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.

    Happy New Year. Welcome to the first chat of 2023. I had a chance to vanish for a bit, but am back at the keyboard starting right now -- and I'm already running a few minutes behind. Got to get back up to speed on my typing! 
    The next chat will be the annual discussion of the Hall of Fame ballot. I'll reveal my ballot. Take your questions. Defend my choices. You know the drill.
    This chat seems like a good chance just to catch up.
    Enough prelude. Onward to the questions.
    If the Cards fail to make any more upgrades offensively at all, I wouldn't blame Arenado for wanting out. Oh well, at least we should get a nice package in return!!
    I doubt very seriously that he does that. It has come to my attention over the past month that Nolan Arenado may have a higher opinion of the Cardinals and their chances and their business model than a vocal group of Cardinals fans on Twitter. I guess we'll find out together who is right -- the third baseman who had millions and millions and his legacy on the line, or the fans that will someday vote him into the team's Hall of Fame and have him fitted for a red jacket.
    And we're off to a rollicking start!
    Who gets the first Spring Training extension? Edman, Mikolas, Montgomery, Goldschmidt?
    You outlined it well. Mikolas stands out as a likely move for the Cardinals, given their opening in the rotation for 2024, his performance and place in the rotation when healthy the past few years, and the obvious connection between the player and the team. That makes a lot of sense. The Cardinals might jump to have the talk with Montgomery, but there is some sense that they should wait, see how he fits, see if that's a long-term commitment to make after they know him for more than a few months. The Cardinals sure seem high on him. I'm eager to see how that plays as spring develops.
    Goldschmidt is on the horizon. Edman will be a fascinating conversation -- and his arbitration case is already expected to be interesting. High WAR player. Versatile. Nails the defensive elements that the game is better as measuring -- and thus is earning more money. Already earned a bonus to the his pay from the previous season. Just really fascinating.
    There are two, maybe three others that could be worth watching and will be asked about: Ryan Helsley, All-Star closer, is right in that sweet spot for an extension conversation. I also wonder where the Cardinals see Donovan and Nootbaar in that regard, especially with the new CBA and the potential salaries ahead.
    One additional point: The Cardinals have an eye on how Atlanta has handled its young players, because that is where things could head with Jordan Walker, of course.
    Hi Derrick, when football commentators are shown on camera late in the year, they are dressed up like they are in the North Pole. Are press boxes not heated? Do you have to wear a parka for chilly April games? Thanks
    It depends on the place. Some are open air. Some have windows. Some don't have heat. Some don't have AC. Some press boxes are in the right field. Some press boxes are in left field. Every ballpark has different outfield dimensions, and every ballpark has a different twist to the press box situation.
    The coldest I've ever been at any game -- football, hockey, baseball -- was in 2021 at Nationals Park when the windows had to be open (COVID protocols) and the wind was biting, temperatures plummeting, and typing was ... impossible.
    How long will the players participating in the WBC tournament be away from the team, giviing rookies more chances to play and make impressions??
  • Depends on how good their teams are. They could be gone for a little more than two weeks. Or they could be back within a week if their teams do not emerge from pool play. And, yes, there will be many players who get playing time and a chance to make an impression because of the players away for the WBC.
    A short list of those players who will benefit: Walker, DeJong, Winn, Yepez, Burleson, Herrera, and Moises Gomez. Expect to see a lot of Walker and Gomez.
    Do the cardinals(in your opinion) have a rotation that is stable enough to make adjustments in season and stay ahead in standings if things start to fall apart again and innings need to be eaten?
    No. Not today they do not. But I've often been told I make too big of deal about innings.
    I would love to know how the conversation went between Mo and Nolan Arenado to get him to not op out of his contract. Certainly he didn't promise him to vastly improve the team because all he has done is add a catcher. I realize you probably do not care that fans get upset over a lack of aggressiveness, but we do.
    I do care. It's why I'm here in this chat, reading your comment, Scott.
    Thanks for your chat
    Are we waiting for low hanging fruit season for the next Cardinals move?
    Those branches haven't been plucked yet?
    After listening to Fan 590 and hearing the terrible stats of Brian Reynolds in the outfield it is hard to understand wanting to trade for him. The Cardinals need to spend 80 games evaluating there young players and not adding another outfielder to take bats away from the young players. The Cardinals batting stats were in the top 5 in MLB last year, which surprised me. The Cardinals still have money to spend and a lot of trade chips, play your young players and upgrade at the trade deadline.
    The outfield production from the Cardinals in 2022 is a curiosity, for sure. It did rank well. The aggregate batting average of .247 ranked 10th, the on-base percentage of .325 was fourth in the majors for outfielder groups, and the slugging was subpar at 16th overall with a .394. Still, the OBP elevated the Cardinals' outfield as a group when it came to OPS and weighted Runs Created+, where they were just above average at 107.
    So, not the power that usually comes from the corners, but enough OBP to buoy the overall production above average, and the outfielders did that without the steady performance of Tyler O'Neill or the consistency from Dylan Carlson, and with the injury and trade of Harrison Bader.
    Forgive me for not getting wrapped up in the defensive numbers when it comes to Reynolds, who is one year removed from getting MVP votes, remains one of the rising outfielders in the majors, and is the rare available and improving young player. He's a talent. He'd be a good fit for the Cardinals. And if he's not the Gold Glove center fielder -- with the Cardinals, he does not have to be, so he can produce from the corner. The past two seasons he's been a .283/.368/.492 hitter. He's got a .861 OPS, and he's been 36% better than average. The Cardinals would benefit from that kind of lift in the outfield. 
    It's a good fit for every reason except that he's in Pittsburgh, and that is not the kind of deal that Mozeliak has made in his tenure with the Cardinals. The in-division whoppers? Nope.  
    Happy Newest Year. Derrick: What are teams like KC, Cincy., Denver etc. that play in small markets when it comes to competing with the big spenders? Could you ever see a time when small market teams start folding due to not being able to spend and compete with the big boys?
    Retraction like the Minnesota Twins once faced? I don't see that. The business of baseball is good, and the revenues are strong, and there is going to be support for some of the teams. But let's be clear here: Some teams choose not to spend what they can. That's just the facts. There have been teams who have stripped down their roster -- not because they cannot afford to pay better players, they just believe they cannot compete at this moment so why splash cash on the roster that's not going to yield a winner. That's a choice. That's a choice to not spend money. It's all part of the hedge-fund approach to baseball. If a team sees that spending an extra $10 million is going to get them from 78 wins to 80 wins, they don't see the benefit and would rather scale back and go for that better draft pick with 72 wins. Oh, and save money. The current CBA makes some strides in changing that dynamic, and the union will try to make more gains in that regard in the next CBA.
    It's worth noting that Colorado doesn't have a spending problem. It's what the Rockies spend on that has them in a bind. It's teams like Pittsburgh (the same size as San Diego!) and the Cubs that stand out for their choices about not spending.
    The Cardinals can't seriously be done with making a significant move, can they? They will not be able to compete outside the division without a top flight starting pitcher. Is Sale really available? If so, they have to make that trade. Carlson, Burleson and Liberatore gets that deal done, no?
    I don't see the appeal of the Chris Sale, and have not been able to confirm or even sense a connection with the Cardinals. Some of the speculation out there makes zero sense. Giving up three players who will contribute to 2023 for one that maybe might could possibly maybe contribute but how and how well, who knows ... Oh, and he costs more.
    Happy New Year, Derrick!
    Bill DeWitt Jr. is the 9th richest owner in Major League Baseball. The Cardinals are the 7th most valuable team. The Cardinals have the 16th highest payroll among all 30 teams. Their payroll is closer to Detroit’s than Atlanta’s. Mo says the payroll is going up, but what does it matter if relative to top MLB teams the Cardinals are falling backward? Do the Cardinals have a hard cap on payroll for 2023 (and at what amount?), and if not, how far could they be expected to stretch it in the next twelve decisive months? Thank you.
    Excellent. Let's get into the payroll questions. I was hoping that would happen.
    First, tread lightly when it comes to assessing the franchise value. The rankings I've seen are usually low, and we find out that every time a team is sold, how the estimate based on presumed factors fall shy of what people are actually willing to spend on franchises. Plus, teams are only worth that much when they are sold. The DeWitts have said they don't have plans to sell. It's better to think in terms of revenue. And the Cardinals are going to come in somewhere in that 9-13 range when it comes to revenue.
    Second, the gap with Atlanta is, as you point out, noteworthy. It is significant. It was significant going into the postseason, and it remains so, and that is where the Cardinals seem to have to get to spend with the giants of the NL, not just the Giants of the NL. There does not seem to be any slowing down of the inflation of salaries and payrolls and what it takes to build an NL pennant contender.
    No, not an NL Central contender ... an NL pennant contender.
    Oh, and what the Cardinals will need in the coming year (starting pitching) is only seeing escalating pricess.
    Third, they say they do not have a hard cap. They do not have any plans of going near the first threshold for a tax. That's what they have said. Based on their current opening day payroll (26-man roster), it is likely that by the end of the season they'll surpass $200 million for the first time when it comes to their total payroll, 40-man (and all the moves through a season on that 40-man roster). It sure seems like that's the trajectory they're on. And opening with a payroll around $180 million would put them on track for it.
    That still would be lower than the payrolls of the other playoff teams -- in 2022. 
    Looking at the math, Chris Sale has two years and $35M left on his contract (the rest is deferred) with a vesting option for 2025 that holds $5M in guaranteed money. BUT, he is owed $50M in deferred money to be paid in $10M increments from 2035-2039. If they could acquire him for DeJong it only adds $8M to the 2023 payroll if the Red Sox take all of DeJong’s contract for all of Sale’s. Is that a framework that works for both teams?
    It makes sense if a team thinks it's getting production from the player worth that much. Why would a team trade for that kind of salary with that kind of uncertainty, when they could have just signed a pitcher who is coming off a healthier stretch?
    Is it because a trade means they can determine the player's role later?
    Then that doesn't make sense either because with that kind of money, a team should expect a starter. Chris Sale has pitched a total of 48 1/3 innings in the majors since 2019. It's encouraging, that in the innings he did pitch in 2022 that the velocity was there for his fastball and the slider. There was not a dip in that. But, again, if you're going to spend that much on an unknown why not spend that much -- or a bit more -- on a known. 
    Push back if you don't see that as an issue.
    Good morning, DG. Just a passing thought on Waino and what he will do after his last season on the bump....
    There seems to be an opening on the BSM/Cardinals broadcast team, and speculation, which has been speculated before in stories from STLToday.com, is that Waino has an affinity, and some chops, for broadcasting. Just wondering if you think this might have legs, or possibly grow some legs?
  • No. The opening is for a play by play voice -- that is who the Cardinals are looking for right now at the moment, a play by play broadcaster -- not a color commentator. Adam Wainwright will have one of the national broadcast outlets waiting for him when he retires, whether that's MLB Network as they expand their game coverage or FOX for the World Series or TBS. Plus, that is a less consuming schedule than the local games.
    Derrick, Thanks for making the time to do this today. Any work on where Paul DeJong is spending the off season and who he is working with to regain past form? Do most players spend the offseason working on things that need work?
    Oliver Marmol told me that the team and Paul DeJong set a schedule that has him in Jupiter, at the team's hitting lab there near Roger Dean Stadium, and he's working with the coaches who are also stationed there. Hitting coach Turner Ward is also making scheduled stops there to work personally and directly with DeJong, and Mozeliak said one of the things that they're most encouraged by is that DeJong will have all that time with coaches affiliated with the team as he makes the change to his swing.
    All players spend the offseason working on something they want to improve -- from health to cutters, swings to new positions in the field.
    When do players report to spring training this year?
    Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 12 and position players Feb. 15.
    Are the Cardinals content to hope for the best with their rotation for the season or are they looking at adding another front of the rotation type arm?
    They have not stopped their shopping for another pitcher. One of the things they're not doing, though, is making promises about starting. It's caught them. The Cardinals had interest in and talks with Drew Rucinski, for example, and he eventually signed with Oakland for a one-year, $3-million deal that does include a team option. This is telling when it comes to seeing where the Cardinals are. They're not offering that certainty of starting like the A's could. That has an appeal for a pitcher trying to return from abroad and build value for the next contract. The Cardinals did not offer the same amount of compensation, not like some of the other suitors. So that's where they are -- still shopping, but offering the type of deal that usually is accepted closer to spring training when pitchers seek roster spots not roles.
    Quick aside: There are some conversations the Cardinals could have now regarding potential trade targets that don't come to fruition until the middle of the season, as the trade deadline applies pressure. The Cardinals spend time exploring starters now for potential moves that could surface during the season.
    Morning Derrick, I don’t understand why everyone is trying to trade off Dylan Carlson and not O’Neil ? If These teams are really wanting him and not Tyler then they must see something in him. He’s still young and I believe he still capable of a 30hr season.
    That's a high ceiling. But your point is well made.
    One add (Contreras), three subtractions (Molina, Pujols, Quintana), and two superstars (Arenado and Goldschmidt) due for a certain regression. How is this team better than the one bounced in Oct? Add me to the list of fans very disappointed in this off-season.
    You could make the case that it's not. And if some of the players already on the roster don't provide in ways they could not/did not in October -- looking at injured starters like Matz and Flaherty, and struggling outfielders -- then the team won't be better.
    And still win the NL Central. Viva geography.
    Normally I am a 10 on the 1-10 scale of let's get baseball started once 1/1 rolls around. For some reason, I am maybe more like a 5 right now. Maybe post-AP and Yadi Hangover. Am I OK?
    Not sure what to tell you. You're OK. We're all OK. Lots to enjoy about baseball in 2023.
    Looking back at the defense of Gorman at 2B, how would you assess it? Is he one with good hands, sufficient pivot on double plays, but limited in his range?
    Gorman, as expected, uses his arm strength to turn a strong double play, and that is an asset that he brings to the position. There's a comparison between him and Skip Schumaker, honestly. Schumaker learned the footing and the instincts of the position on the job, at the major-league speed of game. Gorman was asked to do something similar. Schumaker and Gorman both brought good arm strength to the position -- and used that to their benefit. It showed up most turning the double play because of the nature of the position. So, definitely more than proficient and sufficient at the pivot. Range was something that he acknowledged working on -- and reaction and footwork is part of that. It could come with experience. Usually does. His hands were good, rushed at times because of the aforementioned speed of the game and that too had to do with range, I imagine. He'll get better with time. Tony La Russa used to use the word "playable" when it came to a player who could handle a position, not excel at it, and not be a regular there, but "playable" if necessary. Gorman proved to be more than that at second base.
Powered by Platform for Live Reporting, Events, and Social Engagement