Join Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold for his chat live from Jupiter at 10 a.m. Monday

Join Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold for his chat live from Jupiter at 10 a.m. Monday

Bring your Cards questions and comments to Monday’s 10 a.m. live chat.

    Greetings from the Birds' Nest -- the tower in the center of the George Kissel Quad. That's not the official name of it. It's been called the Watchtower, the Lifeguard Tower -- any sort of different nicknames. It's the spot where we can watch all four fields here as the Cardinals' open minor-league spring training.
    I'm happy to answer questions about what I've seen so far (bunting, bullpens, Walker towering over Gilkey), but I imagine yesterday's caustic news from negotiations in New York might get some attention too.
    We'll set a brisk pace to the chat today because I'll need to step away to do some reporting in a couple of hours, start pounding the keys for tomorrow's paper.
    Away we go.
    With the fact the owners will still be paid 100% of their local tv revenue if they pay close to 144 games and the lousy weather for most of the country in April causing decreased attendance why would they have any incentive to give in on major points before a projected May 1 start date?
    Some teams don't. There was scuttlebutt (and reality) during the lockout of 2004 in the NHL that some teams lost money from having games with the current structure, so they were better off not have games -- and lost a whole season as a result. That's not as widespread in baseball. There are teams that very much want that revenue from the tickets and TV that come in April (the Cardinals are one) and then there are teams that realize the return on those games does not eclipse the revenue generated from those games. The issue for MLB is the 30 owners have 30 different markets and 30 different views of the economy, and it's clear that Manfred cannot get all 30 to agree, so at times he's got to get 23. If there are eight teams that see April as a loss then ... here we are. But it's not a universal opinion from owners.
    What happens if there is an impasse? We have owner's who are trying to crush players and player's who I have no idea what they are fighting for after they gave up so much
    If the owners declare an impasse they can impose rules on the players/leagues. There will be a court battle. There will be talk of replacement players. It will get messy. This is what happened in 94-95 due to the player strike. The owners declared an impasse in Dec. 1994, and was there baseball immediately that followed that spring? No, the major-league players filed in court, and it wasn't until there was movement in court that the big leaguers returned for a condensed spring training and a start to the 1995 season. Spring training opened with replacement players, you'll recall.
    No. I have proof of life all around me here, 150+ strong.
    (Not to mention all the questions and eyeballs on this chat -- about baseball.)
    I would be curious to see someone quantify how banning the shift could dramatically increase some players value. I gotta imagine this one change could potentially save Carpenter's career... would the Cardinals consider bringing him back if the shift is truly banned?
  • They would not; that's not part of their plan. They have Nolan Arenado set at third base when the major-league season begins, and they have Lars Nootbaar and a few others offering a lefthanded swing for the bench. They may also look to add from the free-agent group, but with Matt Carpenter. Both sides have talked about moving on.
    I don't think banning the shift will have the impact intended. To me, it takes away the benefits of data/instincts for fielders -- somethings we used to celebrate, if you remember -- and doesn't make a difference on how the game is played, how swings are taken, or damage gets paid. Banning the shift is a cosmetic change to appease the critics. It's not a substantive move to improve the game. That's my opinion.
  • How are the maximum size of the big league opening day roosters figuring to increase in finite #'s at least temporary the longer this lock out stays in effect?
  • The expectation is that this season, like 2020, will start with a larger roster to accommodate more pitchers and protect against some work use/injury. So it could start at 28 and reduce over the first month to the prescribed 26. That is if roster sizes are still set at 26 when a new CBA is reached (and they likely will be).
  • Do the major league coaches dive head first into the minor league camp while the big league side of things remains closed?
    No. None of them are present except for Schumaker and Marmol, and they are not in uniform. Their assignments were discussed briefly in the coverage at StlToday, and can still find that story here: 

    Glimpses of normalcy returns as Cardinals open minor-league camp

    STLtoday.comFans can watch workouts in person for the first time in three years. Cards' 153-player roster includes prospects Walker, Gorman, Liberatore, and Baez.
    Rain is coming down and causes a pause in workouts for some groups.
  • I know you have been asked this question many times and will be asked many more times but it behooves me to ask again. Will the Cardinals add a strong (maybe the wrong word) left handed bat?
  • They will look in the free-agent market for possibilities, yes. That is not their priority, as you've probably heard me explain before. They have a list of relievers they will chase when the market reopens and there's a new CBA. If a lefthanded bat emerges for them to snag, they'll do that. They also see Nootbaar as part of that conversation.
  • Any summer concerts on your calendar? I am looking at Avett Brothers 6/30 and Jack White 8/28 at the Music Park.
  • Alas, no. There's no way to plan summer activities this year until baseball figures out its schedule. Will I be in Florida when I originally planned to be New York, or back in St. Louis for "summer camp" when there was that trip to Chicago? Impossible to know. Trust me, I wish I did.
  • Have you checked out the Food Hall at City Foundry? Went yesterday for the first time and, although the prices were high (as I expected, for several reasons) I think it is a great addition to OurTown.
  • I have. I agree. Excellent addition. Some creative food offerings.
  • Derrick, I am lucky. I have been an IndyCar fan as long as I have been a Cardinal fan. Since 1962 when I was 8. What players and owners dont realize and it a lot of cases dont care, fans will find something to fill in the void which is no baseball for the foreseeable future.
  • They do realize that, which is part of the concern. They do realize that. And there are more options for entertainment than ever before. We can stream movies, binge TV shows, and we can do that all on our phones. People have instantaneous access to a galaxy of content that is available when baseball is not. That is a clear and present danger to the sport.
  • Perhaps I have missed it (would not be the first or last time), but have you been able to find out where DeWitt stands on the CBT issue?
  • He was not one of the owners who voted against raising it. It's worth noting that DeWitt has not seen the CBT as something the Cardinals would get near, and it's not something they feel inhibits their business model's ability to compete. Some of that has to do with the division their in. Looking at Milwaukee and Cincinnati and Pittsburgh is different than the Rockies looking at the Dodgers, San Diego, and San Francisco. In past conversations -- he's not commenting on the current negotiations -- DeWitt has downplayed CBT/luxury tax as a factor for the Cardinals.
  • Twenty player reps on a Zoom call discussing the proposal. Can't imagine that would be productive and can't imagine that would lead to a beneficial position for all the players. Who has final decision on the player position?
  • There are eight members of the executive board, 30 players reps, and 30 alternates. There are times that the conversation can grow toward that 68 number. There is NOT a vote of those players to determine whether they accept a CBA or on the proposals they make. There is NOT a vote of the executive board, a players' union official confirmed. The players' union has empowered (and honestly, they've HIRED) Tony Clark and Bruce Meyer to be their representatives in these negotiations and make the decision on what to accept. The executive board, including Max Scherzer and Andrew Miller, have large voices when it comes to the executives making that decision.
  • To me all the positions by each side are hard to understand in bottom line dollars in the negotiations. Seems like MLB would have all the computing power to ascertain what each scenario would cost them vs the player's position. Have these numbers ever been published to show how wide the chasm is. Seems like that would be where the negotiations should focus.
  • Both sides came to Jupiter equipped with data-crunching horsepower. There were economists hired by the union there meeting with representatives of the owners to run the numbers and help make decisions and make proposals. The sides are ready for this. It's their job to be the best at getting a deal -- and that's partly where the friction is. Players go to the best surgeons they can to have their elbow repaired, and in this case they've outfitted their negotiating group with the best they can to strike a deal, and that includes mathematicians, analysts (one of whom has a strong St. Louis tie), and economists to make the deal. 
    The owners are not making their finances public. That's clear. Only Atlanta does because it's owned by a publicly traded company.
    Derrick, thanks for the chat. The Players were reluctant to go from 10 post season teams to 12 and don't want to touch 14. Doesn't more teams in the post season mean more players can get an extra paycheck for being on one of those teams? Seems to be the opposite of them trying to get more money in the hands of the players.
    The players entered these negotiations stressing that they wanted to increase the incentive to be competitive -- and yes to spend. The union felt expanding the playoffs was counter to their message: Expanding the playoffs would allow more entry into the playoffs and not incentive teams to push from 82 to 88 wins when 82 would likely get them in, or 83 would. They wanted to stay on message -- and they knew that the owners wanted the jackpot of 14, had negotiated a TV deal already without that approval, and that it was a potential leverage point. So, you can see that they didn't want to contradict their own public messaging and at the same time it gave them a position (as we're seeing) to trade for something better elsewhere.
    It is entirely likely that MLB ends up with a 14-team playoff format. Scherzer and other players -- and officials within baseball -- want to make sure that format does reward the division winners and does not reduce the value of winning the division title.
    One proposal that was tabled even did away with the current structure of the divisions to make that possible. That could yet be discussed.
    Can you please explain the economic hurt from the league's network tv deal once teams hit 25 games cancelled off the regular season?
    Some of the contracts that teams have with rightsholders require the upfront money paid to be returned in the event that there are not games played, as paid for. That number is less than the full slate of games for a number of reasons -- national games taken from the local schedule, rainouts, ppd., games and so on. When that gap vanishes because of cancelled games, then some teams have to issue a rebate to their rights holders. And the amount of that money is different from city to city. It's prorated per game based on the total for the year.
    Derrick, my crystal ball says the owners will punt April and push for a 140 game season starting on or around May 1. To finalize a deal, the owners will pay the players for April while the players concede to the owners on the key financial issues. Ultimately the players will gain little financially and the owners will drive more fans away from the game. I doubt you see it the same way so what is your crystal ball signaling?
    I don't know. My crystal ball was cracked. But looking into the kaleidoscopic fragments created by the fissures, I see the players getting financial gains (and some, a few years from now, will be seen as substantial by creating better launch points for young players into arbitration), the players losing some of their salaries but not their service time, a short season, a big playoff, and odd schedule ... and owners doing just fine, just just fine in most places. And the fallout from this lockout being felt in markets like Tampa Bay and Oakland.
    I think would be great to have an impartial observer in the room with MLB and MLBPA, not to arbitrate but to represent the fans and the game itself. Bob Costas, for example, just to observe and make comments to appeal to the bigger picture.
    I think that is a lot to ask of Bob Costas to remain impartial after being in the room and hearing the arguments. I wouldn't expect that of anyone who cares as deeply about baseball as we know he does and so many of us do.
    How much wiggle room in terms of annual budget do the Cardinals likely still have give or take allocated to acquire new talent from outside the organization that could still be here in time for opening day?
    Enough to get a headliner as a reliever. They are well positioned and have the space to do so. Not a closer-type money, not a Holland-type salary, but a deal that can be multi-years and meet the market price of a setup reliever who could become the team's closer.
    With no salary commitments going forward for Fowler, Carpenter and Miller entering this year I assume a lion's share of that cash already is spoken for (Arenado entire 2022 salary, the Matz signing and other anticipated pay raises). So can you please confirm for the time being and once the lock out is over that is more likely than not essentially "IT" ?
    I cannot confirm that. The Cardinals feel they need to add at least one reliever, and they could add two. They want to look at lefthanded bats as mentioned earlier. They have a shopping list yet to complete.
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