Join baseball writer Derrick Goold for his live Cardinals chat at 11 a.m. Monday

Join baseball writer Derrick Goold for his live Cardinals chat at 11 a.m. Monday

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

    Alright, a little belated but no less ready for your questions. Welcome to a holiday week edition of the Cardinals Chat here at StlToday.com. Major League Baseball's offseason continues to inch along, creeping from one roster deadline to the next. Last week it was the Rule 5 protection and non-tender deadlines -- which MLB thankfully pushed closer together this year. Next up: Winter Meetings. Out there in San Diego. First week of December. It will be the first Winter Meetings since 2019 -- and the first for Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol.
    You've got questions. I've got a keyboard. Let's see how they line up today.
    Onward ... 
    Would the Cardinals be free to sign Alex Reyes right now to a minor league deal with a player opt out if he’s not in the majors by a date certain? Seems like a win/win for a talent such as his felled by injury.
    Yes, they would be. As of right now, Alex Reyes is a free agent and he can take any and all offers from any and all teams -- and that includes the Cardinals. The only way the Cardinals could have limited their ability to re-sign Reyes is if they had released him after Aug. 31 to make room, for example, on the roster earlier for another player to protect for the Rule 5. If they had released him a week earlier the Cardinals would not have been able to offer him a deal until May -- which is when he's set to be available to pitch, but likely already signed so that he's doing that rehab with an organization, not on his own. By waiting to the non-tender the Cardinals kept open the possibility of signing him, and they could have had an offer to do so right away. 
    As you can imagine, Reyes will entertain other teams and see what the market offers.
    DG -

    Cody bellinger is now a free agent and the report is he’s looking for a one year “prove it” deal. Do you see the cardinals as a fit and would we have any interest? I can see it if we move an outfielder as part of a trade for a catcher, but if not it’s hard to add yet another non-everyday player to a crowded outfield mix that could use some certainty.
    The Cardinals are a fit. They know it. They'll make the call. They're expected to at least check out to see what level of interest Bellinger has him them. There are a few ties that could help them. First, Turner Ward was Bellinger's hitting coach when Bellinger won the rookie of the year award in the NL and took early flight in his career. Second, Matt Holliday and Bellinger share an agent -- though it's unclear if the tie is more than that. Third, Bellinger has had some teammates with close ties to the Cardinals, from Freese to Pujols in recent years, and there could be something said for the change of scenery promised. 
    What I don't yet know is the Cardinals' stomach for a one-year deal. There is no such thing as a bad one-year deal, but for the Cardinals would that be delaying the need by a year without the guarantee of filling it in 2023. If Bellinger rebounds, that's smashing for the Cardinals' wishes in 2023, but it leaves them stuck for 2024 as he zooms off to a larger deal. If Bellinger struggles, his trend line continues at the current rate, then the Cardinals spent on 2023 and are no better off, except for having again delayed the same search for a bat till the next offseason. A deal that gives Bellinger a chance to bounce back is appealing for him. A deal that gives the team that invested money, time in that bounce back a chance to benefit from it for another year -- that makes a lot of sense, especially when you're talking about the dollars involved.
    This is a bit like the Greg Holland situation the Cardinals had. Same agent, too.
    Cody Bellinger makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons. But apparently not for one year at $18 million that he was projected to cost as arb-3. What’s the right number in your view that it will take? Thanks!
    Well, not that much to the Dodgers, that's for sure. In addition to seeking what's called a "pillow deal" to recreate value and then cash in on free agency soon after, there is every likelihood that Bellinger will seek some sort of contract that gives him a chance to make those upper-register salaries again.
    Please keep in mind that bonuses cannot be tied to statistical production. So a contract cannot give him so much of a bonus for this many homers, or this many RBIs, or this high of an OPS or WAR.
    That said, bonuses can be awarded for games played.
    And they could bet that if he has so many games played, at different tiers, that he's not only been healthy, but productive. A player isn't going to see 140 games, for example, without both of those things. Bonuses can be tied to games played.
    I do think it will be real interesting if a team takes a one-year flier on him, and has nothing included in that contract about keeping him around should he bounce back.
    Though, come to think of it, that is the Cardinals' model, right?
    Get a player in -- Holliday, Goldschmidt, Edmonds, Rolen, Arenado -- and convince him to stay ... 
    I’ve been a Cards fan since the early 80’s. They have a history of good defensive catchers all through the years. Porter, Pena, Pagnozzi, Matheny and obviously Molina. All team leaders. Is Contreras capable of being that guy or closer to a Ted Simmons? Here to hit.
    Contreras would be an offense-first catcher. Capable of playing the position, and expected to be far above average at the plate, not behind it.
    Seeing Tyler Anderson get $13m a year and uncovering the fact that all $17.5m of Waino’s contract will count against the 2023 payroll, how would you objectively (no St. Louis sentimentality) feel about that contract on November 21st?
    It's light. He took a discount to remain a Cardinal. Here are three pitchers to consider, and their statistics from 2019-2022:
    Pitcher A: 26-22, 4.04 ERA, 5.4 WAR, 79 games (75 starts), 106 ERA+, 426 IP/336 K, 1.207 WHIP
    Pitcher B: 47-32, 3.57 ERA, 7.6 WAR, 105 games (105 starts), 112 ERA+, 631 1/3/524 K, 1.225 WHIP
    Pitcher C: 41-20, 3.63 ERA, 10.7 WAR, 106 games (106 starts), 117 ERA+, 590 1/3/703 K, 1.135 WHIP
    It is difficult to craft an argument that the best pitcher of the group is Pitcher A. He is the youngest of the group by seven years. So, maybe he gets to the production of the other two, who are right there around 40 years old.
    Pitcher C stands out with his WAR, his strikeouts, and ERA+, but it's worth noting that he covered far fewer innings than Pitcher B and in one more start. So, what he does with his innings, is impressive. How many innings and the quality of those innings for Pitcher B is valuable.
    You may have guessed by now who the pitchers are.
    Pitcher A is Tyler Anderson. Pitcher B is Adam Wainwright.
    Pitcher C is Charlie Morton. He'll make $20 million at age 39 for Atlanta.
    Which pitcher is Wainwright closer to?
    P.S. Not all of the contract counts against the 2023 payroll, but MOST OF IT does. Deferring money reduces the cost in today's dollars.


    Hello Derrick: I’m curious if any of the recently non-tendered players interest the Cards front office enough to pursue? Any of these players that you find intriguing enough to consider?
    Bellinger stands out, and his situation was detailed earlier in the chat. It think this is going to be the Bellinger Chat. I continue to comb through the list to see if there is someone who stands out with the K/rate the Cardinals are seeking for the pitcher. Reyes fits that for sure. There are some intriguing position players, but most of them play a spot that the Cardinals have covered, some in triplicate, and some only from hitting on the right side. From that list of position players, Adam Engel is interesting ... But I've yet to connect him directly with any interest from the Cardinals.
    Do you have a feel which way the Cards are leaning in terms of acquiring a catcher? I know it is still early but I would assume they have a general idea of the ask from OAK/TOR and probably have an understanding of what it will take to land Contrares. I imagine both routes the ask is high, but knowing this is priority 1A for the Cards it seems they want to settle this before any other offseason moves.
    I do. They're still exploring all of these avenues because the ask is going to shift with the interest the teams get. There aren't many options at catcher, and many of them have been detailed. The Cardinals have explored trades with Oakland and Toronto, and the A's, by all accounts, are going to what to add control, more years of it, and upside, more players with it. Toronto is looking for an outfielder, left-handed hitter, and that may come to them via free agency, so then it comes a clear prospect haul for them, not add to the MLB roster by trading from it. The Cardinals are open to that kind of deal, but aren't real keen on, say, trading Nootbaar, given his rise in performance and role for them. 
    The free agent market continues to be a place they can go to find options. As detailed in the Post-Dispatch, they have had conversations with the rep for Christian Vazquez, and the fits are clear when it comes to his defensive ability, his success in October, his contact swing, and his fondness and connection to Yadier Molina.
    Contreras is interested in the Cardinals, according to NBC Sports Chicago, and he has talked about what Molina means to him. He spoke with Jose Quintana during the season about the Cardinals clubhouse and whether he'd be a fit. Quintana gave him a strong review and told us about advocating for the Cardinals with Contreras. The Cardinals see him as a clear upgrade offensively, but continue to discuss how vital defense is to what they ask their pitchers to do.
    Other free agents the Cardinals have explored with some level of interest beyond just making a phone call are Omar Narvaez and Mike Zunino.
    They are lining up their options and their secondary options.
    Do you know of any uniform changes for ‘23? Fingers crossed for a new road Saturday, not a fan of the non-pullover powder blues.

    Thanks!
    As of last check, the blue uniforms are not going to change. Throughout Major League Baseball in 2023, you will see advertising on some jerseys. The Cardinals are likely to have ads on their batting helmets in London. Where and if the Cardinals and Yankees fit into the City Connect jerseys is still a question. The earliest that could happen is 2023, though those participants have not been revealed. Nike does have a "The Lou" logo that it's placed on tees and postseason gear, so maybe that's a hint of the direction such a jersey would go for the Cardinals.
    Worth noting that this past year was the 100th season with the birds on the bat. That anniversary, mentioned at the start of the year, didn't really generate much fanfare during the year .. 
    Boras said he wants to go the 1 year route with Bellinger - is this a case where if the Cards were interested, they might actually want a 2-3 year deal at a lower AAV? It seems like if you are going to take the risk on Bellinger, they would want a few more years to reap the rewards?
    Agreed. What an agent wants, is not always what he gets. What a team wants, is never what the team gets. Negotiations are fun.
    Cody Bellinger ?.....any interest from the Cards you think?
    Discussed earlier in the chat. This is the Cody Bellinger Chat, officially.
    Have you ever attended the Musial Awards? It seems like a night where you need a few tissues.
    I've attended the Musial Awards since before they were the Musial Awards. I was fortunate enough that the wife was part of the early production of the event, so I had an early seat at the sportsmanship honors, and I've had a chance to see it grow into what Frank Viverito dreamed it could be -- a celebration of sportsmanship, a tribute to Musial, a showcase for St. Louis, and an annual event for good in sports.
    Long, long ago I called it chicken soup for a sports fan's soul, and every so often that description pops up in social media.
    More than a decade ago, A. J. Burnett, the former Yankees & Marlins pitcher, received a sportsmanship award, and talking to him later about it, he was so moved by the other stories and honorees that he saw that night. That tends to be the theme, and it was again this past Saturday. Albert Pujols was in tears as he watched some of the stories about sportsmanship. Brett Phillips, famously of the Tampa Bay Rays and more famously of the Baseball is Fun effort, was a joy to watch as he talked with other honorees this past Saturday.
    (He's a free agent. The crowd, as you can imagine, had a thought on where the left-handed hitter could sign ...)
    It's a great event to attend. It's broadcast on Christmas Eve on CBS, if you're interested. And, yes, bring tissues.
    Also, read Ben Frederickson's column written from the event. Great writing.
    Now that the blue jays have traded Teoscar Hernandez, would they possibly be looking to fill that hole with a Cardinals outfielder?
    Or a free agent. Or another team's outfielder. But yes, someone. That is the Jays' goal. They do want to get some left-handed presence in the lineup, and outfield is that way, as the reporters have covered in Toronto for awhile.
    Hey Derrick.
    So Paul Goldschmidt is my favorite Cardinal on the team and is now an MVP who is building a strong resume for the HoF. All that said, he only has 2 more years on his current contract with St Louis and will be 37 at its end. Is it too early to start looking for our future 1B? Should we go after a top 1B prospect? Potentially sign Josh Bell or equivalent talent as a DH/backup 1B?
    Thank you.
    A couple of thoughts:
    1) It's not too early to discuss an extension with Goldschmidt, if the Cardinals want to go that route in spring training. They don't need to, maybe they wait a year, but that conversation will happen at some point.
    2) It's not too early to see how Jordan Walker's future is at 1B, when it's not the place that Goldschmidt plays anymore. The depth chart is set that way.
    Will the Cardinals debut their " City" uniforms this season? I was hoping that perhaps they could just skip them....and retain the best look in baseball...
    Skipping them is an option. Again, it's not clear what the Yankees or Cardinals are doing with the City Connect style. I heard that from MLB this past summer.
    Let's get this chat on the way to apoplectic... sign Jason Heyward! Would only cost us the league minimum and could drop at any time without having to continue to pay him!
    Usually teams sign players to get production from them, not to set up for an easy release. If you want to advocate for the signing of Jason Heyward, do so because you think he can help the team -- a left-handed batter, athlete, change of scenery, good defense -- whatever traits you want to highlight. But it's odd for a team to sign a player only to give some "fans" the thrill of seeing that player released.
    I hope I misunderstood your question, but fixating on how easy it would be to release a player and not one thing about what that player could bring to the team is ... curious.
    I know that the Goldschmidt, Arenado, and Holliday trades were steals for Mo but they also worked out because he was targeting elite proven talent. The Fowler, Leake, Matz (to date) deals were veteran "upside" signings. Mo is not good at identifying veteran upside, full stop. Schwarber being the most recent example. So maybe he should focus on his strength as an executive which is identifying and acquiring high end players. Stop looking for veteran diamonds in the rough because he keeps signings cubic zirconias.
    My opinion: This has nothing to do with upside.
    Now to some reporting ... It's all about value. Maybe that's what you mean. But the Cardinals have spent money shopping in that mid-tier of free agents, and all of those are examples. I don't think the Cardinals signed Dexter Fowler on the "upside," and they had to outbid other teams for him, adding a year to the deal just to get him in place. They signed him to be what he was for the Cubs, and they even acknowledged within the framework of the contract that he might move to the corner outfield positions during the life of the deal. That's not a bet on upside. That's the cost of signing a free agent.
    Similarly with Cecil. That was a deal to jump ahead of other suitors -- Cubs, for example -- and betting that he would continue to do what he did. Leake -- well, the Cardinals liked the idea of what he brought to getting grounders with the defense they thought they had. They didn't have that defense. He wasn't a fit. Not ideal. Costly move.
    If you want to criticize the approach to free agency -- and there is ample reason to do so -- start with the Cardinals' conservative process when it comes to reaching. They've made bids for Price and Heyward that stand out, and they did out-offer for Fowler. They have also shied from making big spending moves like Scherzer or, thus far, any of the available shortstops. I don't see Schwarber as the example here. They knew his "upside," they also knew his cost, and they just didn't want to sign him. That wasn't a mistake in scouting or evaluation. That was a choice in cost.


    Hey DG:

    I’m intrigued by the new scheduling format, and interested in your thoughts about how it might affect the MLB landscape.

    It seems that weaker divisions (sorry NL and AL centrals) may be even worse record-wise than in previous years - fewer games against lower-echelon teams, while teams like Baltimore will benefit most with fewer games against NYY, BOS, and TOR.

    Thoughts?
    The me, the schedule is set up to aid teams like Colorado and Arizona as much as anyone. It's going to delete games against the Dodgers, Padres, and Giants from their schedule, and introduce games vs. the AL Central into the mix, yearly. I'm going to run the numbers at some point, but at first blush, it looks like they're going to get the benefit of facing more games against markets their size (spending their size) and not have to tussle with the monsters of the NL West. 
    Let's do some quick scribbling to see how close this sense is.
    The Rockies will go from 57 games against LA, SD, and SF to 39.
    That leaves 18 games. That will be replaced by AL teams. Lets see how many AL teams compare with those three NL West teams, and if it fills the 18 games.
    Houston (3)
    Boston (3)
    Yankees (3)
    Rays (3)?
    Mariners (3)?
    That's 15, and that's being generous. Really, it's nine. When it comes to spending and market size and all of that, it's nine. So, they're getting a rebate of nine games and then get to face Cleveland, Minnesota, Kansas City, Oakland ... That's a good trade.
    For the Cardinals, I doubt it changes much, honestly. They won't get to beat up on the Reds and Pirates as much, but instead they'll draw some of the dregs of the AL to compensate.
    Can you explain the new rule about a top 100 prospect staying on the team through the season and the club getting a draft pick if they complete season. If this is true , why not have Walker start the season with the Cardinals, bat him low in the order see what you have, seems like a no brainer. Your thoughts.
    Sorry for the delay, was checking out some Hall of Fame ballot stuff.
    To answer your question: A team will get a compensation draft pick if they have a Top 100 prospect on their roster opening day and that player gets a full year of service time and then also gets consideration for postseason awards. So, those are the three prongs of the Prospect Incentive program MLB has baked into the new CBA.
    The player does not have to be in the lineup to get service time. He only has to be on the roster for the entirety of the season. But having a prospect hang around, gather service time just for the purpose of the service time is far far far far far from a no-brainer.
    In your scenario, Walker would get a full year of service time, and be a free agent one year earlier than if he does not start the year in the majors, gets experience in Triple-A, and hits his way to the majors for the second half. Putting him on the roster just to get the compensation draft pick is saying that draft is worth more than a full year of control for a potential All-Star and you're willing to give that year up, let him get to free agency quicky, all for the unknown of a draft pick outside of the first round.
    I cannot imagine a team making that choice, sorry.
    DG -

    I saw Nootbaar’s name mentioned in an article as a trade candidate in exchange for one of torontos catchers. Can you speak towards how other teams view his value/potential? Is he receiving positive recognition in the league?
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