Join Hall of Fame baseball writer Derrick Goold from the GM meetings in Vegas, 11 a.m.

Join Hall of Fame baseball writer Derrick Goold from the GM meetings in Vegas, 11 a.m.

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

    Quick change to the program: Derrick Goold will be chatting today. He is at the general manager meetings in Las Vegas. The chat will still start at 11 a.m.
    Thanks, everyone!
    Greetings everyone. It's been quite a weekend of bouncing around. From Philly to St. Louis, St. Louis to Houston, and then Houston to here -- Las Vegas, current home of the Raiders and, in the coming days, Major League Baseball's GM Meetings. The meetings begin officially Tuesday for the front offices, though there are apparently some today about arbitration setups.
    The free agent filings began the moment the World Series ended, and already there are about 140 free agents in the marketplace. 
    Three names are absent from that list, as you may have noticed:
    Yadier Molina officially retired, so he's not listed.
    Albert Pujols officially retired, so he's not listed.
    And while other players were exercising their opt-outs this morning and joining the group, Nolan Arenado did not.
    He's officially staying a Cardinal.
    You've got question. I've got a keyboard. Let's get going here with the start of the Hot Stove Chat season ... Bring the heat.
    Just adding a upgrade at catcher and adding a big bat would make this team very good, depending on injuries.
    This is the working approach for the front office as they reach the GM Meetings. Was asked last night if the Cardinals had some priorities, and those were two of that I listed. They want to add a catcher, a stable presence there who can be the everyday starter if called upon, and handle the pitching staff. They want to add a significant bat to the mix, knowing that Pujols' power is leaving and the need for a left-handed presence would be beneficial. They have described those as two different additions -- catcher and bat, not catcher-bat. 
    The third shopping list I would add is their interest in going for a strikeout-heavy reliever. Seriously, like a reliever who just misses bats. That doesn't mean a closer, and it may be a pitcher who has other peripherals that may not look all that great, but he misses bats and they'll feel they can improve the other elements. They'll look for that reliever.
    Think with the two pitchers we traded for Ozuna we would’ve been in the World Series
    Hindsight is everything. I'm not so sure about the World Series team, honestly. Think back to that time and how urgent, important the Cardinals' need for offense was. They were struggling to generate runs and desperately needed a cleanup hitter from the outside. But you could make the case for spending money on that bat, not prospects ...
    I think you said in last weeks chat that it is unlikely the cards bring back Alex Reyes. What is their thinking on that ? Do they know he isn’t the same guy from before his surgery ?
    The situation with Alex Reyes is tricky. He is in the arbitration process, and he's entering his third and final year of it, and he has not pitched at all in that final season. So, arbitration will assure him a raise of some type. It won't scale back his salary. And the Cardinals aren't in a spot where they know what to expect from him coming back from another surgery, another injury, another missed season. And they're going to explore more financial flexibility/insurance on that then the arbitration process will allow.
    It's entirely possible he's a non-tender candidate because they value the roster spot over the cost of his contract.
    That said, there is another way for them to do this and that's to sort out a two-year contract, one that does give Reyes the security and guarantee of a salary for 2023 and a place to prove his health that he knows there will be a role for him. And then it gives the Cardinals that second year of cost control as a benefit for committing to him as he recovers. That is a way this could go.
    Hello Mr. Goold. Do you see Woodford part of the 2023 roster or could he be part of a trade? He had a really good year when given the opportunity; I hope he gets more this coming year, he certainly deserves it.
    Either are in play at this moment. He could definitely be part of a trade. Would make a lot of sense for him at this point in his career -- as he could be a starter for several teams, and the Cardinals have several times passed over him when he's available to be a starter for them. If he doesn't have a role for them, he does have value for them because there are teams that see a role for him on their roster.
    While I am sure Nolan Arenado wanted other reassurances, how big was Matt Holliday in closing out the deal for #28 to opt in?

    Thx.
    Does not appear to be related to Arenado's decision. If anything, it was a bonus. But Arenado made the decision before Holliday had, by all accounts.
    Was pulling Wheeler as bad as SD pulling Sneed? Aren't you sick of decisions being made by metrics over common sense and an "eye test"?
    I see the comparison, and I think it's a good question. I do not think they are the same, no. I was fortunate to be at both of those games, and the eye test with Snell -- Blake Snell -- was ... well, he was dominating. He was in control of that game. He was not laboring. He gave no indication of losing his feel or not having the stuff to challenge a hitter for a third time or fourth time. Wheeler was coming off a difficult start, questions on his health and durability and ability to sustain that velocity later into the game as stamina became a question. The team needed to stay ahead of that, and it made sense at that moment to do so.
    Here is the other part of it: Philadelphia's manager, Rob Thomson, was celebrate for being aggressive with his bullpen in Game 1 -- identifying the moment to capitalize on the momentum of the comeback with the best reliever he had for the moment. That was heralded as a stroke of managerial genius because it worked. So he does the same thing in Game 6 with the same pitcher and it didn't work. Process still made sense. 
    Besides the obvious question on how Gallegos will be effected by the pitch clock how do you see the rule changes helping or hindering the team next season?
  • I'm glad you asked, and maybe this isn't the answer you expected. But here we go.
    I think the Cardinals are well positioned -- ahem -- to have some fun with the new rules, and we're going to see it in spring training. How? you ask. Well, one of the reasons just won a Gold Glove award. So, the shift rules govern the players in the dirt and where the infielders can stand. It does not limit the team's use of an outfielder to go right where the second baseman used to in the shift -- right there in shallow right field. But you know who could? An outfielder who has spent a lot of time playing second base, like, say, Brendan Donovan. I'm eager to see how the Cardinals do this, because if Donovan is in the outfield and, say, the Cardinals also have O'Neill, Carlson, or Walker in the outfield then they can play the percentages, line up the outfielders where the hitter is likely to hit fly balls and then erase that base hit with a new look to the shift.
    The Cardinals are one of the few teams who can do this for a number of reasons. Donovan is one. Having Nolan Arenado on the left side and his range coming on and range going back on weak fly balls are part of this, as is the fact that who is playing shortstop -- let's put Tommy Edman there -- is also going to be able to go back on flares to left field while the left fielder shifts over to gap.
    I think the Cardinals could get real creative with their fielders and create a situation where they can have a shift -- that's A-OK with the shift-banning rules.
    And, yes, seeing how Gallegos adjusts will be important to the Cardinals. The bet within the game is that hitters will have a harder time than pitchers. 
    Good morning. I’m a little surprised we aren’t seeing Mike Shildt’s name coming up for the open managers positions. Would you offer some insight?
    I am just as surprised. Thought he would get a good look from the White Sox. Not sure why he did not. One possibility is that he is coming from a nebulous role with the Padres. San Diego certainly championed him as a candidate for managerial openings, and hoped to advocate on his behalf for interviews. I know of at least one team that did some background homework on him -- and wanted to know more about what happened with the Cardinals. It was a clash of personalities as much as anything and should not reflect on Shildt's readiness or candidacy for other manager jobs.
    A route back into those interviews for him could be becoming a bench coach for a team. That puts him in the dugout, on the field, with a title, and teams can latch onto that. 
    Was Jim Edmonds ever considered as the new hitting coach?
    This keeps coming up. The team approached him a few years ago and several times over the course of a couple years about being a part of the staff. The time commitment and grind of the travel and the season and the hours at the ballpark was not appealing to him, he told them.
    Which LH bat would you go after to be that 3rd big bat in the lineup? Unless Carlson and Edman can learn to hit way better from the left side and Nootbaar gets more consistent won't the team still struggle vs RHP?
    This is a great question, and it's not one that has a great obvious answer. It doesn't. As of right now there really isn't that left-handed hitting obvious answer on the free-agent market. There is one compelling option, and it would be fascinating with all this talk of Willson Contreras if the former the Cubs the Cardinals actually have a long conversation about and with is ... Anthony Rizzo.
    I am eager in the coming days to see what the future holds for Cody Bellinger.
    Like I said, the left-handed hitting option that would really outfit the Cardinals lineup with a different look is not there, not obvious. So, maybe it takes a less obvious, more risky/unexpected move.
    Listening to 101 they think cards go after Contreras. That be good fit. Get some young arms in the BP. Maybe DH bat. Trade away or eat deyong salary.
    I'll be honest. I haven't been home to listen to the radio much in the past week, so I'm not sure what's being reported there. The Post-Dispatch has also been reporting on the Cardinals catcher options and that's the coverage that I have to be held accountable for, because it's based on what we can gather from research, reporting, and what we can defend, not just opinion-based. This story ran in Sunday's paper, and maybe it's informing Monday conversation: 

    Could Cardinals’ heir to Yadier Molina be Astros’ catcher from World Series no-hitter?

    STLtoday.comHouston acquired Christian Vazquez to be a 'veteran postseason' presence at backup catcher, and he ended up calling history in Game 4. Soon, he's a free agent.
    Do you think the Cardinals extend Goldschmidt,being as his contract is up after2024?
    Yes. I think that is something both sides will eventually explore.
    Commish, the $17 mil for Wainwright seems a huge overpay for a mid-grade starter. Wouldn’t this money have been better spent for a catcher, shortstop, outfielder or ace?
    I know you addressed this question to Rick and that was before the headline changed, and I jumped in to bring something from Las Vegas out here. But let's jump into this premise.
    Consider two pitchers, from 2019-2022.
    Pitcher A: 41-20, 3.63 ERA, 106 GS/106 G, 0 CG, 590 1/3 IP, 1.135 WHIP, 117 ERA+, and 10.7 K/9
    Pitcher B: 47-32, 3.57 ERA, 105 GS/105 G, 6 CG, 635 1/3 IP, 1.225 WHIP, 112 ERA+, 7.4 K/9
    So Pitcher B has provided his team 45 more innings in one fewer start, though within those innings he's not as stingy as Pitcher A, who has the higher strikeout rate and the lower WHIP. Both have been durable. Both have been reliable. Both have been part of leading a pitching staff.
    Both will be older than 39 by next week.
    Pitcher A will make $20 million in 2023.
    Adam Wainwright is Pitcher B.
    It's entirely possible that Wainwright, in the marketplace, would command what Charlie Morton is getting again from Atlanta. Morton is Pitcher A. So, the industry would suggest that $17 million is not an overpay at all for Wainwright, and that he could command more as a free agent, and certainly wouldn't defer the money, too. And yet that's what the Cardinals got him for.
    As to your next question -- why not all of that? They have the payroll space. Spending on Wainwright does not prohibit doing those other moves.
    Will the FO target any SP this off season? and if so who do you think they take a run at?
    That position has not come up much when the Cardinals discuss their focuses this winter. Are they playing coy? Possibly. They do want to add some strikeouts somewhere to the pitching staff. There is some interest in a reunion with Jose Quintana. 
    What would put all that in motion is trading a starter. The Cardinals could do that. Jordan Montgomery is due for a raise via arbitration that the Cardinals must decide if that's the value of his production that they'll get in return for one season. If they see otherwise and see a better value on the market, they could make that trade, sign a starter, and then view themselves as having improved.
    Before the Cards minor league "Stars of the future" get exposed to the MLB level, its time to use them as trade bait to lure a pure hitter for the outfield. (Ohtani)
    Well, I can assure you that won't happen. You better brace yourself for Jordan Walker a) not being traded and b) adjusting just fine to the majors. He's coming. And, get this, he's very likely going to be quite good. Word has it.
    Hi Derrick, what do you think will happen at SS? I think the team would be better with Edmonds at 2nd and someone else not taking terrible at bats at short.
  • Up in the air at the moment. The Cardinals are currently calling Tommy Edman their incumbent and their starter at shortstop. Paul DeJong is entering the final year of his contract. That said, they acknowledge that they do have the option of opening up any position in the middle of the field for an alternative/upgrade. That includes SS, 2B, and CF, and of course we all know and have discussed the opening at shortstop. They see Edman as a moveable piece, a defensive dynamo (which he earned this year and should be lauded for doing so because of how well he did at shortstop when there were questions), and valuable because he can move around to make room for a bat.
    Thanks for the chat, Mr. Good. Do you know if the World Baseball Classic will make use of a pitch clock?
    That is my understanding, yes.
    Walker is coming, but does he need to experience Triple A pitching first? Or could he join the team north? Is he one of those players who might be held back in order for the team to have another year of control?
    Well, let it be know that on Nov. 7, 2022, we got the first question of service time manipulation with the Cardinals. There has been only one real obvious use of service time manipulation by the Cardinals and it turned out not to matter at all because of a demotion later in Dylan Carlson's career. The Cardinals have, according to agents and observers and just my time watching the team through the years, not really massaged service time in the same way other teams have famously done. Andre Pallante was on the opening day roster. Michael Wacha was a free agent a year earlier than the Cardinals could have engineered, but they didn't. Tommy Edman and John Jay came just shy of Super-2 status, but there was no way for the Cardinals to precisely estimate that when it's based on the actions of other teams and promotions they make through the course of the season.
    Still, there was Dylan Carlson.
    Of course, that was also a different CBA.
    Now there are elements of the new CBA in place specifically to encourage teams to promote top prospects. Julio Rodriguez and Jeremy Pena both are examples of this. Their teams -- both capable of service time manipulation and certainly eager to do so when it comes to those two players -- had incentive not to, and they spent the full seasons with their club. One will win the Rookie of the Year award, and the other was the ALCS and World Series MVP. 
    Walker would fall into that group. If he wins a job in spring, he's in the opening day lineup, and no a turn in Triple-A would not be necessary. Albert Pujols went straight from the Arizona Fall League to a strong spring training to never going back to the minors again. And, yes, they could have manipulated his service time, too, and delayed his free agency ... 
    The Cardinals have never played the club control game with minor leaguers.
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