Join Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold for his live chat at 11 a.m. Friday

Join Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold for his live chat at 11 a.m. Friday

Bring your Cards questions and comments to Friday's 11 a.m. live chat.

    As a BFIB who enjoys perusing minor league box scores every morning I am a bit disappointed we did not get any high ceiling, boom/bust high school players like in the past (Walker, Wynn, Fuller, Fletcher, Baez, etc).
    And the one high school they signed has a strong commitment to college and may not sign. This was an interesting draft, one that appears to have been directed by available information. That's a sign of the direction the Cardinals are going, but also a hint at a reduction in scouting staff. Cannot find the high-upside hidden high school players if you don't have scouts to go see them and there isn't a Hawk-Eye to chronicle their ever pitch. Data-driven decisions are going to favor the players who generate the best data at ballparks outfitted to do that. Hence, college picks.
    Heard Olney on the SF-LAD broadcast last night saying there is some thought that whoever the new owners are in DC will want Soto dealt before they take over, thus sparing them having blood on their hands.
    Sure. Again, motivation. When there is clarity on that, then there's movement. This is what teams seek, too. The Cardinals, when calling Washington, are going to want to know what the Nats' motivation for a move is so they can put together an offer.
    Perhaps the Cardinals FO agrees regarding the Braves comparison. Their 2022 draft looks like a heavy investment in high floor pitchers that served as the currency of many of the Cardinals' trades of the past.
    Sure. Or, a response to the thin pitching depth in the organization, too. More likely, it was a response to the data available and the traits of this draft. Definitely drifted toward pitching, and the Cardinals guided their selections with the metrics that are more readily available for college players.
    I see my comment was in line with many others. Mods you can delete it.
    Will the SEC require Missouri be a permanent opponent of the Arkansas Razorbacks or will intelligence win the day and end the charade of a contrived rivalry?
    Ah, the cost of doing chats on a Friday. A question better suited for my colleague Dave Matter, the master of all things Mizzou when it comes to coverage. He'll be chatting next week, fresh from the SEC Media Days!
    Question about journalism:

    What has it been like to cover the Molina situation?

    On the one hand, a franchise icon and clubhouse leader is away from the team in his home country and people are curious about that - especially as he is seen getting thrown out of basketball games.

    On the other, the PD, Front Office, and manager have cited a respect for privacy at times during both spring training and this latest rehab, all things they should say, and probably things they would even say more often when a franchise icon is involved.

    But there seems to be something going on at the very least here and It would seem to be a difficult story to try to find the balance in terms of reporting what you know, without crossing a line - Just curious on your thoughts surrounding all of that - even if only abstract ones
    Well, to start, I seem to be spending a lot of time explaining that he didn't leave the country and that it's not unusual for a player to go home to begin his rehab, especially when rest is prescribed. When other players left the team to go home I got ZERO questions. I have received ZERO about Jack Flaherty returning to Los Angeles. I wonder if Mets writers got a lot of questions about Travis d'Arnaud, a catcher, leaving the team in New York to rehab at home in California -- a longer flight for him than it is for Molina to head to Puerto Rico. Born in Puerto Rico, Molina is a U.S. citizen because Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory. However you want to phrase where he is, leaving the country is incorrect. I didn't even have my passport checked when I flew to Puerto Rico. And the Cardinals have had players head to the Dominican to begin their rehab. That is another country.
    To your larger question: It just means a lot of questions.
    I'm either asking them, or answering them. And asking them means asking Molina what he is comfortable sharing and, yes, respecting when details are private, but a reason is fair and explained publicly. I'm not sure what you mean by "crossing the line," so I will avoid speculating on that without an example. That said, readers and fans deserve the clearest answer possible, and my colleagues, my competitors, and myself have written a lot about those explanations. His delayed arrival to spring training had to do with spending time with his son and needing extra time to get ready to participate in spring games. He left during the season to be present for his son's surgery after an injury on the baseball field. He has been frustrated by his performance this season, bothered by knee soreness that erupted anew with inflammation, and he wanted to get in game condition, after first thinking along with the team that he could do so on the job. I just hope that people have read that information.
    I do spend a lot of time answering questions that suggest they haven't.
    Would Jack Flaherty be of interest to rebuilding teams as a sort of lottery ticket?
    Not at the moment. More so, because the Cardinals don't want to make that trade.
    Bovada had odds Tuesday on the Cardinals to land Soto at +850. Yesterday, the odds had moved to +500. Today those odds have moved to +300. They are the only team whose odds are increasing. That's...certainly not nothing. What's your take?
    That is absolutely nothing. It is nothing. It is profoundly nothing more than responding to the current bets and trying to get more people to bet. There is no inside info reflected in those changes other than the odds shifting to reflect the betting going on, make sure the house doesn't lose money, and inspire more betting. And no wonder. When you have a pundit go on TV and speculate that the Cardinals are best positioned to make the deal, I imagine the action on betting would change and the Cardinals would have to be adjusted, for the house's sake. And neither of those things -- pundit speculation, betting line shifts -- are based on any inside insight on what is actually being discussed between the two teams.
    This time of year with the added proliferation of betting is catering to speculation, not reporting. That is an uncomfortable place for us all to be when it's not clear to readers which is which. I am concerned about that.
    Are the odds of Nolan Arenado opting out inversly proportional to the Cardinals record, and to the moves (if any) the Front Office makes to help this team with the peices it needs? Thanks for taking my question.
    Not really. I don't see it as that linear, honestly.
    Do the Cards have enough talent to pursue significant a pitching upgrade and Soto?
    They could empty the system and really make things happen, sure. They have a good collection of minor-league talent that interests other teams. Not sure I could have typed that sentence in several of the recent years. It's true this year.
    In the event the Cardinals do pursue Soto, would they still have the means (and wants) to acquire a pitcher? Soto would be a huge splash, but without a pitcher, they'd still have a lot of innings to fill.
    Yes, please see the above question. They do have innings to fill.
    I understand, as Strauss would say, the endless fascination with the next “bright shiny thing” is easy, and that a player in the minors has yet to fail at the MLB level, making it easy to scream about those AAA numbers. But the thing that jumps out about Burleson is his ability to hit for a high average everywhere he’s played, along with production. You could make a very easy argument that before they were promoted, he was a better all-around hitter than both Gorman and Yepez (no insults to them, happy to have them). It would seem the Cardinals would benefit from a guy hitting at the bottom as a LH DH who consistently gets on base, and doesn’t strikeout. What do they see? How come he hasn’t gotten a chance?
    The Cardinals have been bullish on Burleson as a hitter since they drafted him. The day he was picked, two members of the organization told me that they really thought they had a high-upside, polished hitter who could excel at higher levels if he focused on hitting. That was the phrase. They wanted to give him the chance to just drill down on hitting and put him in their system for developing hitters. He was a two-way player in college and the Cardinals just wanted him to get in the cage, get in the lab, get to work on the swing and the let it loose. And he has. Burleson is becoming an example of scouting and development blending to maximize a prospect. That's a good model if the Cardinals can maintain it, and get more results from it.
    So, why isn't in the majors? Well, it's not a great answer, but it is the answer: Roster politics. He doesn't have to go on the 40-man roster to be protected this year. Others do. And that's going to be a tiebreaker. Hard to argue that Donovan, Yepez, Gorman and Nootbaar had production at Triple-A ahead of Burleson, had earned promotions ahead of Burleson, and also they were all on or had to be eventually on the 40-man roster. Again, Burleson does not. So move for him is more substantial and also an indication, like Gorman, that he's going to get a long run. Cardinals aren't in position to do that with O'Neill, Bader, and Carlson as the starters in the OF and DH supposed to be manned by Pujols, Yepez, and Dickerson.
    Speaking of the outfield, meant to mention earlier: Harrison Bader is playing tonight for the Memphis Redbirds. This is the official start of his rehab assignment.
    I wish I'd noticed this last year when he was back on the team briefly, but I was going through some old photos last week and realized I was at the 7/6/11 game when Brandon Dickson pitched 2.1 scoreless innings of relief and also got a hit in his one at-bat. Following that game, just the second of his career, Dickson's career lines included a 0.00 ERA and a 1.000 batting average. Gotta believe not many (or maybe any?) MLB players have ever owed both of those career numbers at the same time; one of those random kinds of stats that make baseball so much fun! Any chance you know if Dickson or anybody else noticed it at the time?
    It was noticed at the time -- probably first by Rick Hummel, honestly. I remember this being discussed. It came up again later ... this spring, I think? Yes, this spring. He visited spring training and got a chance to catch up with Wainwright. That feat was mentioned in addition to Dickson having a World Series ring from that 2011 year.
    Hey Derrick,

    Mo told us all at Blogger Day last weekend that he doesn’t think of prospects in absolutes anymore (“I will never trade X player”). Said “well if Mike Trout became available today, you prob would trade that prospect.” If he’d do it for Mike Trout. Why not Juan Soto?

    Seems like two paths to possibly, prob won't happen of course, to the Cards getting Juan Soto.

    1. Take on the Corbin contract along with him and potentially keep 1 of Walker or Winn.


    2. Give up Walker, Winn and more to get just Soto.

    Either way. Do you see the Cardinals in the mix of this at all or is it completely preposterous.
    This is a common line from Mozeliak, though with the media he doesn't often name a player. He has like said some past great who cannot get him in trouble for tampering, if we quote him. Or, he's said "the next Albert Pujols." Which brings us to the Soto question and back to a few that we've explored in this chat, just maybe not with the chance to put a fine point on it.
    1. Yes, that is how a deal would work based on precedent. There is little precedent for a deal like this, though, and I don't have a feel (and I would bet some teams don't have a feel) for how "less" the talent would be to take on that sizeable contract. Let's pause here for a moment of reality. The Nats are likely going to have to include any money in a deal that includes Corbin. The Rockies did that to a tune of $50m and got solid prospects, including a major-league starter (the kind of starter the Cardinals more than kinda miss, no?). 
    Also, Corbin, who has not pitched well, is owed $35 million in 2024. That is the same year that Soto will max out his arb years. That's going to be ... what $60 million. Can Soto provide that level of production if Corbin is a below-replacement pitcher?
    I don't know many teams that can stomach a $35-million hole in the rotation if Corbin isn't a contributor. So, keep that in mind.
    2. Other teams are high on Walker, thinking that he's one of the best young hitters with the highest-ceiling in the minors. He's 20, younger than the Cardinals first 19 draft choices this past week, big, athletic. Bound for the majors by, what, age 22, if not earlier? And I've heard a lot from evaluators with other teams who are high on Walker's potential, swing, size, and so on and so on. So, yeah, it makes sense that the Nationals would try to trade Soto for another hitter younger with less guarantee but a lot of promise to replace Soto ... 
    Late to the chat, so I'm sorry if this has been covered.
    Juan Soto is a great young hitter. He is NOT some sort of 21st century Ted Williams, and he is NOT a generational talent. We have ways of quantifying player contributions, and per all available sources Soto is so bad at defense + baserunning that he has been worth just a hair over 5 WAR per 600 plate appearances for his career. Which means just 2 wins per year better than Dylan Carlson has played since the start of 2021.

    So upgrading from Carlson to Soto means adding ONE WIN over the rest of this season. And two per year for the next two years. Not worth any of the proposed deals I've seen. Not even close.
    Interesting perspective. Baserunning can be improved, as can defense. Also, DH. Soto sure does seem like a generational talent at the plate. But you're right, it's early in his career.
    Hey Derrick, any sense of how the FO feels about roster crunch coming up if they *don't* deal away a few prospects? I love projecting out every highly-regarded guy in the system, but it seems like by next season the Cards are expected to have at least 5 starting-caliber OF, 4 middle infielders, and 4 corner infielders, so even with the DH and a few contracts coming off the books at some point, something's gotta give.

    Not that they should "empty the system" to get one SP and Soto, but they will have to make some decisions and may as well use this glut to acquire some higher-end talent right now, yes? Might also be nice to see some 40-man space opened up so Burleson can finally show us what he can do (if he's not one of those pieces dealt away)!
    I'm not sure that crunch is going to be all that cute, honestly. And there's nothing wrong with having talent. I'm looking over the Rule 5 and while there will be a backlog of players who need to be protected -- Luken Baker is the one from this past season, for example, when there was no Rule 5 -- it's not the real bind they've been in a few other times. The Cardinals can let production guide them here. And some of the prospects are far enough off that they don't need to be put on the 40-man roster in the near future. That is both a benefit to the Cardinals, but also appealing teams looking to make those trades.
    I understand the fear of giving up high end prospects, but let’s not forgot there is a downside to potential. Would the Brewers make the Yelich trade again? Would Detroit make the Miguel Cabrera trade again?
    I think they absolutely would make the Yelich deal again. And, yes, Detroit would too. Consider the seasons they got from those players. Incredible years. Team success. Yes, absolutely.
    Derrick, I guess I have a problem with players leaving the team to rehab. Molina could have rehabbed here and still been in the dugout to help his team. Flaherty too. You don't have to strap on shin guards or pick up a bat to help your team. I think this is a bad precedent to start. Molina getting ejected from a basketball game, after kicking a basketball is just bad optics. He's had a stellar career, it's a shame it's ending like this.
    As long as your consistent. Or, does it depend on the magnitude of the player? Over the past two decades, I've seen players head home for rehab, home to DR, home to Georgia, Florida, California, Kansas City, Iowa, or other places. And this is the first time I've been asked it from the tone of it being unacceptable because Molina went to Puerto Rico. It's curious, to say the least.
    What happened to Patrick Corbin? Is there a possibility the Cards eat his salary in a Soto trade but he ends up being a pleasant addition as well?
    There's always that possibility. But there are a lot of red flags.
    When does the FO finally admit their mistake on verhagen and McFarland?
    When/if they're removed from the roster.
    Sorry for making a mistake about the location of Puerto Rico/Yadi.

    I didn’t mean it as a slight to him, Puerto Rico, or anyone.

    It was a simple mistake while trying to type a question quickly here at work.

    Appreciate the chats. Would love to have the chance to go watch some baseball down there some day.
    Understood. I appreciate the opportunity you gave me to explain in the chat what I've spent a lot of time explaining in emails to people.
    As much as I find Bader's antics a bit much at times I can't argue with the fact that when he plays the team plays better. Is his defense in center that important or does his energy in itself contribute to the team?
    Both. Absolutely both. Sure seems like it's both.
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