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 at 10 a.m. Monday in a live chat.

    Salutations. The questions are already rolling in for the weekly Cardinals chat -- the weekly test of whether I remember how to pull off those in-class essays from the Humanities Sequence at Mizzou. Got a fresh cup of coffee. Some music on for ambiance. And my keyboard is ready for a bruising. We'll go through the lunch period, and likely cut the chat off in mid afternoon so I can pivot to a Thanksgiving Day story I'm working on for that day's paper, and yes it will be online as well, if I pull it off. Enough prelude. On to your questions ...
    Better to trade from surplus of outfielders now or wait til spring training?
    Either. It depends on what you, as a team, want accomplish. By trading at this moment, you are trading on what teams see as the player's potential. Every time a player players he brings more information and more clarity to that potential -- good or bad. So, if you want to have your pick of the best performers from spring training and then move the other players who don't fit, then realize you won't be trading from strength. The other teams will know your choice, know the production, and try to pay low on the outfielder bumped from your roster. And that's fine, but know the ask will be different. In both situations you'd be betting on your ability to evaluate production (recent, potential) better than the opposition, and that is just greater at this time of year. If the Cardinals trade from their depth now they'll be saying they can get a return now that is greater -- and they can keep the player they think has the bigger upside (or comparable upside).They'd be betting even more on their evaluation process. And the ask could be higher. In summary: It depends on what you think is your strength -- and what you want to accomplish -- a greater return or a greater probability of successful evaluation.
    Do you think a lifetime ban is in play for some of the coaches and front office staff involved in the Astros scandal? I personally think it should be.

    What other penalties do you think could be handed out that would truly deter this type of cheating?
    Given precedent it's hard not to see how that isn't on the table. A refresher: Chris Correa was not banned from baseball because of the actions that put him in Federal prison. That's important, and it's newly important for the Astros. Sorry, been trying to find the exact language on the press release. I'll find it here, ASAP. Anyway, Correa was banned from baseball for not cooperating with the investigation. This was brought up again when Correa made a statement to me and other news outlets that further alleged that the Astros had aped the Cardinals' algorithms/data and that's what he was trying to unearth, though he acknowledges that he did so illegally. It is possible that if some members of the Astros executive tree do not cooperate with the investigation and the commissioner has proof why, he can use this power. I've been told often that the commissioner has "broad power" when it comes leveling punishments against member clubs and executives.
    The statement from the commissioner at the time of his decision with the Cardinals and their punishment -- January 2017 -- was that Correa declined to answer any questions from MLB after his sentencing, and for his lack of cooperation he was placed on the permanently ineligible list. In subsequent months, Manfred said in interviews and in statements that if Correa wanted to speak to MLB, the commissioner's office was open to discussing any evidence he had and that the commissioner would consider removing his name from the banned list. Thanks for your patience.
    Woodford had a solid year last year, and many thought he would be brought up in Sept..? Had some of us scratching our heads as to why not... Do you think he will get a shot this year?
    It helps that he's on the 40-man. That was the biggest thing holding him back this past season -- that pesky 40-man roster. To protect him from the Rule 5 draft, the Cardinals had to add him this past winter. Why not do it in September? Fair point. They elected to not add to his innings and, the bigger part, they gave that spot on the roster to Mike Mayers as a power reliever. That was their choice as far as use and what would help the team more. Woodford would get experience by being around, but there weren't many innings available for him, and the Cardinals wanted to use the roster spot for someone who would help -- or who had a clear role for Mike Shildt and Mike Maddux. Now Woodford is on. Woodford will be part of the competition in spring training to position himself as the de facto No. 6 starter. He'll get big-league innings in Florida. He'll even probably get a start or two in Grapefruit League play. He has fans in the organization, in high places, and that will help.
    Is there a deadline after which Ozuna is gone, or do we just have to wait for someone to sign him? Do we get anything like right of last refusal?
    Nope. Those deadlines have been dropped. He's a free agent now -- free for anyone to offer a deal to. The only thing that has expired is the Cardinals' one-year offer. They are no long beholden to it, so if he doesn't find what he wants he cannot return to the safe harbor of one-year, $17.8-million. The Cardinals do not have any rights when it comes to last or first refusal, either. They can only tip their cap and thank the team for the draft pick when he signs with another team.
    (It used to be that teams that did not get the draft pick-comp players, the Types A and B, that they could not sign their players until later in the winter if they did not get a deal done by a deadline. That has long been ditched, along with the Types A and B free agents. Now there is just the qualifying offer, the comp pick, and the open market.)
    Derrick, a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Regarding the Cards 2020 bench, my crystal ball is showing me J. Martinez, Knizner, Edman, Sosa and the odd man out after the spring training outfield free for all. I actually could live with that quintet. What say ye, my good man?
    I like that you have Sosa on there. That would be huge for the Cardinals if they can get him on there and use him every so often. Good winter for him so far, based on what scouts/coaches are saying. He can play shortstop, and if they'll use him give DeJong some welcome days off. Even more if Edman has spot duties as the lefthanded hitter there, like, say, Aaron Miles did more than a decade ago. 
    I'll offer one thought on this: Don't put Knizner in ink as Molina's backup. The Cardinals remain in contact with Matt Wieters about a reunion, and the Cardinals are OK with with Knizner spending time this season at Class AAA to specifically work on his play behind the plate. They see his bat as ready for the main stage, but there's a sense that he could benefit from innings, innings, innings behind the plate and not sitting, sitting, sitting watching innings in the majors. 
    Starling Marte, David Perralta, Lourdes Gurriell, Joc Pedersen,

    Who's the best fit for a trade.

    Who has the most trade value among Bader and O'Neill,

    then seperately DeYoung and Wong

    Of that group? I'd go Marte for sure, because he's the right blend of actually available and actually of interest and actually plays a position well of use. The others -- not so sure. Lourdes Gurriel is interesting, for sure. Saw him as a young man in Cuba many years ago, and the Cardinals scouted the family and had some interest in him -- though not nearly as much as they had in Robert or Victor Victor Mesa. I'm a little skeptical of why the Jays would want to make that trade, and what they would ask in return as far as a starting pitcher goes. Joc Pederson would be fine. Fine. Just fine. Again, pretty sure the Cardinals could aim higher, and even if they didn't they'd have to take into account how the Dodgers used Pederson and the importance of having a complement for him. Peralta? Haven't heard much there. He's a former Cardinal. A reunion would be a fun story to write -- leaves a pitcher, returns their option in the outfield. Just don't get the sense that's one I should be prepping for ...
    The Cardinals are saying that they can’t add an outfielder from the outside because they have to sort through the six outfielders on their 49 man roster who haven’t gotten enough playing time to judge them. In the next breath, they are saying that Fowler and Bader are going into Spring Training as starters. My question: how many outfielders can they get a read on in 2020. What is realistic? Of course, if a player has Albert. Puhols’ ’ rookie year it doesn’t take much, but what if they are so-so? How much of a look-see to find out if they adjust to the league after a bit?
    The Cardinals are definitely NOT saying that. At least not to me. Cardinals executives have told me, in their own words, that they would consider packaging a few outfielders in order to get ONE answer in the outfield from the outside. They would welcome that clarity, they would welcome that kind of impact, and they would like to see if that deal is out there. It hasn't been so far, and they didn't see momentum building for one coming out of the GM meetings a few weeks ago. So, no, they are NOT saying that they can't add an outfielder from the outside. They are saying they would be open to it, if the deal presented itself that answered their need out there. 
    Until it does -- or if it doesn't -- then they're going to sort through their options by giving the young players they have the playing time to prove themselves.
    They can get a read on however many they need. Harrison Bader has pretty much a full season in the majors to tell them the kind of player he is. Another month, another two months and is he going to change their mind or affirm their impression? Tyler O'Neill is in the same spot. Cardinals feel they have a good read on Lane Thomas and he can validate their opinion with a strong start/good several months. Randy Arozarena has hit at every level and that's a tailwind that could help him if he starts well, plays well in spring, and moves on to seize playing time. They'll have ample opportunity to give these outfielders a look, and then watch Dylan Carlson storm his way to the majors, either by starting in Class AAA or breaking camp with them after a thunderous spring while others struggle ... I wouldn't worry about them making a rash decision based on a few at-bats. There are plenty available. And they have to make the call at that some point. They've kicked the can down the road plenty.
    In my lifetime I’ve seen Joe Torre go from catcher to 3B, Shannon from OF to 3B and Johnny Bench among others from catcher to 3B. I was hoping the Cards would send Lane Thomas or another young outfielder to winter ball to learn 3B and ST to give him more work there. He has a cannon arm, great speed and I believe he played some 3B previously. I’d like to know your opinion on the Cards being creative with this glut of young outfielders. I mean, all they have to do is be better than MCarp.
  • I'm definitely not the guy to ask about this. I have too much respect for the demands of third base, and was in the camp of trying to tell people that moving from LF to first base was not some defensive given. First base is hard. Ask Jose Martinez. And making that shift from LF to 1B is not as easy to do as it is to type. The examples you offer are all working the other direction on the defensive spectrum. What's that? Well it's a continuum that show how the defensively demands increase from position to position, and it's helpful when it comes to discussing position shifts.
    It goes
    I would argue that it should go
    And you could even suggest it goes
    what with the shifts of the day and everything.
    Either way, the idea is that as you move left to right the demands grow and thus the players proficiency in the field should increase. Most players, as they mature or age or see their skills erode move right to left on the spectrum. During the World Series, Houston manager A.J. Hinch described how Yuli Gurriel wanted to stay at third base because he worried that a move to 1B was one step closer to DH and becoming a DH was one step closer "to going home" and not playing. Think about the players you've seen through the years and the moves they moved. Fowler from CF to corner. David Freese from 3B-1B. Alex Rodriguez from SS-3B-1B. And so on. The examples you gave were C-3B (Torre and Bench), and that's a common one. Shannon (OF to LF) and Skip Schumaker (CF-2B, except in my argument) are the outliers. Keep that in mind when you're talking about just moving guys around based on arm strength. Third base ain't easy. 
    Like, I said, I'm the wrong guy to ask about this.
    Hi DG thanks for chats I think the Cards need one more starter via free agency maybe Kuechel and then explore trading Carlos Martinez for a LH hitting outfielder it’s too risky expecting the current OF to post the offense needed, your thoughts?
    If they could pull that off, that might make them better. They wouldn't have a clear closer at that point. There's no harm in keeping Martinez because just any old lefthanded hitter won't help them. An impact one would, and there's not one leaping off the page at this point that the Cardinals could get for Martinez. I don't see the OF situation as risky for a contender as I do see the rotation in need of a sturdy starter if they're going to retain their stance atop the division.
    Daric Barton, Chris Lambert, Mark McCormack, Tyler Greene, Clayhton Mortensen, Brett Wallace, Tyrell Jenkins, Pete Kozma, Seth Blair, Zack Cox, Mark Appel, Derek Fischer, Brady Aiken, Daz Cameron, Kyle Tucker.... lots of nonproductive first round picks by Jeff Luhnow.
    But, but, but, but, but, but ... He solved the draft!
    In all fairness, please give credit where credit is due: Pete Kozma was a starting shortstop for a contender in the majors. That's not too shabby. Cox got the Cardinals Mujica, and he was an All-Star as a closer for a contending team. That's huge. And, oh, hey Wallace as the centerpiece of a deal that got Matt Holliday. Mortensen was also in that deal, and it was important that the A's get two draft picks because that's how trade calculus worked back then. Holliday was really good for years with the Cardinals, and he attempted to make that tricky transition from LF to 1B, to boot! Those are productive first-round picks because of what the Cardinals turned them into.
    Derek, I think it was last week you said, Carlson is best hitter to come along for the Cards since Tavares, but not as much power. If I got that right, what former Cardinal can you compare him to? Keith Hernandez?
    Not as much natural power. That's all. Carlson did almost pull off a 20-20 season, and he has the doubles that are going to become power as he matures. In that regard, he's like Yelich, candidly. Power will come as he gets older. I don't want you to think that I meant he didn't have any power. Just not the same kind of natural power that Taveras' clearly had. I'm having a hard time seeing Hernandez and Carlson as similar at all. Could be that they're too far removed from each other, or I'm just not wise enough in the ways of comps to pull that one off. He's got a David Dahl look to him. Dahl's stats through age 25 compare well to Matt Holliday. Different hitters. Way different. But we're talking production here. If you want to draw on some player from a bit more distance then go with Shawn Green. A switch-hitting Shawn Green.
    Hi,can you tell me what the cardinals are doing standing pat or are they looking at any certain players thanks
    They are wading through the market just like every team. Their plan is not to stand pat. Their preference is to make a move or several of some point. The offseason isn't really revving into gear, and really won't until after Thanksgiving. That's become the norm. Teams spend the past few weeks trying to make trades and explore deals in regards to clearing spots on the 40-man roster or trading prospects before they have to protect them in the Rule 5 draft. Better to get a return now than wait and lose them for little later. So, that's been the big focus. Now there's the holiday. And then there's the ramp up to the winter meetings. Major League Baseball wants more action at the winter meetings. They need Boras to comply. Good luck with that. The Cardinals are not in a position where they are chasing a move. I hear that over and over -- from other teams, from agents, and from the Cardinals themselves. They're lurking. They're waiting. Or, as one agent said, they want to see what falls in their lap, and given the amount of pitchers available this winter, they might be right to do that.
  • Since Edman had 35 XBH in essentially half a season while Goldy had 60 and Ozuna 53 in a full season, why wouldn’t Edman profile as a high average option with pop batting 3rd while Goldy slides to cleanup?
    Because one season is a good start, not a finished product. That would be one reason. At some point you do have to look at the player's body of work as well, and while Edman had a rip-roaring season as a rookie for sure, he doesn't have the career that Goldschmidt has, or that Matt Carpenter has, for that matter. He's trending up for sure, but I'd be real hesitant to say you definitively know him as a player just yet.
    Happy thanksgiving , are the cardinals looking to resign marcel or goingi inside the organization
    They're open to re-signing Ozuna. I wouldn't call them aggressive at this point. They're more on the outside of those talks, looking in, watching them move, and knowing that the agent will come back to them for a final offer if necessary. The Reds appear more aggressive at this point, and the Cardinals are happy to get the draft pick.
    They have advertised how they're comfortable sticking with what they have in the outfield, but they're looking at other options, via trade. Maybe a free agent here or there.
    Been Fred’s article about how they traded a 30 homerun hitter Grichuk and got essentially nothing is a microcosm of the front offices performance over the last few years.It’s very poor and can’t believe they were re-contracted for continuity. Any opinion?
    None really. The trades that haven't worked and the free-agent signings that were a bust are well chronicled, and there probably isn't any room for debate. Just the usual information about the background here: The ownership isn't going to cherry-pick like this when it comes to making their commitment to a front office. And they're not judging solely on transactions and trades. That's the easiest thing for all of us because it's what we see most readily. We see how the free-agent deal for Cecil didn't work, and that Fowler struggled in the middle of his free-agent deal, and that the trade for Grichuk didn't work, and the trade with Mercado looks weird, and on and on. Ownership has the global view -- at least that is what DeWitt tells me over and over as he describes his commitment to the front office. He likes the entire organization that has been created by Mozeliak, specifically, and his executive group. He's talking about the development, led by Gary LaRocque, and the draft acquisitions, and how those two things have made it possible to do deals for Ozuna and deals for Goldschmidt and still be in position to make a trade again a few months later. They are not barren in the minors, and when you look around the division you see how tricky that is to pull off. The Cubs are. The Brewers are thinned. The Reds had to lose and lose and lose some more to fortify their organization. The Pirates are a mess. The Cardinals have depth, and ownership really really values that -- and I get why fans don't. Because depth doesn't win the division. Gorman didn't help the Cardinals win a World Series in 2019. Would Grichuk have? Maybe. He would have helped the offense as the center fielder, for sure. The scales that ownership is using is different. Now, you can argue away on whether they're using the right scales or if you care about those scales, but that's what they're doing, and I only offer this up as an explanation. That's all.
    I'll add this part: What the Cardinals really should be worried about is how much regression they've seen from their acquisitions. When was the last time they got a player in and that player performed ... better, performed up to expectations? Mikolas is one, for sure. Goldschmidt probably will be. Ozuna wasn't. Cecil wasn't. Fowler hasn't been. Miller could still be. Leone wasn't. O'Neill hasn't yet been. This is a huge concern. The regression of acquisitions is the bigger story.
    Hey Derrick
    Hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving
    I appreciate your candid thoughts on these chats
    While I think Derek Jeter was a bit overrated he will get in the Hall first ballot I believe
    Your thoughts on Ted Simmons’s and I would like to add **** Allen as well
    I think they both are more deserving
    What say you my friend?
    Ted Simmons is overdue for the Hall. Full stop. Derek Jeter will get elected. Probably could score 100 percent, and should. No problem with that. I have a hard time buying a player who did all that he did in his career is "overrated." Maybe, overexposed. Maybe we saw him all the time because he played in the biggest market for some of the best teams in an era when, for the first time, every game of his career was televised. That didn't happen as recently as 20 years ago. But, no, he was an elite player. One of the greats of his era, and should be honored as such.
    Ted Simmons is one of the greats of his position. And is overdue for the Hall, and the reason he isn't in the Hall and hasn't got the voting is spurious and makes ZERO sense to me. He is not on the writers' ballot and hasn't been for a long time, so the only thing I can do is stump for his candidacy. Can't do anything to actually hasten his induction.
    Here's hoping he's a few weeks from an honor that is many years overdue.
    Dick Allen also is a worthy Hall of Famer. He's likely bound for the 2021 election, it seems. Again, he's not on the writers' ballot, so voters like me have no say on whether he gets in or not.
  • One thing seems to be sure. The Cardinals weren't involved in the sign stealing fiasco. Based on the offense last year, if they were stealing signs and still performed like they did, those stealing the signs did an awful job.
    "The defense would like to enter their slugging percentage into evidence, your honor."
    "Case dismissed."
    I hope the Cardinals do not repeat the mistake they made in extending Carpenter with Yadi Molina. It is time for Molina to become retired or a back up. It is time to move on! Yadi as a back-up, I cannot see him willing to do that! I love the guy, but time to move on!
    Ownership is going to want to sign him, keep him, and make sure that he doesn't play anywhere else, if possible. He's viewed as a legacy player, and they do value that. It could be tricky. But if they sign him, then it's up to Shildt to gain his trust and sell him on whatever role is best for the team -- not just a reflection of his inevitable contract. Wouldn't put it past Shildt to pull it off, candidly. He starts with trust. That's a good place.
    Last week was when teams had to put minor league players on the 40 man roster to keep them from the rule 5 draft. This week or next week teams have the non-tender dead-line. Why did teams not cut the players they will non-tender to protect more minor leagues?
    Good question. Two reasons: To try and trade them. To try and negotiate deals with them. There's been no indication from the Cardinals that they approached Leone about signing a pre-tender deal, but it would be foolish for them not to at least try -- unless they just want to cut ties entirely. Which they eventually did. In previous years, leading into the non-tender deadline, the Cardinals would talk with agents about deals that would keep the player on the roster, and then if a deal could not be reached and a trade for that player not hatched for an interested team, then cut them lose via non-tender. Also, honestly, some teams don't have that many prospects they want to protect.
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