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

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

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

    100 percent seems like the best bet. "It's inevitable," says many executives and managers.
    Derrick, I really respected Mike Shannon calling the team out and putting on record that they aren't very good. Let's be honest, they haven't had a good team since 2015. Sure, the 2019 NLDS was exciting against the Braves, but we all saw what happened against the Nats. Do you agree with Mike Shannon that this isn't a very good team?
    Yes. It's a mediocre team. The standings agree with that description, too. And in St. Louis that is not good enough. Period. Cannot say it more often than I have.
    Personally, I would love the team to pick up Seager in the offseason. A shortstop who swings from the left side and has an OBP ~ 50 points higher than Edman sounds like a great fit for a team that are right side heavy and struggle at the plate. Does he seem like the best fit to you of all the free agent shortstops? Or would Story's relationship with Arenado put him to the top of the list?
    I would agree that he has the immediate look of the best fit, and I've made the case in the past that he might actually be a good fit for the contract, too. We'll see how that develops. But for a long time now I've seen him as the best of the group -- the best value, the best player, the best fit, and so on. That is not to dismiss or undermine Story's talent. Both are excellent players. I'm talking from the perspective of the return on the dollar and the fit for a team that just is really righthanded and needs some OBP and lefthanded jolt to its look.
    I would caution people against trying to tie players who are friends together. Carpenter worked out with story, too, this past season. Yadier Molina has a strong relationship with Javy Baez. In the end, those will be something talked about at the press conference, not part of the decision.
    Should Mo leave or get let go following the season, would Girsch just become POBO, or do you think the DeWitts would look for someone outside the organization?
    This is unlikely to happen, but I'll bite. The possible outcomes would be going without a POBO and not having that title. They would also look at promoting Flores in some way and that could be to GM with Girsch moving up to POBO. Or, they could split the jobs a third time, as we've seen and do both of those things while adding an outside voice with some designation as director of player personnel. But all of that is academic at this point.
    Do you think Trevor Story could be a possibility for the Cardinals this offseason? His friendship with Arenado could be a draw, and the Cardinals could perhaps look for an upgrade at the position. Plus, I saw that the Cardinals at least checked in on the acquisition cost at the trade deadline.
  • This was discussed moments ago, so I urge you to scroll back a bit. Sure he'd bit a fit -- but not because of the friendship. He'd be a fit because he's a good player at a position where the Cardinals could explore their alternatives and consider moving DeJong, say, to second base. Or look at adding an offensive force that can play multiple positions and be DH. It is possible that DeJong is that DH/UT player. Keep that in mind. 
    The Post-Dispatch reported that the Cardinals contacted the Rockies about what it would take to Story at the trade deadline. They did that with every team, all 29 of them, candidly, because that's their job. And they probably had at least two members of the front office talk with as many as 25 teams at the trade deadline about dozens of players. They wanted to make a bid for Story based on what they thought they could give the Rockies that was better than the compensation pick Colorado will get for Story.
    The Cardinals made that offer. The Rockies did not agree with the value. 
    The Cardinals and Rockies moved on.
    Hey Derrick, thanks for the chat and all the great work you do! With you and others reporting the Cards interest in Story and other potential shortstops, do you think this means the Cardinals move on from DeJong, or is he an option at 2B or even DH next season?
    He is an option for 2B and for DH, and he could be the moving bat that handles multiple positions if the Cardinals do add a shortstop. It would be increasingly wise for the Cardinals not to fixate on the position, but go for the bat. Change the lineup. They've got versatility galore on the roster, and some of the best bats available are also versatile. Start there.
    Love the last two drafts. Do you see the Cardinals doing what it takes to keep Flores from seeing greener pastures elsewhere?
    Hey Derrick, I just wanted to say I’ve really enjoyed all of the coverage you and Ben Fred have provided on the team this year. You’ve both been fairly critical and I appreciate you being willing to go there as I know it is not easy.
    Thank you. This not is much appreciated, truly. And good timing, too.
    Do you think that pitching Oviedo and Woodford this year stunted their development? Why put two pitchers that didn't have minor league competition the prior year into that situation when the Cardinals covet prospect talent as much as they do?
    1) In the long run, I don't think it will. Oviedo will be better for it. Woodford had a more complex season because of the role changes, but I think that this season heightened Woodford's spot in the organization. He always had a fan in the front office that was promoting him, but he gained fans and certainly gained a role. We were discussing this in the press box the other day, and to me it sure seems like Oviedo would benefit from a Wainwright-like start to his career or 2022. Yes, that's a year as a reliever in the majors -- and the into the rotation for 2023. Sure seems like that has worked in the past for a prized pitcher like him.
    2) Why put two pitchers in that spot? Because the Cardinals did not make moves when they had the chance to go with alternatives. They wanted to show off their internal depth. It was asking too much too soon of that internal depth, and it took too long to adjust. This is the spot they put themselves in.
    The Cardinals tell their fans what they are going to do most of the time, but I don't think most hear it. When they signed the new TV contract, many Cardinal fans thought they were going to have a $200 mil payroll. The team said it was comfortable with at payroll around $165 mil (pre-2020).. The team said last winter that they were looking at a payroll around $130 mil.

    My question is that there is a lot of talk about the $100 million the team has coming back off the books. Pundits and fans are wildly speculating how to spend that money. But I have seen nothing from the team indicating that they are going to be aggressive adding outside players.

    What is your honest opinion, 1. Are the Cardinals going to be aggressive and add viable outside players (a starting pitcher, LH OF bat, middle infielder who can hit) OR 2. Do you see the team, and noticing the lukewarm attendance in 2021, adding a couple of marginal free agents and then hoping on Gorman, Liberatore, etc. to step up, Edman and DeJong to take big steps forward, Mikolas to make 30 starts etc?
    First and foremost, I never heard that $130m figure, and the Cardinals are not close to that this year, nor did they show any indication of slashing that much payroll at the start of this year. Perhaps we're working off different definitions of payroll -- active roster vs. 40-man roster maybe? not sure -- but the fact is that I never once heard them trying to slash 1/4 of the payroll from 2020 to 2021. That just wasn't not mentioned. Trim costs? Yes. Trim costs to realize raises were due some younger players like Bader, Flaherty, and Hicks -- definitely. Have a smaller payroll, you bet, but not cuts that deep. The deeper cuts were in support staff and some infrastructure and, of course, the minor-league coaching staff. 
    1) This was explored earlier. It's difficult at this point, after years of seeing the Cardinals, to call them aggressive given the track record we have of them being conservative and talking themselves out of deals that would be considered aggressive. Also, if they fill needs -- is that really aggressive or just pragmatic?
    And then there is the CBA factor mentioned earlier. Brace yourself: The word aggressive might not apply to any teams this offseason.
    2) I don't think these things are related. If anything the Cardinals have learned that the style of play, personality of the team, opponents, and place in the standings drive ticket sales, not the individual players. They have Wainwright and Molina possibly playing their final games as Cardinals this year -- are those selling tickets? They have the finest defensive third baseman of his generation and two of the best all-around players in the game? Are they moving tickets? Oh, and a strong August puts Dylan Carlson in the race for NL Rookie of the Year? Is that gonna sell tickets for September? I just haven't seen in the past 10-15 years any evidence that a single player pushes ticket sales.
    It's more the excitement of the entire team. And this team -- even with the potential farewell tours of two Cardinals greats -- has not captured the imagination of the fan base.
    If at the end of the season the Cardinals are 10 games under 500 will Schildt be back?
    Who knows. Depends how they got there. Probably not given the current trend. But if he actively participates in losing games with decisions such as starting Carpenter on the mound or throwing over a food spread daily so that players are unable to eat and thus lose muscle mass and lead to injuries, then maybe? That's probably not going to happen.
    Can I just say that teams don't really operate in flow charts like this. They don't have some litmus test that says if a team finishes 5 under, then fire no one. If a team finishes 10 under, fire everyone, shutter the franchise! 
    It's about how they get there. 
    And a team can get to 10 under .500 in a way that keeps people employed, just as a team can get to .500 at the all-star break in a way that gets a lot of people fired.
    Kim has pitched alright at times this year,but i wouldn't expect the Cardinals to resign him,because he can't get past the 5th inning,we have other lefties in our orginization,and he made 4 million this year and that's too much. Agree?
    Not necessarily. More and more teams are expecting five and dive to be fine from starters.
    If the Cardinals replace Mike Shildt as manager, I would like them to hire Buck Showalter. What would you think about that hire?
    It would be odd. It would be a departure from the Cardinals' trend and leadership, and it would signal a radical cultural change that this organization has resisted for two-plus decades.
    It's not about how much money you spend. It's how wisely you spend it.
  • Correct. Or, it's about having so much money that you can overcome your mistakes, even to the tune of $250 million or so. See: Dodgers, Los Angeles.
    DG,

    When I was a manager at a local company, I would sometimes arrange some off-premises activities unrelated to our jobs, simply designed to get them to work as a team to accomplish a goal. (Once it was sorting donated canned goods at a food pantry.) Do you know if the Cardinals ever do anything like that?
    They do. They famously did an escape room a few years ago. They have golf outings as group. They've had a few dinners already this season -- for team, for small groups, for leaders, for any of it. They had a team meeting a couple of months back for players. This is pretty standard. Now, COVID-19 protocols have limited this from say a normal year.
    Hi Derrick, Thank you for these chats! One of the many reasons I subscribe to the PD. With the Cardinals more reliant than most on attendance for their payroll, and attendance noticeably lagging this year (I was at the game yesterday. Yikes). I was surprised they didn't make a bigger deadline move to try and get people to the ballpark. How does a team typically try to spur attendance? What should we look for? (Besides winning of course). Thank you!
    This is a big question facing the Cardinals, and I don't readily know the answer they're going to have because past attempts haven't really done it. Consider what they did entering this season:
    -- Traded for Arenado.
    -- Re-signed Wainwright.
    -- Re-signed Molina.
    These would seem to be three moves the fans would welcome, would draw out the ticket sales. They also had Simmons number retirement, Herzog bobblehead, and giveaways related to star players -- legit star players -- like the three players mentioned above as well as Flaherty and Goldschmidt. 
    As any of that spurred ticket sales?
    We do need context here. The Cardinals were not clear to open for full capacity until June, when the season was in a freefall. So, they never really sold full tickets when the team was in first and Arenado was the draw, or Wainwright, or Molina. And when they did open up full, look at the schedule they had -- it wasn't Cubs/Cardinals as Wrigley had when it opened full, it was Miami. It was a soft point in the schedule. It was daily double of a team in a losing stretch with opponents that don't usually draw in a 100-win, MV3 season.
    There has to be a lesson/signal there, right?
    Leading indicators for ticket sales sure seem to be, in some order:
    -- Time, day, month of the game.
    -- Opponent.
    -- Cardinals current trends, style of play.
    -- Cardinals' place in the standings. 
    Well, the Cardinals think they have an excellent schedule to sell for 2022. And they're already seeing some excitement based on that. Cubs for labor day. Later opening day at home (better weather, fewer April dates). Yankees coming to town. A chance to load up the Orioles series with Browns themed moments/giveaways/throwback uniforms. So, if the opponents are more appealing and the time/day/month is more appealing, they can focus on how to generate more buzz and excitement for the product on the field.
    If adding Arenado didn't do that ... Can they really believe a free-agent signing will?
    Arenado was steamed in that strikeout yesterday but the last two called strikes looked good on TV. Was he hunting for a walk there?
    I don't know. Haven't had a chance to ask him. I do doubt it.
    Who comes off the 40 man roster when Flaherty comes off the 60 day DL?
    Someone doesn't have to come off. The Cardinals have at least one other option for the 60-day IL. They could move Austin Dean there, as much time as he's missed.
  • Would you entertain the argument that Mo currently has too much power and the results on the field reflect that is not a good thing?
    I would entertain an argument that had compelling facts and information to support it. Without that, I'm not sure what to make of that argument. Are you asking if I would make that argument for you? I would not make that argument for you. I don't have facts or descriptions to support it.
    Will Flaherty pitch 4 innings then Miles come in and pitch 4 innings? Then the Closer?
    That was discussed. That's not the plan at the moment, and the hope is that Flaherty is ready to go for more than four innings against the Pirates. That was his schedule. That's why he had that one more start in the rehab assignment. It was so he didn't have the limited arrival.
    Will the Cardinals go with a 6 man rotation when Flaherty and Miles come off the DL?
    Shildt said it is unlikely.
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