Join Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold for his live chat at 1 p.m. Monday

Join Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold for his live chat at 1 p.m. Monday

Bring your Cards questions and comments to Monday’s 1 p.m. live chat.

    Mark Ellis came to St. Louis for his age-37 season. Not really comparable to a 33-year-old, I would say.

    Here's some fun numbers. Career OPS+: Schwarber 119, Dickerson 116, Castellanos 115, Soler 111. Scharber + Casty + Soler, 12 yrs. and 215 million dollars. Dickerson, 1 yr. and 5 million. Dickerson is older than them, but he ain't old yet. And he's the only good signing of the three.
    by Willie McGee's charming shuffle to home plate 3/21/2022 7:18:06 PM
    The unicorn of the chat -- the rare comment that is supportive of a Cardinals move and brings the receipts.
    Sorry, I didn't mean to impugn your knowledge. I was just thinking that given how tight ownership is with their books, it would be tough for you to have a really specific sense of the overall revenues. I didn't mean any disrespect.
    Understood. The Cardinals are tight with their books, like 28 other teams. And then there are the Braves. They are owned by a publicly traded company so we can learn a lot about the other teams from them. That is especially true when it comes to the Cardinals, who are similar to the Braves in many ways except for the population and access to cable subscriptions as a result. That accounts for the disparity in the TV deal. But there are a lot of other similarities between the two so that we can get a peek at the Cardinals through the Braves.
    Hi Derrick. Colin Moran's name came up a good bit over the off-season as a good left handed bat that could provide backup for the infield corners. The Cards signed Dickerson, who can back up the outfield, at a much higher price than Moran signed for. Is Dickerson that much better than Moran, and does that mean that the corner infield spots are going to backed up by rookies like Yepez and Gorman? Thanks as always for the chats and the great Cardinals coverage!
    That is all correct, yes. The Cardinals went for the bigger bat and not the specific position. Not sure if that really has much influence on Gorman, honestly. If he's in the majors, he's there to play, period. He's not going to be a backup and also in the majors. They feel that will be detrimental to his development, and they'll move him back to the minors if he's just going to sit there as a backup. It does put the backup role to Sosa or DeJong, depending on how shortstop sorts out, and then Yepez and possibly Donovan.
    Do you know why Greinke dislikes the Cardinals so much?
    I don't. I asked him once. He declined to answer, or really elaborate. He's blunt when he wants to give an answer, so it would be revealing if/when he does. He did call Chris Carpenter "phony" back in the playoffs, if you recall. I've been doing some interviews for our season preview, and it's funny how often Greinke stories come up.
  • While other teams (Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, etc) goal is to win the World Series, it is apparent the Cardinal’s goal is to compete for a playoff spot and hope for the best. The front office takes a more conservative approach versus being aggressive and filling needs via free agency (Story, SShwarber
    The Cardinals stated goal -- from ownership, again -- is to win the division. I do wonder if Yankees fans have this same perception in their chat, and Red Sox fans in their chat with writers, and other teams fans bases in their chats. I've offered this up as an example over and over and over and over and over again. In the celebration after Atlanta clinched the World Series, one of the executives on the field, not too far from the mound, came up to me and said: "This is why you have to do everything you can just to get in, because anything can happen." (I'm paraphrasing.) I asked if that was how the team was built -- and he said the playoffs are so random teams just build the best team possible to get there, to get in, and hope health and pitching get you the rest of the way. 
    The Cubs had the same approach. The Red Sox. There are comments galore from teams around baseball about how they are built to get into the playoffs because the postseason is too random to know how to build a team to win a World Series.
    Just wanted to write that. Again. That's how teams are built.
    The Cardinals could do more to close the randomness of the postseason. They make that last move to go from contending for a division to challenging the Dodgers as the on-paper favorite. Absolutely the Cardinals could do more.
    But let's not act like they are the only team that talks about winning a division and recognizing the postseason can be a dice roll. 
    Now that I've apologized, a follow-up, if I may. I agree that salaries would be capped at the top scale. However, if, for instance, players are getting only 40% of all revenue, then a capped CBA that negotiates a 50/50 split means more money to the players. How it gets distributed . . . that's another matter.
    It would, if they negotiated that. That's a big big big big huge massive if. I understand the appeal of a salary cap from, say, a Marlins perspective, but we do see how wild-card, rogue-spenders do shape the market for years to come in ways constantly benefit players. Look at Correa's deal. It's a dollar more (exaggeration) than Rendon's deal. And that's on purpose. Pushing the bar ever higher. Look at Scherzer's deal. It's more than the previous one, and we'll see the next starter benefit from that, too. With a cap, you're not going to see that upward movement by spikes. It will be more of a curve that reflects the growth of revenue, not the anxiety or urgency of individual owners.
    Who is the most improved player you have seen so far this spring?
    I'm eager to see Pacheco and Pallante today in the game this evening. They might be the answer to this. Andrew Knizner is also on the short list.
    In 1989, I cleared the evening free of homework so that I could watch the World Series that night. I had snacks setup. The primo spot in front of the TV. All of it was ready to go so I could see the World Series. Even had the ol' VHS ready to go. And then the game didn't happen. An earthquake did. I sat there and took notes about what the reporters were telling us on TV. Not sure why. But I did. And the next day, we had some free-writing in English class, and I wrote all about the previous night -- not what I did, but the news of it. I used quotes from the anchors on national news, info I read in that morning's paper, and so on. My English teacher, Mrs. Taylor, read the free writing and returned it with this note:
    "Have you ever thought about being a journalist?"
    It dawned on me that I always had. I was part of the school newspaper/yearbook at every stop. I'd draw some cartoons for papers. I had an awkward audition to be a "kid anchor" at a local TV station in Denver. I was constantly filling notebooks with writings.
    That question prompted me to explore journalism. My choice of Mizzou for college over other opportunities cinched journalism as the goal, and it was years later, while an intern at the Palm Beach Post, that I realized I might maybe one day possibly cover baseball, and that the variety of stories I could tell, history I could try to capture, and moments on the field or off the field that I would get a chance to write (like the news of that earthquake) was worth that chase. Thanks for asking.
    Would Cards trade Knizner to the A's? Seems they'd have a need there.
    Would they trade Herrera? If Knizner, is Herrera ready to take the helm next year?
  • At the moment, they need Knizner. He is their starting catcher until Molina is ready, and he's set to handle starts at the beginning of the season as Molina may be easing into the everyday. We will see. They have no interest in trading Herrera, as he is their plan for 2023.
    Who do you predict will have the most at bats in the DH spot for the Cardinals this year?
    Dickerson is the favorite.
    Nootbaar is the sleeper.
    Does the Dickerson signing mean Pujols is out? Any chance they could try to sign him later in the year if he is available?
    by Renegade Rick edited by Derrick Goold 3/21/2022 7:43:10 PM
    That presumes that Albert Pujols was ever in. The Cardinals made it clear -- to anyone who would listen, agents included -- that they were shopping for a lefthanded bat. Pujols is not. They understood the nostalgia of the idea, but they were going for a lefthanded bat for that role.
    Yes, there is always the possibility that their needs change and views change. A year ago, if the Angels made the move later in the season, closer to September, a source with the Cardinals told me they would have made the play for the appeal of having Pujols back.
    When you say Herrera is the 2023 plan, is that as the starter? Or he's Knizner's backup in 23?
    Why can't they share the job? It's what other teams do these days.
    Some how my Twitter feed became full of Yankee related tweets this weekend. Based on what I saw I think their fans have the same perception in their chat too. It was all how could they help free up money so the Twins get Correa, and why haven't they signed Story yet.
    What a plot twist, eh? The Yankees help the Twins clear money so they can sign Correa. That's the double-whammy. Now, let's see if that actually helps Minnesota win a playoff game. Especially if it's once again against the Yankees.
  • Other than Bryant just being a total mercenary and looking for dollars, how does his signing in Colorado make sense for either party involved? Does he not value winning since he has a championship under his belt? How do the Rockies not just keep Arenado?
    I don't know enough about Bryant's preferences to speak on that because I haven't really read much of his comments or talked to him, as you can imagine. 
    I do think your last question is interesting. The Rockies are paying more for Bryant and longer for Bryant than if they just kept Arenado. That is odd. But there is one huge difference. Arenado had the opt-out in his contract. (He had one; Cardinals had to add a second to keep the present-day value of the contract intact.) It is clear that the Rockies felt that Arenado was going to opt-out and leave them with nothing in return, and he had that power to do so and he had expressed a wish to be traded -- and pushed for that trade to be with the Cardinals. The Rockies thought they were only going to lose leverage and possibly lose out entirely, with only a draft pick as compensation ... 
    So the opening day lineup is:

    Edman
    Goldy
    ONeill
    Arenado
    Carlson
    Yadi
    Dickerson
    DeJong
    Bader

    Wainwright SP

    I don’t know about Yadi as number 6, he should be lower IMO, and not sure if Carlson is in the 5 hole.
    Molina is bound for No. 7 or 8 at the moment. But, yes, this appears close.
    Honestly I love the idea of split time catchers next year. It's just not something this organization has done for the 40 years I've been watching them. Less wear and tear at a physically demanding position makes a ton of sense. This chat today is first I've heard that that could be the plan. I like it.
    The game has changed in the past four decades, and they won't have Yadier Molina to start as often as he did. The Cardinals are going to have to modernize.
    I like the reliever adds as well as Dickerson. Dealing with the Oakland A’s for starting depth is The Shove they missed the boat on.

    With Verhagen/Brooks possibly headed for the rotation, think Cards will look into the some vet relievers still out there. Romo, Watson, Devenski, or old friend Rosenthal types?
    Not at the moment, no. There is some growing confidence in what they're seeing with Jordan Hicks. So keep that in mind. We'll see how he advances in the next five, six days. 
    I would not consider that kind of a shove -- except in the wrong direction if it cost one of the top five prospects. But that's just me. We can have different opinions.
    I'm not sure how you get to a salary cap, unless the Yankees share more revenue with the Marlins (not gonna happen) or the players accept a cap low enough to accommodate the Marlins and let the Yankees pocket more . (Also not gonna happen). And that's assuming the owners would even open the books.
  • Huge assumption. But what would happen is there would be more money into a pool, and that would be carved up. Players believe that teams like the Yankees and Toronto and Dodgers and such would rightly be fiercely protective of their enormous revenues, while the salary cap would have to be engineered downward toward the lower-revenue teams. It's a hard equation to see how they'd make it work -- and you're right the payers trusting the books they see is one thing. Owners trusting each other is also part of it.
    As someone recently joked on Twitter, with Schwarber + Castellanos, the Phillies now have a $40M-per-year platoon combo at designated hitter. How aggressive they are! How committed to winning! And how stupid. Aggressively acquiring a veteran player coming off his career year? That's what the Cards did with Fowler and Ozuna. And those were BY FAR the two most destructive moves of the Mozeliak era. The decline of 2016-present can be directly linked to those moves.

    I know I'm in the minority, but so far the Redbird offseason is a roaring success to me. They have grabbed a lot of pitching depth, and a very good outfielder/lefty DH (the kind of player we hope Nootbaar eventually becomes). If the Birds add one more viable rotation candidate via trade or free agency, the team is ready to go. Anyway, thanks for the platform, Derrick!
    by Brian Jordan: exactly twice as good as Bo Jackson 3/21/2022 7:58:41 PM
    Thanks for joining the chat. Interesting perspective. I get the draw of wanting to be delighted and thrilled by headlines. The Cardinals are definitely not selling headlines -- though Mozeliak did admit that the trade for Arenado was needed because the fan base had doubted the team could make that kind of move.
    Thanks for taking my question. Does Flaherty's current injury effect how much money he will make in arbitration? The Cards did not get a full season last year, and won't get a full season this year. If their dispute goes to arbitration, will his injuries be a factor for the arbitrator?
    It should not. As part of the schedule that is so odd here, teams and players are told that they will not have current information from this year utilized in arbitration hearings. All of that must be based on what they knew coming out of last season. That will be true for the hearings that come during the season and if a player is off to a hot streak or cold streak. That information has to be ignored, tough as that may be. 
    Now, arbitration does have a playing time element. It's a big part of it. Durability. How much the player is there, goes to the post. Coming off a year with injury is going to limit that for any player, and now the Cardinals have also introduced the aspect that Flaherty has been pitching through injury for several years. That becomes a question, if not for arbitration then for extension, and if not for extension then when he reaches free agency ... 
    Did the cancelling of the Rule 5 draft free up players they weren't expecting to keep (like Luken Baker, maybe)?
    Absolutely. The Cardinals got a huge break. They got the DH and they kept Luken Baker. What a stroke of luck for them, and what a disappointment for Baker who could have had a spot on a big-league roster if he got the chance and had a good spring.
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