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

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

Bring your Cards questions and comments to Monday’s 11 a.m. live chat.

    Greetings everyone. Thanks for joining us for a Thanksgiving week chat. We've got a good three hours here for a feast of your questions and my overstuffed answers. You know the recipe, right? The chat goes where you take it. Had a chance to sneak away from the keyboard for a few days this past week so my fingers should be well-rested and ready to keep up with your questions.
    Onward.
    Between a bat and a starter, which is likely to be higher on the Cards priority list?
    Hi Derrick. Who are the pitchers the FO is looking at ? Are they thinking about a trade in lieu of a free agent
    At last check, the Cardinals did not find the trade market for starters to their liking. This was largely because of the asking price. According to sources within the front office, they engaged some teams in talk of potential trades only to have the teams ask about Gorman and Liberatore and Walker and the prospects the Cardinals have zero interest in trading. Unable at this point to talk teams down from that ask -- that's not uncommon that the asking price is high in the winter, especially with no deadline on the horizon, as there is in July -- the Cardinals remained convinced that free agency was the way to go.
    So who?
    Well, consider this: The Cardinals have some interest in re-signing J. A. Happ -- but they are out in the market to see if they can get a younger free agent, one of the pitchers from a tier or two above the free agent lefty. The interest in Max Scherzer is mutual, and it becomes a question of cost and length of commitment, and whether the Cardinals can outbid other suitors. The Cardinals are also interested in Matz and they have explored what it will take to sign Stroman. The Cardinals are shopping in that aisle at the moment, and internally they feel like there are six or seven possibilities that would be the upgrade for the rotation they seek.
    On their mind is not only the improvement for 2022 but what that rotation could look like for 2023 if Wainwright retires and they'd welcome a third starter to be there with Flaherty and Hudson at the top of the rotation ... 
    During the winning streak, this is Woodfords stat line for Sept.
    1 0 1.90era 5games 4started 23.2inngs 5runs 7bb 14ks
    .210 avg 1.01whip
    With these numbers do you think Woodford gets a shot at the rotation or, does he go back to Memphis or maybe traded.? Why go out a and spend 90 million when you have this guy?
    Plus others at Memphis nearly ready: Liberatore, Oviedo, Thompson. With the DH looming, a top DH hitter should be priority.
    Woodford is done with Memphis. That's the sentiment within the Cardinals' front office and clubhouse. He has nothing left to prove at Class AAA, as they say. And you've outlined some of the reasons why. Mozeliak has long been an advocate of Woodford -- going back years, candidly. And he was again at the GM Meetings, suggesting that Woodford has earned a chance to compete for a spot in the rotation.
    The Cardinals see real value in the coming season for pitchers they think can be two, three options -- out of the bullpen or to slide into the rotation as sixth man. This is part of the idea with Hicks and Reyes ... and Woodford, too. The elasticity of being able to start, relieve, and also provide middle relief/length is going to be a valuable part of how they approach the pitching in 2022.
    Hello Mr. Goold - what are your expectations for behind the plate and Yadi this year? Will he play more than 100 games behind the plate? Will Knizner still be on the roster next year or be traded? Will Herrara be up to learn behind Yadi?
    There is no plan to trade Andrew Knizner. There is no need to trade him at the moment. I'm never sure why "trade" is the default question. There is nothing wrong with keeping good players who have roles. He's going to get a larger share of the playing time in 2022 if both he and Molina stay healthy because there was a real appealing setup for both of them in the second half of this past season. There was, routinely, about 1 1/2 games a week for Knizner, and sometimes he was linked to a starter to assure a start every fifth day, and more if there was a day/night combo. You can count on Molina starting with Wainwright as they go for the MLB battery record, but otherwise there has been internal discussions about how that schedule worked for Knizner and Molina's buy in that his production will be more with less playing time, more of a break. Obviously, a losing streak or a hot streak could change that calculus for the catcher and the team, but the idea going in is to continue a lot of what the team did for that final month.
    Herrera will get time with Molina in spring, and there will be times during the season that Herrera is in the majors, either as a third catcher or as a replacement because of some ache or pain. 
  • Derrick If TheDH Comes to the NL is there Any Chance The Cardinals could bring Albert Pujols back for one final season
    That's not so much an "if" as it is a when, and there's really not a spot for Pujols on the roster even with a DH, unless that spot is purely for nostalgia. The Cardinals have a righthanded-hitting first baseman that they expect to play almost every day. They don't need another righthanded-hitting option that only plays one position and doesn't allow them to rotate regulars through the DH spot to get them that "half day off" La Russa used to talk to. If the Cardinals are going for nostalgia, they'll install Pujols at DH. If they are going for contention, they'll seek a lefthanded option for the DH, count on Yepez being that righthanded-hitting corner infielder on the bench, and use the DH like a modern team does. The question is more relevant in September, when if Pujols is available later in the season they might let nostalgia guide them and make the move ...
    Has there been any talk of Yadi staying in the organization post playing career, or does he seem like he would move on to other things like his basketball team?
    There has been constant talk of that. The expectation is that he'll make appearances at spring training, that he'll be around the catchers, but not that he'll vault right into some kind of full-time role that takes him away from being owner of the basketball team or the music-production interest that he has cultivated.
    You mentioned that Gorman was the ask for starting pitching near the deadline and that there was no intention on trading him. Does that mean he is actually destined to take 2B from Edman?
    Hi DG, it seems like the tone is changed slightly from previous off-season's from the FO when it comes to spending money on free agents this winter. Although they will never fully abadon their approach to find value at the Cardinals pace, they have indicated that they will pay money for a free agent starter. What do you think is the main driver for this change and do you think it has anything to do with attendance numbers?
    The Cardinals have pointed to attendance (or lack thereof) as motivation for making deals for Goldschmidt and Arenado. You recall that the Cardinals were not thrilled by a playoff game that wasn't a sellout, and then this past spring, Mozeliak told me, on the record, that he felt the Arenado deal was important because he got the sense fans thought they were unable to make the big move and bring in the superstar player. He said it was a move to regain fan-confidence.
    I'm not sure that the tone has changed all that much from a few years ago when the Cardinals went after Cecil and Fowler and spent more on acquiring new free agents than any other team. 
    Those moves didn't work out as they hoped. But the money was still spent.
    What is driving the sentiment of this winter -- well, it's opportunity. The free agent market has multiple options for the Cardinals' wishes and at a spectrum of price points. That's why they feel like they can find what they're looking for, and maybe are more candid about it than their usual comments. 
    Do you enjoy soccer, watch the EPL, etc? What club do you support?
    I do. Very much so. Tottenham.
    Do you see the Cardinals being in on Seiya Suzuki at all?
    Not really, no. Their confidence in their outfield has been rewarded with fewer questions from the annoying media about the lack of production out there year after year. Mozeliak gets an "I told you so." And here comes Lars Nootbaar to join the group.
    Derrick are the Cardinals active in The Shortstop market
    From what I've heard, no. Not active. Loitering on the periphery as they, do but not active.
    What are the odds that this is NOT the final year for Yadi and Waino?
    Low at the moment, mainly because Molina has been so definitive when he says this is his last season. Now, he has said before that he expected the three-year contract to take him to the end of the season. So there's the slim chance he opts to return, emboldened by how he feels, say he has a big robust healthy season ... But there are is something else at work here. For a few years now, and we've talked about this and reported it, there have been people close to Molina, real close to him, that have urged him to take a victory lap, a goodbye tour, like the Cardinals saw Jeter on when the Yankees visited Busch. Hard to do that and then come back ...
    Wainwright has only suggested that he will get his kids a dog in the fall and that he made that promise to get a dog after he retired. He will keep open the possibility of pitching beyond 2022 until he says he's retired. He has been constant in every conversation I've had with him: He saw some of his favorite players retire, unretire, retire, unretire. He doesn't want to do that.
    Based on the comments from Oli Marmol about the opportunities for lineup enhancement depending on the opposing team's starter etc, how many leadoff hitters will the Cardinals have this year? I keep thinking this year we may see much more of Goldschmidt in that role, but if so, who bats second? The top of the lineup is a question I am eager to see how the Cardinals answer.
    I think we set the over/under of leadoff hitters used this season at 4 1/2, and I'm definitely expecting to see Goldschmidt at leadoff at least once in 2022. Carlson would hit second then.
    DG, thanks for the chats. Since O'Neill, Bader, and Carlson solidified their spots in the outfield are the Cardinals shopping for a one-year deal with a player like Pederson, Rosario, etc. or would they rather have Noot fill that spot? Again, thanks for the chats.
    They would like Nootbaar to fill that role, and they are intrigued by the possibility of him as the lefthanded hitter who gets some time in the OF when say O'Neill DHs, or that Nootbaar could play some at DH during the season. He's impressed. And he's asserted his place in their plans with a strong Arizona Fall League turn.
    Do you know if Mo has given any thought to Carlson or Nootbar a look at playing some innings at first base in the spring?
    That has not come up. Yepez is of interest to them there, not the two outfielders.
    Do the Cardinals add depth to their bench, or just put their young players on the bench?
    They already have added depth to their bench of note, and it sure seems like Rondon will have a challenger for his spot if the Cardinals keep him on the 40-man roster through the tender deadline. They did sign Anderson Tejeda to be a challenger at backup as a glove guy for the infield. And we'll see another move or so closer toward spring training for a more bat-oriented infielder.
    Do you sense the Cardinals would make an offer to Scherzer something like Verlander got? Just wondering how serious they are, or if they're saying they are interested but have no intention of that kind of offer.
    They know better. Justin Verlander didn't pitch at all in 2021. Scherzer finished third in the Cy Young Award. Verlander is older. Scherzer has been more consistent and more accomplished in recent seasons. The Cardinals know going in -- just as every other team does -- that Scherzer will command a better offer than Verlander received. He's earned it. If they don't meet that, they're not paying attention.
  • I realize you don't write headlines, but the "Business as Usual" headline for the Cardinals is disheartening. Has there been any indication of an adjustment from their extreme value driven approach towards fielding a team that looks like it belongs with the other teams in the playoffs?
    Increasingly, writers do write the headlines now, so we can no longer use that as a shield, not that we ever should. It's our story, our byline, and maybe if we didn't like the headline we should have written the story better.
    Now we take an active part in writing the headlines, especially for online.
    I don't understand the rest of your question. A lot of teams are value-driven. The team that won the World Series this past year is value-driven. The team that won the American League pennant in 2020, 100 games in 2021 is value-driven. That just about describes any team that is trying to contend, even the Red Sox and Dodgers, candidly. 
    The Cardinals looked like a team that belonged in the playoffs in 2021 and happened to be playing some of their best baseball at the best time. They lost on a walk-off to a 106-win team that they went toe to toe with. They belonged.
    When you look back at your seasons covering the Cardinals as the beat writer, do any stand out? I imagine they each have their own distinct look in your mind when you think about them.
    Championships always stand out. They don't happen often. They are a responsibility to cover, and the writer better not mess those up. Everyone remembers that.
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