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.

    Wait, you go from wondering why I don't answer questions to then thanking me. This is the swiftest reversal of criticism in chat history!
    Odd response earlier noting the group of folks involved in the labor negotiation who don't make millions or billions. Everyone on the 40 man makes pretty good money. It's a reasonable take for a fan to suggest that a lockout and any dispute that goes with it is just noise to me. Work it out. Do so quickly. Every day that goes by where they aren't putting out news is just another day I as a fan have to spend dollars on something else. I don't care how they resolve it. Just get it done.
    Truthful response. There are some members of the 40-man roster that will never get a MLB paycheck. Their professional career might last less than four years, they'll never see a year salary of six figures, and then their career will be over. I urge you not to presume that because the top elite players make millions and millions and are handsomely compensated for their talent that "everyone on the 40 man roster makes pretty good money." No, some don't. A percentage of them do not. That's part of baseball that just gets overlooked, and I completely understand why -- because it's hard to see through the zeroes and commas that clog the headlines for the huge money the top, top players are getting. Meanwhile, careers end on the far ends of the 40-man roster, where no one notices ...
    Its been 2 hours since my first submittal and I haven't seen anything on this topic, so here it is again:
    What is the framework for the negotiations in MLB. I assume each club has a rep on a committee and a select group from that committee counsels with the Union rep to set priorities and support negotiations. Is that at all like it really is? Also what is the structure on the Owners side to give counsel to (don’t recall his name) and negotiate? After an agreement is reached, is there a ratification vote by the players or what. Thanks
    Both sides have negotiating committees. And they each have hired someone to lead the negotiations. For the owners, it's the commissioner's office executive Dan Halem, who has the role previously held by Rob Manfred before he became commissioner. New for this round of CBA negotiations: The union has hired a lawyer with great experience in labor negotiations, and he has headed their negotiations, bringing a new tone to the process. 
    It is not a case where every team has a rep on the committees, not for the owners and not for the players. The reps are voted on by the players and here are the members of that committee:
    Max Scherzer
    Marcus Semien
    Andrew Miller
    Zack Britton
    Gerrit Cole
    Jason Castro
    James Paxton
    Francisco Lindor
    On the committee for the owners is Colorado Rockies chairman Dick Monfort. A few CBAs ago, Bill DeWitt Jr. was on the negotiating committee for the owners.
    There is a vote on both sides of the members to accept the agreement.
    I'm sorry that I did not see your questions earlier -- even after 2 hours. Please know that there are now currently almost 200 questions in the inbox, and I can at the moment see two of them to choose from. There are questions I don't get to see. That's the nature of the chat and the interface we use. And some times there will be a reader who will put in the same question 20 times, and then that's all I see for several minutes.
    How does possible expansion fit in with a CBA negotiation? We know that is a method by which to provide a windfall to the owners.
    It would be part of the discussion. So, too, is international play. MLB wants to go back to London in 2023. That has to be negotiated so the Cardinals can see if they'll be scheduled to do so again, as they have wished to be.
    Derrick minimum wage for a ballplayer is 500k, Give me that for a year and I'd invest 300k and get a real job. I was joking about arbitration after 2 years and free agency after 3 but I think that's what they want.
    The minimum salary for a player in the majors -- in the majors -- was $570,500 this past season. That is the salary they make if they spend the full year in the majors. Spend a week, and it's only a week of that. Spend a month, and it's a month of that salary. Otherwise, that player is making what the minor-league salary is based on his service time and his contract with the club.
    The average career lasts 2.7 years in the majors.
    So, on average a player gets to a career-earning level of a million dollars. If that's their only career for the usual period of employment (around 40-45 years, right?) that averages out to a yearly salary of $36,675. Now, they'll make some in the minors leading up to those 2.7 years, and maybe that pushes it up toward $45,000/year, but minor-leaguers are still considered seasonal employees and thus don't get minimum wage, so some aren't making a living wage given the hours. That's another topic.
    Look, I'm not saying baseball isn't a good career. For many it's a great career. For many, they make millions playing a game that demands year-round devotion to it. It's a great living and some players make so much that they set their families up financially for generations. GENERATIONS.
    But just as there are actors that make millions for starring roles, there are extras and character actors and commercial actors and actors for traveling stage shows who don't. It's similar in baseball (and other professional sports, too).
    I'm not hear to explain the dozens and dozens of players who make huge salaries because people are willing to pay to watch them play. If 40,000 people wanted to attend the chat to watch me type fast, then you can bet we'd sell tickets.
    I'm pointing out that not everyone on the 40-man roster is a millionaire. As detailed above, even being an average player in the majors means not getting to arbitration, not getting that huge pay day, and not getting all that much considering the window is so small for a career. 
    You can push back and say they need to invest better. I won't pretend to know what it costs for another person to live, and maybe they get more. But at the same time if you are wise enough to know what they could get if they invest, then you are also savvy enough to see the numbers above, calculate them yourself, and realize that if the average player is 2.7 years in the majors, then it means there's a tail to the lopsided bell curve that is less than 1/2 a year in the majors because there are players that you know who have 18 years, 14, years, 12 years, nine already years and six more to come years, and how is that counterbalanced than to have a majority of careers that don't even reach the average. 
    Could you comment on the reasoning behind resigning TJ and not Garcia? I know the players had a choice but was it the 2 yrs and/or $ with Garcia? Did the think TJ is more likely to repeat 2021 than Garcia? Are replacements for Garcia more readily available from within & without than for TJ? Thanks
    At this moment it's pretty simple:
    McFarland took the offer from the Cardinals before shopping around for other places.
    Garcia did not take the offer from the Cardinals, shopped around for other teams.
    And, yes, once the Cardinals went into the free agency market they found alternatives to Garcia and they knew non-tender date could add several more, and it did.
    I was listening to a local radio show and they were taking about Brewer’s trading Bradley, and how they thought it was a good move. My question is why are the Brewers making any trades? They made the playoffs last year, and they didn’t lose any significant players this off-season. I was under the impression in St. Louis you were legally obligated to always say just make it in anything could happen.
    Why did the Cardinals go and trade for Nolan Arenado after making the playoffs in 2019 and 2020?Same theory, right? Milwaukee operates under the same goal that many many teams do: Get into the playoffs, see what happens. Win the division. It's the same approach Atlanta's GM talked about on the eve of the World Series as he sat in the dugout and spoke to about eight or so of us reporters. He said the same thing: Get in. See what happens. The playoffs are so random that a Eddie Rosario (acquired at the deadline but injured and sent to the minors) could win a playoff series and be the MVP, and he wasn't even part of the Braves plans on the morning of July 29. During the celebration on the field, one member of the Braves' leadership/ownership turned to me, and said, "This goes to show how you've got to get a ticket. That's all. Get the ticket in (to October) and anything can happen."
    I'm not sure why Cardinals fans feel their team is the only team that has this approach when I've been hearing it year after year after year after year from teams since Theo Epstein mentioned it to me -- in 2004.
    The Brewers had a subpar offense last year. They needed to improve it. They have three CFs on their team and don't need three CFs on their team when they can get an offensive upgrade for the lineup in Renfroe. It's kind of familiar, no? The Cardinals had a starting third baseman when they traded for Arenado ... after reaching the playoffs ... huh.
    Why did you state that the Cardinals leave the lineup in the hands of the Manager?
    Sometime around late July-early August, a PD story stated that Mozeliak said the F.O. sends the lineup, and if Shildt had any question or concerns, they (F.O.and Shildt) would discuss it.
    I don't recall that story. Can you please provide the link, date, or headline? That is not the process that the Cardinals have, sorry. I've asked on this year after year after year and that is not the process that coaches, management, players, and other sources describe, at all. If that was in a story, then I need to find out how that happened and possibly write a correction or adjust my own description after years of reporting.
    Do you think the new collective bargaining agreement will address trading of draft picks? Is this an option that would help tanking teams get out of rebuild mode quicker.
    I wonder if it will. I've asked. I've not received a definitive answer. There is a real hesitancy to do that in baseball, and I get some of the reasons why -- the rich get richer, is the biggest one -- but it would really avoid what happened with Rocker. I asked Scott Boras if picks should be traded (or if draft rights could be traded!), and he said yes. It would help with some of the tanking concerns and change that equation.
    Are (or were, I guess) the Cardinals at all interested in Kershaw?
    Not to my knowledge. He didn't come up as a pitcher of interest, according to several people I spoke to who would know.
  • Derrick - let's pretend you've been asked to speak in front of both the owners and players union and talk some sense into both groups to resolve the strike, What are you saying to each group?
    In short, I would offer the examples of the role baseball played in bringing the country together after tragedies and wars, and caution them that in spring we hope that our country is starting to come out from under a pandemic, into the sun of the summer, and that when it does and baseball isn't there, that will be a breach of the role it has historically played in our culture, in our history, in our communities, and that I don't know if baseball can or should recover from being absent when a fractured nation has a chance to turn to it and come together.
    Understand your point re: minimum salary & average 2.7 years, but respectfully averaging those earnings over a 40 to 45 career as if it were their only career earnings doesn’t even come close to matching the shared reality of an American worker.

    Most Americans work 40 to 45 years. Not many make the argument they should make all of that in a 2.7 year timeframe.

    Most Americans will change careers multiple times now. Baseball players are free to experience the same.

    I am all for fair compensation. Just not 40 to 45 years worth lumped into 2.7 years. If it doesn’t work out, find another job which is what nearly everyone other American has to do if their chosen career doesn’t work out.

    E.g., not every person trying to become a doctor or lawyer will become one. Arguing they should be comped for their law or med school costs if they don’t would be just as unreasonable.

    It is their decision to risk any given career choice. If they reap the rewards great, but arguing they should have a Golden safety net when the vast majority of Americans do not, just strikes me as wrong.

    Again, this is just respectful disagreement. I truly respect your views and reporting. Just differ here.
    I was worried that someone might make the leap that I tried to make sure my argument did not -- I'm saying nothing about the "American worker." I only borrowed one number for the sake of math, and that number was the length of a "work life" to show that the window for a professional athlete is small compared to other careers. I made no comparison to the average wages of the "American worker."
    Because it's not fair to do so. It's not fair at all.
    Teachers are not compensated enough, and many work long hours, well beyond their salaries, and still shape and influence and inspire thousands of lives in their careers. Hundreds of thousands of essential workers, people we rely on every day, make less than they should. Absolutely there's a wage gap, but you didn't come to a baseball chat for me to go on about that, so I didn't. I didn't bring it up. My argument was focused on the 40-man roster and the subject at hand.
    You're disagreeing with an argument that I did not make.
    My point -- my proof, outlined by the facts I provided -- was that there are corners of the 40-man roster where players are not millionaires. That's it. That's all. My reason for bringing up actors, is because I don't get the sense that you'd call all actors millionaires because so many you see in the blockbusters are, and that's because we're well aware of the actors who aren't -- who play supporting roles, who travel from Peoria to Phoenix to Shakespeare in the Park to Sheboygan in pursuit of their craft -- and yet don't see the similarity with professional ballplayers. The most famous ballplayers are millionaires many times over.
    Not all ballplayers are famous. Again, some on the 40-man roster never see the majors. Some never see that paycheck, and I'm pointing out how the numbers suggest that it's a higher percentage than the casual "billionaires vs. millionaires" gripe implies.
    You've taken my statement to a place I did not and disagreed with a statement I didn't not make. My premise: Not all players are millionaires. Full stop.
    Argue that point, unless you concede to the facts I've provided.
    Flashbacks to the 94-95 strike with fans being upset with players over their salaries. Difference being in this case it is a lockout.
    An MLB lockout has yet to result in the loss of a single game.
    The strike cost the game a World Series.
    I'm pretty sure the Brewers lost Avisail Garcia just a week or so ago - so they have lost someone.
  • They lost a significant member of the outfield. Thanks for the back-check.
  • Are you worried about finding stories during the lockout?
  • Would you vote David Ortiz into the hall of fame. Why, or why not?
    I don't know yet. I've only just started on my ballot.
    Hello Derrick:

    As I have become more familiar with analytics and the effect on player salaries, it seems to me that catchers in general, (and specifically, those strong on both sides - defense and offense) are grossly underpaid based on their influence on any given baseball game, pitch-to-pitch, inning-by-inning, etc.

    We have been fortunate enough to watch an all-time great defensive catcher for the past 17+ years and although Yadier Molina has made his fair share of money in the game, it seems his salaries over the years do not represent the overall contribution he has made to the team's success.

    I have heard that the position of catcher is the most difficult position to quantify analytically, and this likely contributes to the issue as I describe it. Your thoughts?
    Absolutely, catcher is the hardest to quantify because of all the things required of the catcher. He calls every pitch -- so how do you measure that? It's tied in to the execution of that said pitch so it's difficult to know if the catcher called the right pitch and the pitcher just didn't execute, or if the catcher called the right pitch and the pitcher shook him off to throw the wrong one, the costly one, the one that means we'll never know if the catcher was right. It's just a tricky thing to gauge.
    Not to mention the physical wear and tear of the position, one that comes with being involved in every single pitch. 
    Analytics have made great strides in capturing a measure of catchers, and that's why a few years ago you saw a jump in the WAR for many catchers, including Yadier Molina. But it's not complete. It's interesting that you brought up compensation, because that has definitely been the case with Molina. The conversations his agent has with the Cardinals don't really mention the batting average, homers, WAR, and so on because they have to get past those numbers to arrive a salary that is more reflective of what you're asking about -- all the things he brings beyond those measured, and what the team and player agree those are ... and they are worth. Maybe other catchers don't get to a point where they can have that conversation with the team and thus salaries are lower. Interesting conversation you've brought up. Eager to see what happens as Stallings' career continues and what his defensive prowess becomes worth to a team ... 
    Who, in your opinion, is the greatest Cardinals lead off hitter of all tim?
    Lou Brock leaps to mind, right? Curt Flood would be an interesting argument to make. I think this is somewhat of a trap question, because Matt Carpenter was one of the best leadoff hitters in the majors for part of his career, radically upgraded what the Cardinals got from that spot based on OPS, and then you saw other teams follow that model. 
    So, let's go to the numbers.
    Using baseball-reference.com, we can sort players by their numbers in the leadoff spot for the Cardinals. It's an amazing database that b-ref.com has. How to judge leadoff hitters? Well, let's go with the simplest of ways just to streamline the search: on-base percentage. Quite simply, let's rank the players who have had 1,000 plate appearances at leadoff for the Cardinals by how few outs they make. 
    Here are the top 10, based on OBP:
    1. Miller Huggins, .403
    2. Solly Hemus, .392
    3. Ray Blades, .388
    4. Matt Carpenter, .382
    5. Taylor Douthit, .376
    6. Lonnie Smith, .370
    7. Pepper Martin, .363
    8. Skip Schumaker, .358
    9. David Eckstein, .358
    10. Curt Flood, .352
    Fernando Vina comes just shy of the top 10 at .349. And I bet now you're wondering where is Lou Brock in this ranking? Brock comes in at .346 for his career OBP. No Cardinal has close to as many games at leadoff as Brock's 1,712, and of course there isn't any Cardinal within 1,000 hits of Brock at leadoff. His 2,104 lead the spot for the Cardinals. Vince Coleman comes in second with 932. Carpenter is third, at 810. And he has the most homers at leadoff, with 111.
    Sure seems like the OBP favors some, but the counting numbers and just doing the job over and over and over and over and over again to ignite the offense goes to Brock. Brock is the answer.
    Where do majority of Cardinals players live in STL area?
    Most, if not all this winter, do not live in St. Louis during the offseason.
    Not getting it. Cardinals (and I assume other teams) "scrub" their websites. Dumb, dumb and dumb. The Cardinals organization won't let members of the organization or even designated members of the organization speak with the media. Dumber, dumber and dumber. If the owners think the fans are going to rush back to the ball parks, this is not the 1990's. We have COVID, a tough economy and fans have found other forms of entertainment both in-home and outside the home. Be careful, owners.
    The teams did not scrub their web sites. MLB did. I wonder if they did it with the press of a single button which speaks to the planning ahead the owners did for that possibility, and then at midnight pressed the button and all 30 sites were wiped clean of the player references. The only active player we could find at all referenced on the site was Pujols appearing in a 2001 replay of that year's All-Star Game. Fascinating. 
    Again, this was not a Cardinals thing. This was a Major League Baseball thing. They scrubbed the sites. 
    From a writer's perspective, I cannot imagine seeing all of my work -- years of it -- vanish. All those words typed, all that information reported ... poof. 
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