainwright and Molina are gone, then Goldschmidt and Flaherty and Hudson are still around. Don't discount Wong's role either.
    When is Bryant’s service time supposed to be resolved?
    Any day now. I've not heard any official timetable at all. It lingers and lingers.
    Hello Sir! Merry Christmas!Could you please comment on the following:* Have the Cardinals officially presented an offer for Francisco Lindor?* Since this team isn't likely to spend much money, which OF is likely to be used as trade bait? * Should the Cardinals consider signing Corey Dickerson? He can hit with high BA and OBP. His defense is also excellent. He's not going to hit more HR than Ozuna, but he's a talented and underrated player that would definitely help this team. 2 years at $8-10 million/yr?
  • 1) Not to the best of my knowledge. But don't take that as they didn't make a phone call. Cleveland wants top prospects for their top player. Period. So, you know where that conversation would be with the Cardinals. It would be Carlson. It would be Carlson. It would be Carlson again, and then maybe Gorman or Hudson or all of them. It would be a lot. So ...
     
    2) You bet. Would make a lot of sense. They've had that pointed out them. They're at least considering Dickerson. A good fit that is still available, if they're comfortable with his health and his asking price. Not sure what that would be, but he's going to want to reestablish his value and reach the market again in short order. Playing time will be a huge part of his decision. 
    Derrick, would MLB ever allow the league(s) to drop below 30 teams (i.e. would they some how try to prop up a couple of struggling teams to keep them from folding)?
    Back in 2001 there was a vote, 28-2, to fold two teams. The two owners that voted against the move were from Montreal and Minnesota. This was met with considerable criticism, and as you can see the Twins weren't shuttered, and neither were the Marlins (who won a World Series two years later) or the Rays or the A's, for that matter. Business is good. There are new ballparks almost everywhere but Tampa and Oakland, and there are cities hungry for those teams if they don't get the deals they want. I think we might have a different view of "struggling." Baseball, according to a report yesterday, generated more than $10 billion in revenue, and it's doing OK as an industry, as a whole, and that includes even some of the smaller teams that do need new ballparks, but don't need to be contracted.
    30,000 ft view. Aren't the optics of the 1 and 2 year deals (blocking "ability" to engage bigger free agent fish), getting through last couple of years on Fowler and MCarp, big league auditioning young players the equivalent to a "rebuild"?

    A year to showcase prospects and evaluate young talent, see what fits, elder contracts coming off the books, while playing what appears a really bad division as a cloak to "competitive" promise.
    It's kind of what they did with pitching this past year. See what happened with Hudson, Flaherty, Gallegos, and to a lesser extent Cabrera, Helsley, and Fernandez and see where they all fit together. Was that a rebuild? I mean they purposefully didn't splash cash on outside pitching to see what they had internally, try out prospects, give innings to young players, and try to contend that way. If it was a rebuild, then they did an awful job at it because they went and won the division and cost themselves a better draft pick. The Cardinals aren't spending like a rebuild, that's for sure. Re-signing Goldschmidt and Carpenter would be an odd way to start a rebuild, even a secret one. They aren't peeling off players to trade to help a rebuild (and they could with, say, Miller for example).
     
    This is a very clumsy rebuild if that's what it is. If they're not careful and they continue doing what they're doing right now they might accidentally be competitive and win the division. I don't think they're the evil geniuses that you imply.
     
    The Cards couldn't get more for their outfielders because teams don't seem to think their that great. Cards overestimate the overall major league quality. That's why they need to trade Bader, O'Neill and possibly others with major league experience
    Well, that's not true. I spoke with a scout for another team that raved about Adolis Garcia. Another scout suggested that O'Neill was a change-of-scenery candidate because he'd like to see him get playing time that the Cardinals seemed reluctant to get him. Compared him to other K-prone sluggers that needed commitment from a team, like Gallo, etc. I spoke with an executive with another team a few weeks ago who wondered why the Cardinals traded Pham, were looking to trade Garcia, and what they DIDN'T see in their own players that other teams did. I don't think there's a blanket here that you can throw over the Cardinals to say they overvalue their prospects anymore than 28 or 29 other teams value their own prospects, and as with anything it depends on the individual. The trick is finding the team that likes a prospect more than your team does, and then make that deal on their hope for the player.
    Keuchel 3 yrs.-$55M … Ryu 4 yrs.-$80M … Kim 2 yrs.-$8M … I am taking it that Low Hanging Fruit, doubling down on "The Discipline" and forever repeating the mantra "The System will provide … The System will provide … " will be the rule of the day at 700 Clark St. until … ticket sales dip below 3M … maybe even 2.8M...
    I believe that when I see it. That would be a message they couldn't ignore.
  • Looking over the current 40 man roster and these are the OFs listed: Bader, Fowler, O'Neil, Carlson, Thomas, Jose Martinez, Arozarena, and Justin Williams (as well as Edman if Carp starts at 3rd).

    Justin Williams feels like a guy who has the least likely chance to get playing time. What do the Cardinals do with a player like him? He actually had decent stats in Memphis last year ,although with a small sample size. Does he hold any value or does his current status on the 40 man roster make him really hard to trade?
    He starts every day in Class AAA Memphis. He's got two more option years to use. He's not on the clock for a needed promotion. And he can benefit from getting the time to play every day. Had a strong finish to a year that began with a disappointing choice he made and an injury. That set him back. But he asserted himself on the roster and in the depth chart and there's nothing wrong with talent playing in Memphis -- attracting attention from the Cardinals or building interest that will help the Cardinals at the trade deadline.
    I'm not saying Joc P. is the answer for the outfield, but I still don't understand why the front office is averse to getting a potent LH bat--even if he never plays against LH pitching. "Everyday" players are less and less common, anyway. So, what's the real problem with trading for a guy who could still play 70% of the time. Wouldn't that be pretty ideal when coupled with some rookie RH outfield bats to play a day or two a week against LH pitchers?
    Clearly it's the asking price. I'm not sure how else to say it. It would be pretty ideal, but two things are really unclear publicly at this point -- how eager the Dodgers were to trade him, and what the Dodgers were demanding in return. You'll notice a trade hasn't happened yet, so both of those things are very very very much in question. I have been able to get some clarity on this from the Cardinals point of view and I'll reiterate that they didn't see him as the everyday player they would prefer to get. What that tells us is the asking price was such that the Cardinals felt they could get an everyday player for the same, or for less.
    Is converting Gallegos to a starter ever a possibility, if he can add a 3rd pitch to the arsenal? Thanks!
    I guess it could be. It hasn't come up as a plan, no. He's good in the role he has, and the Cardinals are open to the notion that he could get compete to close at the start of 2020.
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