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.

    Do you have a prediction for the length of collective bargaining agreement negotiations? Will spring training workouts and games be affected?
    I try to stay out of the prediction business unless pushed or required by assignments because predictions tend be wrong the moment I say them.
    (Though -- I did totally nail the wild-card game, Dodgers vs. Cardinals, in the PD preview way back in March. My victory lap begins now.)
    That said, we do know that deadlines move negotiations, and the expiration of the CBA is not the deadline that matters. It's when the revenue streams are in jeopardy, when the money is going to stop coming, and when there is a real deadline -- opening day -- looming. That's going to prompt agreement. And that really doesn't become a deadline that is tangible until Feb. 1. Watch for word to get out that starters should start getting ready, that players need to be ready for a shortened spring, fewer exhibition games, and that they'll do everything to start the 2022 season on time, so they don't lose a time of that revenue that floods into place once games begin ... That's a real deadline.
    Mr. Derrick,

    Thank you for today’s chat!

    Cardinal Offseason Predictions

    SP-JA Happ (keeps the seat warm until Liberatore is ready)

    SS-Trevor Story (DeJong-traded for AAA starter)

    BP- Luis Garcia & TJ McFarland-re-signed

    4th OFer-Nick Plummer-LHH

    DH- Nolan Gorman vs RHP & Juan Yepez vs LHP

    Dry Powder retained for Trade Deadline Deal(s)
    These are interesting. Can I flip the tables here and asking some question to consider with each of these predictions?
    SP-JA Happ (keeps the seat warm until Liberatore is ready)
    -- No question. Entirely plausible.

    SS-Trevor Story (DeJong-traded for AAA starter)
    -- Why trade DeJong? He could be the DH, share the DH, play multiple positions, and offer far more than just some Class AAA starter, especially if that Class AAA starter just has to fill up a spot on the 40-man roster. They should avoid the jam, and DeJong still has value at his salary, his ability.

    BP- Luis Garcia & TJ McFarland-re-signed
    -- Sure seems like this makes sense. You even have them listed according to priority.

    4th OFer-Nick Plummer-LHH
    -- What about Lars Nootbaar? He's that guy now and has done nothing to open that spot up.

    DH- Nolan Gorman vs RHP & Juan Yepez vs LHP
    -- A lot to ask of Gorman. A lot to ask of Yepez. You're effectively suggesting that the Cardinals would rather turn this spot over to a rookie/prospect then give DeJong a crack at it.

    Dry Powder retained for Trade Deadline Deal(s)
    -- They'll be fine. It's not about powder, it's about prospects.
    Hello Derrick, thank you as always for your time.
    Who's the Cardinals 2022 Opening Day SS/2B tandem: (a) DeJong/Edman; (b) Sosa/Edman; (c) Story/Edman; (d) Seager/Edman; (e) Edman/Gorman; (f) some other combo not listed?
    I, honestly, have no clue. Could be any of them. Just don't see Edman at SS.
    A package deal with Dejong and Reyes should bring a big bat or a starter. What's your thoughts.
    I think those would be fascinating discussions. DeJong, a middle infielder with pop, is under control through 2025 (four more years), and Reyes, a reliever with starter stuff and power and durability/consistency questions, is under control through 2023 (two more years). So that's six years of control for two players who have been All-Stars.... Seems like they could turn that into one year of some other player before he gets to free agency, maybe two, depending on the team they're trading with, because it wouldn't be a team that's looking into the distance to contend, ala Marlins. The catch here is their salaries. You're talking about taking on $10 million in those two players for 2022 and then more then next year and so on ... So, what team would be looking to not drop money, trade the better short-term player, to get a few more years of control for two players that you'd be betting on the upside. Like I said, those would be fascinating discussions. It's not a trade type we see often.
  • Mo showed his hand in July when he inquired about Trevor Story. Does Arenado's return guarantee that Mo will, once again, attempt to acquire Story, although this time it would be as a free agent? Colorado not trading him in July actually benefits the Cards in that his acquisition wouldn't cost the club prospects.
    One of the reasons why the Cardinals didn't reach out to the Dodgers about Seager is because they knew the Dodgers weren't interesting in moving Seager. So, I'm not sure how much reaching out to Story had to do with "showing their hand" any more than you'd expect the front office of any MLB team to explore all possible options to improve at all times. Yes, they'll revisit story this winter. No, Arenado's return doesn't really change that level of interest or the price the Cardinals would be willing to pay, and ultimately isn't that call that Story will have to make? I'm really interested in seeing how much Texas is a player for either of the top shortstops, and how the Rangers use that interest to not just build the market but measure which shortstop is more eager to sign with them ... Money moves the needle.
    After watching the Boston game, a rule change is likely following the play in the top of the 13th inning. If you want to keep the judgement from the umpire, why not allow any runner on first to score on a ground rule double rather than allow him only two bases. Simply put, there are a lot more doubles that score a runner from first than advance the runner only to third. Why not play it that way?
    I think that's a big leap of assumption, especially in today's game with some dubious baserunning, like we just saw in Atlanta moments ago. I think that the umpires should be given discretion in the case of what happened in Fenway last night. It seems improper that the ball could ricochet off a fielder when the runner is clearly around third base and that carom, that poor/accidental play by the field result in the runner having to go back 10 feet from where he was. Umpires discretion would fix that. And then the Red Sox win by a run, instead of two.
    If the DH is in next year do you think Kyle Schwarber would be enough of an upgrade and let Sosa and Delong fight it out for shortstop?
    He would be an upgrade for the offense  -- lefthanded -- not the most or the biggest or even the most appealing, but he would move them in the right direction toward being better, for sure.
    DG, First, thank you for another season of great coverage. As TLR would say, you have to be at least “tied for 1st” among MLB beat writers. Do you see the Cards continuing in 2022 with Edman batting lead off with a .308 OBP? Or do they look at Carlson again there? Or maybe Bader, Sosa or outside options? Thanks.
    Leadoff is in play for the 2022 season. They were encouraged by how Edman closed the season, and of course he had a superb wild-card game. Truly. He was one of the best players out there in that game. That said, they'll open it up for competition. Could be Carlson. He stands out from the group you mention. It is also a spot that they could consider for a newcomer -- the aforementioned DH/UT person they look to acquire.
    DG

    The pitchers acquired in-season all threw strikes but also had high usage of sinker ball/ two seamers. (Lester, McFarland, Garcia etc)

    With success of these pitchers as well as Waino, do you think the Cards pitching strategy leans more for control/sinker ball type pitchers? Is this to combat high launch angle type hitters?

    It looked like the Cubs tried that approach with its rotation this year and that didn’t work very well.

    Any thoughts on that?
  • I have many thoughts on this. You covered it well, and it's one of the biggest lessons from 2021 that the Cardinals need to and will carry into 2022. It was mentioned in the wrapup from this weekend, but how the Cardinals prioritized it and got results was covered during the season in this story: 

    Sinking feeling: McFarland, Garcia have been fits to help fix Cardinals bullpen, but is it temporary?

    STLtoday.comWith a sinker from the left and a supercharged sinker from the right, two veteran relievers have given a retro feel in a high-velocity era.
    Hi Derrick. Thanks for a fantastic year again covering our Cardinals. I have an intriguing thought on a DH for next year that I have not heard anyone else talk about. Left handed, top of the order bat, some power, good gap hitter, grinding at bats, ex-Cub. ANTHONY RIZZO. May not be super expensive or require a long term contract. Give Goldie a few days off of defense. Your thoughts??
    ... And he could hit leadoff. A move like this sort of goes into that one-dimensional category that say adding a Voit or Pujols -- as suggested earlier would -- but Rizzo is lefthanded. I'm not sure this is the place/offer that he's seeking. He'll want to play the field, play every day, and make about what Goldschmidt makes for doing it. At least that was his goal with the Cubs. I appreciate the creativity and it's an entertaining idea. Just don't see Rizzo being eager to accept.
    Your article about Shildt’s possible extension was not well received and I’m not sure I understand. Before Shildt took over this was one of the least fundamentally sound teams in baseball. Their defense and base running were some of the worst I’ve ever seen from a cardinals team. In his first full season they became the best defensive team in baseball. And they’ve continued that throughout his tenure. The offense only turned it around after Shildt spearheaded a change in approach, or at least that’s how BenFred explained it. The pitching faltered early because he wasn’t given a whole lot to work with and once he was, the pitching stabilized. Did he make some questionable in game decisions? Yes, but I’d like someone to point out a manager who hasn’t. Give Shildt the pitching he needs at the beginning of the season and one more impact bat and I bet people will be singing a different tune by the end of next season.
    Ben Frederickson and others reported to confirm that statement in his coverage, so he nailed it.
    It is fascinating that since Shildt took over as manager the Cardinals lead all teams in Defensive Runs Saved, by two different measurements, and I believe they are first in baserunning, too. If not they are top three since the day he took over. The day. That's notable.
    Derrick, with the ineffectiveness of the offense most of the season, how can the Cardinals justify bringing back Jeff Albert?
    They will point to the overall success he's had changing the direction, tone, approach, and tech of the entire organization. They will point to the strong years by young hitters like Gorman, Plummer, Donavon, and others are now in the Albert-led process in the minors. They will point to O'Neill and Bader in the majors, and they'll use Tommy Edman's second half as an example. Those are some of the arguments that you'll get. That's what they'll describe, talk about, and try to convey to fans.
    A cardinals team that went to the World Series in 2013 knew it needed an upgrade at shortstop and went out and got peralta. My point being that a long win streak and a playoff appearance won’t necessarily stop the front office from upgrading this team. They see the flaws with this team. The difference is they’re not likely to spend $250 million on a shortstop like the fans would.
    All correct. All true. I hope others take the time to read what you've written here.
    Pitchers give up walk off homeruns, its baseball. Shildt using Reyes in the ninth was cruel given Reyes recent games. The kid was setup to fail. Other pitchers were in the pen and should have been warmed up.
    Noted. I'm not sure what situation you would use Reyes in if that's how you see that situation. Any time he'd be on the mound would be a chance to fail. If anything, he was facing a No. 9 hitter who had not been in the starting lineup and had played his way out of starting for the Dodgers. I could make the case that was the best possible scenario for Reyes...  And he only had to get one out. No three batter minimum in place if he does the job there.
    late to the Braves/Brewers game....but just saw the baserunning play you referenced. That was a bad play. I think some of the best stuff from the Cardinals during the season and especially the streak was the baserunning. The game is better when the baserunning is better, that doesn't just mean steals.
    Absolutely true. Watching the Mets run bases was ... something. It was like they were playing tag, not baseball.
    89. Over/Under. If the Cardinals make no upgrades to their roster this off-season from outside the organization.
    Under. Free agents are real. And if they only have the roster for 2022 that they have guaranteed today they are light on pitching even with the return of Hudson and Flaherty to the healthy rotation.
    Javy Baez checks a lot of boxes for the Cards... Can play 3 infield positions, has a bat with pop, good OPS...
    He leaves a lot of boxes unchecked as well.
    Have you seen Nolan Gorman's defensive statistics at Memphis? I'd argue they're more impressive than his bat. It's a relatively small sample size but I'm impressed with only 7 errors at 2B compared with 5 errors at 3B. www.baseball-reference.com
  • Errors are not the defensive metrics I would use, not at all. Errors are awarded by the official scorer, and they don't tell me anything about his range. A third baseman that stands still and gets every grounder hit right at him, might have ZERO errors, while the player who lunges, dives, actually steals hit might have four or five errors and be the vastly superior defensive player.
    The reviews on Gorman at second and third have been good, good. They are a far better judge than the total errors. And don't get me started on fielding percentage. There isn't a worse stat in baseball. Gorman has impressed with his footwork at third base, his coverage of the range there, and his reaction. There was a growing sense with scouts from outside the organization that he could stick at that position and handle the speed of the game in the majors. At second, he has made strides. His footwork has improved. He's helped by the rules about collisions at second. And his arm is a great equalizer. Seriously. His arm at that position allows for him to do more things at second while he learns the nuances of the position. Given how little experience he's had at second, what he did there season -- according to coaches and scouts -- is impressive. He's playable. At game speed. That's strong.
    So it would be much easier to package Gorman and Reyes to trade for a big bat or a starter right? Would you make that deal for Jose Ramirez? He’s 29 signed for two more years at 11 mill in 2022 and 13 mill in 2023.
    Right, now you're thinking in the financial terms teams would. Throw in Liberatore and you've got the Guardians attention. Their attention. Is that the price the Cardinals are willing to pay? Jose Ramirez would change the look of the Cardinals' lineup in many many ways -- an uber-addition, really. But the cost would be high, like more than the Ozuna trade high.
    "A lot to ask of Gorman. A lot to ask of Yepez. You're effectively suggesting that the Cardinals would rather turn this spot over to a rookie/prospect then give DeJong a crack at it." Have you seen the last 3 years of DeJong. Ummmm. Not good. You of all people have told us to " hold them accountable". Ok. I will. They need better than that for the DH. There, fixed. Stop with the DeJong stuff. Nobody's buying it....
    I get what you're saying, and I stand by what I've said. The example here is two players who have not had a swing in the majors against someone who has. So, you're betting on players who have upside, sure, but also haven't failed yet against a player who has been in the majors, succeeded and struggled, powered-up and slumped.
    Look, no player in the majors is ever going to outperform the numbers dreamed-up and fantasized about for a prospect who has yet to be given the chance to fail.
    I could ask 100 people reading this chat and I bet 90 percent of them would suggest better numbers in the majors for Prospect A than Major League X, and that's fine. But gosh that's a hard jump for me to make when time after time after time we have examples of the steep, difficult learning curve that players have to make. Tyler O'Neill hit 31 homers in the minors in 2017, 35 homers and most of them in the minors in 2018 -- and surpassed 30 homers for the first time in the majors in 2021. You'd suggest that Yepez or Gorman is going to accelerate their production in their first swing at the majors?
    Bold prediction. I will remain on brand: Boringly pragmatic.
    Is there a real chance the Cards could add Story on a pillow deal or will his deal be more than a 1 year make good contract?
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