Derrick Goold is back from the World Series and ready to chat Cardinals baseball at 11 a.m. Monday

Derrick Goold is back from the World Series and ready to chat Cardinals baseball at 11 a.m. Monday

Bring your Cards questions and comments to a live chat with Derrick Goold at 11 a.m. Monday.

    Hi DG,

    With finances being freed up next season, would the Cards make a trade or signing that would potentially hinder them this season, but that they could financially better manage next season? Example: Totally hypothetical, but if, say, an Arenado trade presented itself this offseason, would the Cards bite knowing they probably can’t afford it this year, but could even things things and justify it next year and beyond?

    Also, did you catch Mandalorian yet? Thoughts?
    I don't see it. The goal sure seems to be reducing cost right now for 2021. Now, the kind of deal that fits that -- is a player due arbitration this coming year or one who is willing to backload a contract. Arenado is neither. That's a hefty chunk up front, and ownership going into 2020 did not want to add the full freight of his salary to the payroll. Period. That was before they lost an entire season of ticket sales.
    Sad to see Edmonds and Carpenter not as special assistants. I know Chris was looking to get into coaching more. Would the cardinals explore bringing him on in a more active role. Still hoping for Edmonds to come on as a coach
    Yes. All of the former players and alumni let go in recent weeks -- Carpenter, Edmonds, Ludwick, Looper, and others -- could be back when there is revenue to support the hiring. There were some part-timers laid off by the team that will be hired back, likely, if they can sell tickets for 2021.
    You shouldn't ask us to compare PD coverage to other markets. We don't care about them!
  • Why not? You compare the Cardinals to other teams to get a sense of how competitive they are, so if you think the PD coverage could be better or isn't up to major-league quality, how else would you know? Other markets would give you a barometer.
  • I know DeWitt is not going to sign off on DFAing Carpenter, but I'd like a very honest take from Mo on what it is that they expect to get from him next year. A "bounce back year" is not a suitable answer, not after it has been over 2 years since he has hit productively. And even in that last productive stretch in '18, it was bookended by largely unproductive months.
    I think this is a fair question, and one that both Carpenter and the Cardinals are going to know they have to address -- either this winter, or going into spring training.
    Re: fan frustration and fixating on certain the last 5-6 years there have been instances where the FO drums up excitement w/ signing press conferences & marketing for guys (Fowler, Cecil, some prospects) that frankly I don't think very many people buy.

    Ultimately it sets expectations or puts pressure on guys who are just sort of OK. Guys that were signed out of necessity, or because there was a desire to still make a move after losing out on a free agent pursuit (again). Guys that probably aren't going to be All-Star, or heck even All-division, players at their position. But, now they've got a spotlight on them and it just makes matters worse when they fall below their ceiling, which again, was in all likelihood not that high to begin with.

    I think of a guy like Fowler. He is OK. At least by WAR, he's not ever been great even in 2016 when he peaked at 4.0. Mozeliak at the time said this "from day 1, this was always someone that we were hoping to sign." Yes later Mozeliak got after him, but not before there was a lot more hype. I just don't think many people ever bought it and it becomes grating to hear when you see something else.

    With Cecil, they made a huge deal about his signing. I just looked up your article about the signing "Cardinals outrun the market to sign versatile lefty Cecil" They really made a big deal about a guy that was OK at best and probably a risk. Mozeliak said he was the one guy they identified to make a splash. I feel bad for how things turned out for him.

    Mistakes happen, injuries happen, etc. But, knowing that to be true, why not just sign a guy and kind of let it be until he gives reason to be hyped? You sign David Price, Bryce all means huge press conference and hype it up. You sign Dexter Fowler and Brett Cecil? Maybe let things simmer. I hate to pick on those two, and something similar happens with prospects, but the way that stuff plays out are prime examples when I try to put my finger on fan frustration.
    I can only speak from my personal view: I expect press conferences to explain their moves, to introduce the players. And through the years I have been asked far more often by fans why they didn't have a press conference for a signing then why they did. Yes, some of the presser is to promote the player, promote the team, and it does give them a free commercial really because the pressers are covered and broadcasted. But I don't remember any of those players being paraded up there as future All-Stars, except for Goldschmidt, who had that track record. 
    I think yours is an interesting opinion because I don't know what the alternative is. The way social media works these days is it rewards the extreme, and so you're right the team should be aware of that -- but it can't go without acknowledging a signing.
    Hi Derrick, different question on trades gone bad. IMO, these hurt a little more because we aren’t used to the cards getting played in trades. Usually the cards come out on top. However, many teams make mistakes (Cubs and Quintana to name a big flop). Have the cardinals has more flops than other teams recently, or is it just the high profile nature of the flops and it being the cardinals that make it louder here in STL?
    This is definitely part of it. The nature of these recent trades is definitely relative. I remember when Dan Haren was traded for Mark Mulder, and yet I haven't heard that come up once in all the teeth-gnashing about recent deals. I think it definitely has to do with a few things:
    -- The struggles the Cardinals have had on offense.
    -- The selective/recent performance of the traded players.
    -- The build-up of runnerup finishes, true or perceived, for some players.
    -- The departure of Heyward that shook the brand a bit.
    -- And, yes, the fact that people still point to how the Cardinals traded players who never latched onto the majors for Holliday, Walker, and others -- and all that without acknowleding the game has changed since then, truly. 
    I also think it's entirely natural for people to dream on players, and that's the Baseball Paradox. It's a game of failure, and the more someone plays it the more failure there is, and the less room there is to dream about the production and more evidence there is that the player will fall short of that production. It undercuts some really good players who are consistent, are solid, and just aren't the stars people dreamed them to be. 
    For a long time the Cardinals made deals with players going out that never caught on, or did in minimal roles. Alcantara, Arozarena, Voit, Gonzales, Gallen -- they are all having success, and thus that success coupled with the Cardinals' search for offense stands out relative to the trades long forgotten. It's part recent. It's a large part relative. And some of the misses are real.
    What expenses do the Cardinals have at the minor league level besides salary? Do they pay the electric bill and to have the grass maintained for example? Or is it just an agreement to provide players?
    Coaches. Doctors. Surgeries. Insurance. Equipment. Travel. All the things outlined in the player development contracts (PDCs), and those change from affiliate to affiliate. The Cardinals own several of their affiliates -- PB Cardinals, S-Cards, GCL Cards, and part of the Memphis team -- so they're on the hook for more expenses in those places, and the places they don't own, they supplement via the contract.
    Sounds to me that colleges may well become a hybrid minor league system, am I reading this correctly?
  • MLB would love to have a minor-league system it doesn't have to pay for, like the NFL, yes.
    What I meant was, I don't care how the Chicago media reports on the Cubs. Because I don't care about the Cubs!
    I understood what you meant. I was asked how I would answer that question. I would answer by suggestion that you look elsewhere -- and tell us how we could get better. I'd welcome those suggestions.
    I think having Albert Pujols on the team to build around for 11 seasons has spoiled us Cards fans to a certain extent. However, I think it also spoiled the FO. They no longer have the luxury of having him to build a team around and it's become a challenge they have yet to master.
    This is a strong, fair opinion.
    There are some people who think that young, unproven black prospects are not given the same opportunities that young, unproven white prospects are given. People may be able to cherry pick examples to prove that is, or is not the case, but what should the Cards do about that perception?
    Make sure it doesn't happen. Period. One of the best parts about baseball is that they keep track of everything. Innings pitched. Plate appearances had. So we have a measure of this -- of how much opportunity is given and how much is not. The numbers are there, and all teams can be held accountable to them.
    If ownership has turned a nice profit every year for over twenty years, and if ownership has seen the value of their investment skyrocket, why should ownership slash payroll after one year of losing money? Isn't now the time for ownership to re-invest some of the profits that they have made?
    You could make that argument -- but we could also look at what this decision reveals to us. Let's do the math. And let's keep it simple for the sake of illustration and because I'm curious how this goes.
    Say a team costs $100 million to run and makes $133 million in revenue. That's a 33 percent profit, and it means that over the course of three years they'll spend $300 million and make $99 million.
    So, if in year four, they make zero, they'll have $99 million in past revenue to cover the coming season.
    That is, if there wasn't added spending along the way.
    Let's dial it back a bit. A team costs $100 million to run. It makes a hearty profit of $10 million. That means over five years, it costs $500 million to run and pulls down $50 million. Now it has a season with zero, and goes into the next year with $50 million banked, $100 million to run, and $10 million to count on in profit. That's a net minus-$40 million. Ouch. 
    Again, I am oversimplifying here for the sake of clarity and illustration.
    What we can learn from all of this is how big the revenues are for teams -- for sure, and in many cases big revenues also mean solid profits -- but there is also a narrow margin for many of these teams, and they just had a near-zero year. A major source of revenue was turned off at the spigot. While expenses were not similarly reduced.  
  • In looking back on the Mathney hire it seems more like a move made by the FO to be able to have control over the manager as opposed to having things the other way around like it was under LaRussa. Maybe the biggest mistake this organization made in the last decade was not ignoring Sherzer or trading for Ozuna or extending Carpenter, but maybe it was not hiring Francona while the championship window was still very much open and waiting to hire the developmental manager until after that window had closed.
    That's one argument. I don't agree. The comments that Francona made to the late Joe Strauss after his interview and then later on with Cleveland made it clear that there was not mutual interest there with the Cardinals and the timing was wrong for him. He may have even used those exact words later on. 
    What we do see with that hiring and the trend in hiring is that baseball was a manager game when TLR was around -- he was the voice of the franchise, the engineer of the roster he was given by the front office -- and now it's a GM/POBO game. They are the voice of the franchise, and they are involved more in the use of the roster they give the manager. That is true in many places around the game.
    Just to follow up on Charlie's question. Just because a franchise value increases - that doesn't mean that extra 'value added' is cash in the bank they can spend.
    Amen, Dave. Well put. I would like to print this on a tee shirt.
    DG, does Tyler O pass the eye test for you as a Gold Glove outfielder? The analytics for the short season look good, but he looks awkward at times and has trouble taking a direct route to the ball.
    Great question, and it strikes at a conversation Shildt had with beat writer Anne Rogers and myself during the season. We talked about this exact thing. The metrics suggested that O'Neill was a center fielder playing left field. The advanced stats that he put up in left were akin to some of the steady, everyday center fielders out there -- and we talked about how that stands out in left. It's not really a position of good gloves, let's be honest. It's where bats go. Mostly. I actually think that O'Neill does pass the eye test in left field, where even in a short season there was some atrocious defensive play, and he was better than even average LF play. He had speed to extend his range. He made good throws, and that wasn't always the case with outfielders 'round this division. He would not be a finalist for the Gold Glove in CF or RF, and the metrics and eye test would confirm this. But in left -- he did well out there, especially compared to his peers.
    FYI Jon Morosi
    Yadier Molina has been contacted by 3 teams in addition to the #STLCards since free agency began, his agent, Melvin Roman, told me today. Molina, 38, wants to play for 2 more seasons and will listen to clubs' proposals with that objective in mind, Roman said.

    That was reported in the Post-Dispatch on Sunday.
    (And ... That's my cue to go get a breath of fresh air. Please give me a moment.)
    DG, thank you for the chats. Are the Cardinals pretty much doing nothing until 2022? Would that maybe even be the smart play? More free agents available, more money to spend with more money coming off the books. Clarity from the pandemic (please God). Shouldn’t this be the year we see what we have in the pipeline? If there’s anybody we are even curious about still?
    I asked that question of Mozeliak, and he said that is not the plan for the Cardinals going into 2021. Actions will be more revealing. To me, if ever the Cardinals were going to step back from contention and try to slingshot forward as a better team this would be the year. They disagree. And if that's the case, then I think Ben Frederickson has made an interesting point -- they've entered into a contract with fans to give give them a product that brings them back to the ballpark. The Cardinals push back on that notion, but I think it has some merit to discuss, especially as the country does emerge from the pandemic and people look where to spend their limited entertainment dollars through new lens.
    I could not be sorrier, DG, for not citing the reporting in yesterday's paper. Even on the day of rest I should be more diligent.
    That's not your job. It is someone else's. The article is here: 

    Forecast calls for wintry mix of frigid spending, flurries of free agents as Cardinals cook up plan for hot stove

    STLtoday.comA pandemic-shaped offseason begins as teams cut costs. Other clubs have contacted Wainwright, Molina, and Wong with interest as market opens Sunday. Cardinals need 'creativity' -- and supply with outdistance
    Tex makes a point though that a championship window was open. Earlier you discussed how the Dodgers window is open for the foreseeable future, but later noted the Cubs window with a very similar set of characteristics (good core, smart front office, cash galore) produced one WS and promptly fell was a rain delay from never working out.

    The gravity of the moment/window the Cards had should have been treated with the due respect in the hire. The championship window is a fickle mistress.

    I think the point Tex was making is that Matheny had a steep learning curve, whether the team was ahead of curve in transitioning to the GM/POBO era or not, and it was a great set of circumstances with the roster and division foes' woes. The Cardinals continued to be successful, particularly in the regular season, but when the playoffs rolled around Matheny's shortcomings were laid bare. Maybe a more experienced manager who could dance the line between the eras would have been helpful (e.g. Maddon, at least for a little while). It is hard to look at 2012-2015 and not feel that another WS was there for the taking and that the manager was a weak link in the playoffs.
    There's some retrofitting going on here, but at the time there was the discussion about whether Matheny would be the bench coach for an established manager and thus groomed during a championship era to be the one who took over. That was not the model the Cardinals followed, and really I'm not sure how many teams would, or do. Part of the Cardinals internal calculus was Matheny's potential as a manager, and that they had a talented team that could accelerate his learning curve so that when that talent moved on, or aged, or whatever, then he would be at his full power as a successful manager. That was baked-in to the decision, as they say, but mostly they just saw the potential of Matheny to be the Cardinals manager.
    Also, let's not forget that La Russa's departure corresponded with another move of note -- Albert Pujols left after 2011. 
    You are right the window is fickle.
    We'll never know how that era could have been for the Cardinals, but it's a safer bet that a Pujols-Matheny team would have had a better chance at winning a championship in that span than an Established Manager-Not Pujols tandem.  
    I believe Mo said something to the effect of "doing more with less". What if they do "less with less"?
    Then they won't be doing less with less for long.
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