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

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

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

    Mr Goold, thanks for your impeccable coverage this season. Lot of talk about adding a LH bat to the lineup, do you see Nolan Gorman as that answer and Edman going to SS and Cards instead using FA to shore up the rotation instead, or a solid backup OF?
    I don't see Edman moving to SS to make room for Gorman -- though I do understand why the Cardinals might bring that up, or at least kick it around internally. As the roster sets right now, Gorman is going to get a chance to make his case during spring training for a spot in the majors. He could overtake Edman at second base if the Cardinals see him as that lefthanded Uggla-power option that they'd like to have. It's a steep climb given all that Edman added at the second half and his superb defense at second base. But you see here what I mean about the DH, right? Consider the spots that Gorman could be in then or Edman. There's a place for both if they're both at peak.
    It appears Mo is going to give Shildt an extension. How many additional years would you give him? Why does Shildt need to be extended right now? Why can’t they talk extension after his current contract expires? Isn’t this how we get ourselves in trouble?
    I'm glad someone asked because it gives me a chance to talk about how manager contracts are set up and how to look at them in terms of being written to be revised before the final year.
    There is a sense in baseball that managers, GMs, and POBOs upon entering the final year of their contract are effectively (well, actually they are literally) lame ducks. Does that change their authority in which they can act? Or, does it change the clubhouse's view of that manager? If they don't have the support of the ownership beyond this year, does that mean the clubhouse can just outwait the coach?
    That view informs how contracts are written.
    And you see throughout baseball the arrival of the final year for most -- not all, because TLR did go year to year for awhile -- managers/GMs/POBO is the invitation for an extension. It's set up that way.
    I hope I can articulate this well. Manager/GM/POBO contracts are guaranteed. So, when any of them are fired before the expiration of that contract, they are paid what they are owed over the life of that contract. That's important here because you have to think about of a manager's contract in terms of salary, not necessarily years. And they are definitely written to allow for the raise/extension before the final year.
    If a manager is going well, then the team will want that window for an extension, and by overlapping with the final year the manager gets the raise, the team gets that year baked in.
    If a manager isn't going well, then teams have calculated that they can move on, pay double salary to that one position for a year (or so), and then adjust the next time the contract comes up.
    For example, a manager could sign a three-year, $3-million deal, but effectively a team sees that as its willingness to spend $1.5m per year on the manager and then move on -- or give him a raise that includes some of that guarantee, and moves the contract out another two years.
    We sometimes see this in player contract, especially for veterans. When the Cardinals signed some recent veterans -- Jhonny Peralta comes to mind -- they made that last year of the deal a salary they could move or payout, effectively saying they think he'd meet the production they're paying for in one year less than the life of his contract, and then could walk away from the deal having gotten the return they expected. 
    TL; DR: The possibility of an extension before the final year of a contract is baked into the that contract for a manager, GM, or POBO -- on both sides. The team calculates what they're willing to pay the manager and knows it might be for one year less than the contract if it doesn't go well. The manager/gm/POBO knows that the final year of the contract, if all goes well, can be rewritten for a raise while included in the length of his next deal.
    Hope that helps.
    I'll try to briefly touch on your specific questions, more directly:
    Q:  How many additional years would you give him? 
    -- From the above, I hope you can see how the trend would be two on top of the one that's already there. Other contract extensions will set the market. Years ago, the Cardinals had to respond to Francona's extension in Cleveland when they awarded Matheny one in STL.
    Q: Why does Shildt need to be extended right now?
    -- I hope I explained that above.
    Q: Why can’t they talk extension after his current contract expires? 
    -- They can. But then he's a free agent, and they don't have exclusive rights to negotiate with him, and he'll have spent a whole season with what passes for faith/confidence in him, so you tell me what message he should take from that and maybe he'd be open to going to the highest bidder. It's a risk on both sides, but in an industry where dollar signs are a show of value/importance to the team, what's the message sent here. I hope some of this was also explained above as well.
    Q: Isn’t this how we get ourselves in trouble?
    -- No. Player contracts are way different. There is a CBA governing them. A manager/gm/coach/POBO can just be paid out and move on. See this all the time.
    "Lame Duck" is ok, but "short leash" isn't?
    Yes. Though I'm open to a discussion on how you see the two related and willing to change my mind if you make the case. One is using an analogy to explain a person's situation -- most often used in politics, it defines an elected official in the final year of his/her term and how that limits power. It is not a commentary on a person, but rather a colorful literary device to describe the power of their position, their situation.
    The other has dehumanizing roots that have to do with, quite literally, controlling an animal.
    I hope that explains how I see important, significant differences in the phrases. 
    I see you answered the question on Schwarber as being not the most versatile, but left handed.....I agree, but couldn't Schwarber be used as a DH some, and get some occasional starts in the OF? Wouldn't he check a couple of boxes (DH, LH hitting veteran OF)? Seems like a good get to me.
    He could, for sure. The Cardinals play at Fenway last year. He could be in left field while O'Neill gets some time at DH. My whole argument is that the Cardinals could use the DH to really fortify the lineup by looking for the best bat, and then move the pieces around from there. It is entirely plausible that Schwarber is the best bat that they can sign, and there they go. I'm just saying he's not the most versatile option out there. That's all.
    Mr. Goold: Based on what you said in your last chat, you don’t buy into the idea the manager killed all the momentum the team built up in their winning streak of 17 games by managing the last five games of the season as if it didn’t matter whether they won or lost. As far as I’m concerned, the manager got exactly what he deserved in the game against the Dodgers … a loss. Maybe he learned a valuable lesson that even though games may be meaningless as far as the standings go, winning is never meaningless, so you don’t take your foot off the gas and shift into neutral. That’s what the manager did and the only thing it accomplished was cooling off the bats.
    I've outlined earlier how I disagree with this premise because it's entirely based on anecdotal evidence and selectively choosing examples. The Brewers took their foot off the gas, limited their starters innings, AND went several days without playing a game, so how are they able to win a playoff game? 
    The Cardinals, in 2015, won 100 games, didn't score a run in the final weekend of the season as they were swept by Atlanta. So is that what lost them the series to Chicago, or was it just that the Cubs were a better team at the right time than the Cardinals? That Cubs team was playing excellent baseball at that moment, and you could argue had superior pitching entering that series, and that's the real momentum.
    Your opinion is shared here because I'm sure there are others who agree with you.
    Maybe they can offer some evidence to sway me.
    How long does Atlanta have to wait for an all star game as a result of what happened this year?
    I don't know. The All-Star Game is committed to Dodger Stadium for 2022, and it's going to Seattle for the 2023 and the Philadelphia in 2025. There's an opening in 2024, if that's the place.
    I like your idea of the versatile DH are other teams doing that now? Don't most teams have bat only DH's.
    Not any more. That's been part of the financial and versatile decisions teams make. Cruz's are rarer than they were 10-12 years ago, in the age of Thome and Thomas.
    Derrick,
    With the expiring CBA how is that going to affect arbitration players this year? Is that process going to be postponed until a new CBA is reached?
    We don't know yet. It's a safe bet that it will change things, and likely make it possible for players to see an increase in their salaries over what's expected at the moment.
    If next year is Yadi’s last, who should we expect to see backing him up next year? knizner? Or will they bring up Herrera?
    Andrew Knizner will be the backup. Herrera at Class AAA, on the 40-man roster and set for his debut at some point if there's an injury or need ahead of him. Molina has said it's his last year, no reason to think he doesn't mean it.
    Do you think the team wants Edman at 2nd or in the utility role?
    Waino put pen to paper for next year already right? It looks like he is having too much fun in the booth…
  • He has, yes. His deal is done, filed. He's got a one-year, $17.5-million deal with a no-trade clause and some of the other usual bonuses for awards. He'll pitch at least one more year for the Cardinals, and then his career as a broadcaster will take off and he'll be on the World Series call or Sunday Night Baseball within 15 minutes of retiring.
    He'll either go to the Hall of Fame as a pitcher or a broadcaster.
    Yadi's bat looked slow last Wednesday. While he is coming back for one farewell season and it will be filled with sentimentality, the line-up card cannot be. He probably won't want to ever sit in his final season but when he plays he can't be your 6th hitter just because he's Yadi. That said, Mo needs to give Shildt a reason not to bat him there by adding a SS/DH that can rake.
    Molina was dealing with a shoulder injury that limited his swing and throwing more than he let on, and it was probably more serious than the Cardinals let on and definitely most apparent during the wild-card game. Had they advanced it would have been something to monitor -- opposing scouts took note.
    Assuming the cardinals have enough healthy and quality starters going into the season (which we should all know by now is no guarantee), do you see them considering the idea of a six-man rotation?
    If not in name, they'll have something like this in practice. The big thing is that they need to actually think beyond six. They felt they had nine starters going into spring training 2021, and they still needed to trade for two lefties and sign a third by the end of the season, and get Hudson back. They need to be prepared with that depth, and instead of using veterans to backfill in duress maybe consider the reverse approach, turning to young players in less duress, because the a veteran or given is already in place.
    Do you expect any Cardinals trades or free agent signings before a new CBA is agreed upon?
    Yes. The Cardinals will engage with McFarland and Garcia -- to name two -- before they get to the expiration of the CBA. They are also going to explore trades at the GM meetings that could manifest before Thanksgiving.
    Not a question, just a comment. Every time Bader got on base vs the Dodgers all I could think was how nice it will be next year to have a real bat behind him, so when he is on base they aren’t wasting that speed.
  • This is an advocacy for the DH. A double leadoff of Bader-Edman would have changed that game, you'd think.
  • In 7 of the 12 playoff games under Shildt/Albert, the Cardinals have scored 1 run or less. This year’s team had even more offensive fire power and still only managed a single run. At what point do you have to start questioning the coaches’ preparation and approach?
    Any word on how Ryan Helsley is progressing from his injuries? Still believe in his being a strong bullpen contributor if he's healthy.
    There hasn't been any recent notification, honestly. That's on me for not asking in the days following the wild-card game. But before, during the final weekend of the season, he was doing well. Please remember that he had a knee procedure that would require rest and then would begin the assessment of his arm's recovery.
    It seems to me that a lot of people are eager to throw $200 million towards Corey Seager but shouldn't there be some concern that he rarely plays a full season due to injury?
    Sure. And maybe that will be reflected in the offer he ultimately gets.
    Derrick i know thuat the "offseason GPS" meetings are still
    ongoing so it may be hard to answer, but if you had to pick one big ticket player in FA for the Cardinals will chase, would it be a bat or a pitcher?
    When it comes to the "big ticket" options, it makes the most sense for the Cardinals too look for a position player at that high-rent area, and go for pitchers in the lower levels, the ones that can be signed for a year or two, and maybe a high AAV, but provide more certainty, less risk. The high dollar move, if they make one this year, is for a bat that changes the lineup ...
    Connor Thomas's name does not appear on the organization's list of top 30 prospects, but he seems to have the combination of traits (solid e.r.a., a very good K/BB rate, and an excellent ratio of ground balls to fly balls) that gave the Cardinals relievers like McClellan, Maness, and Bowman. Does the Cardinal organization see him that way?
  • If not more. He's also a lefty. They are intrigued by him, high on his upside, internally. He has some real strong fans in the organization when it comes to the decision-makers, and they see the numbers like you do. Is there a rising McFarland-like in Thomas? Is there a lefty who takes advantage of the defense in a way that will make him a starter? The Cardinals are eager to see what he does with the looks coming his way in 2022, starting in spring training.
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