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.

    DG, great point/reporting about the Cards not promising a starting role to pitchers. Any discussion about the Cards about using not necessarily a six-man rotation, but using six main guys for starters' innings? That may sound dumb, but maybe that means piggy-backing or something. Five starters averaging 180 innings each equals 900 innings total. So does six guys averaging 150 innings. Thanks.
    It comes up every spring, and they do discuss it. There's been push back, as you'd expect, and not always for any reason other than tradition -- but there is a point there, right? Mikolas, Wainwright, Matz, and the others all set their schedules based on starting every five days. So if they go to a six-man rotation then does that mean two bullpens, instead of one between starts? Does that also mean that innings that Mikolas could be providing on his way to 200 are actually being supplied by someone who doesn't give the same quality innings as Mikolas? 
    There's always the chance -- and likelihood -- they have something of a six-man rotation forced upon them. That does happen. A long reliever slides in for a spot start. A young pitcher pops up for an emergency start. But beyond that, the Cardinals do talk about the fit of it, but year after year after year side with going into the season with the five starters they want, and they adjust with that sixth, seventh, eighth starter when health, performance, or the schedule demands.
    I’m worried about Gorman. I don’t want to lose him because of his bat, but he seems like the odd man out on a position to play. He is not a great fit at second and there does not seem to be room for him in the OF. I guess he could DH a lot but you want to use that slot to rest some regulars. Does the front office worry about this as much as I do?
  • You don't have to guess. He could be DH. I don't get any sense of worry from the front office. That could be because they have the final say in where he goes, what he does, and they're confident in how that will look.
    How big of an impact on the Cardinals future will come from the potential bankruptcy of Fox Sports Midwest's parent company?
    Fair question. The Cardinals and the local broadcast partner are just that -- partners. The Cardinals do have an ownership stake as part of their rights deal, so they share in the risk and share in the benefit there. That was part of the billion-dollar deal made several years ago, and it did see some growth in the deal. It's not a great situation right now, a lot of uncertainty in several cities, but there are outcomes where the Cardinals and MLB end up in a stronger longterm position.
    Morning, I have seen a lot of the players off season reports and even seen some of them on social media, or from mozeliak, or local reporters the only one I haven’t seen any update or heard anything from which is kinda concerning is Carlson. Do you have any information on what the teams off-season plan was for him?
    Spoke recently to his agent and Dylan Carlson has been following a plan he and the Cardinals set forth for his season, and all indications are he's doing well. This is usually the time of year when the cage work really picks up and intensifies so there will be more sense of that for him (and for reporting on him) this month. He did give the hand some time to heal, and that was more limiting than he or the Cardinals thought at the time, though it's clear now in hindsight how much. He and the Cardinals had a plan for what he needed to do with swing to remain a switch-hitter, and that is the plan. There is also an interest on both sides to have him add some strength.
    Anything you're particularly looking forward to in London in June for the Cards-Cubs series? Going to try to pop down to Stratford-upon-Avon and pay your respects to another writer while in the area?
    Just had the chance to spend Christmas weekend in London, and I love the place. It's one of my favorite cities in the world. I've been fortunate enough to go there several times, to spend some time there as a student many eons ago. I doubt there will be much time to go on walkabout to the Bard's hometown. But I'm eager to spend some time with baseball fans in the UK, visit some of their favorite pubs, have some good debates there. 
    I'll be honest. It's surreal for me. I remember having to wait for day-old box scores in the newspaper to keep up with the MLB season -- and now, less than 30 years later, there will be NL baseball in the UK. That's exciting.
    I've heard there's a Phillies pub in London. Wonder which one adopts the Cardinals.
    What my friends and I keep discussing is how did Mo convince Arenado to stay with only getting a catcher? That couldn’t have been his only selling point to keep Arenado on board? If it was, we would have understood him jetting off to greener pastures. Hopefully there’s more to come and more was promised to keep quality talent here?
    It could be as simple as Nolan Arenado enjoyed being a Cardinal, knows what it's like not to compete at all, and got a thrill from winning a division -- and trusts the Cardinals will give him that chance again and again and again and again. Mozeliak may not have mentioned a thing about adding a catcher. I imagine Arenado already knew that the team was going to add a catcher. It wasn't a secret. It wasn't a promise Mozeliak had to make. It was a move he had to make. 
    Arenado said something on MLB Network that I'm surprised doesn't come up more in such conversations. He was asked about staying with the Cardinals and not using his opt out to at least explore other options out there while knowing he could return to the Cardinals, and he said: "The grass isn't always greener."
    He speaks from experience, no?
    As mentioned earlier, it is quite clear that the third baseman has a more optimistic view about the Cardinals, their chances, and their business model than some fans. And that's OK. Just something to note.
    I think I could actually get into the WBC this year. For some reason the no-ball thing is hitting hard early this year.
    In the last WBC, Team Puerto Rico was a thrill to watch. And now Molina is manager.
    Mo really made a mistake with the 'payroll will go up' line. Except for Swanson, all those other salaries are outrageous and the deals are too long to be worthwhile, but Cards fans want all of them on the team.
    Or, stay with me here, he acknowledged the reality. It has to go up to compete.
    DG I would be interested in a projection that I haven't seen and don't have the resources to make. The Cardinals had an unusual number of their young players regress offensively last year, or at least plateau. O'Neill, Edman, Carlson, Gorman, Yepez, Knizner and Burleson all had a down year compared to their career trends. Donovan and Nootbaar were polar exceptions to this list.

    The projection I'd like to see is how would these players play in '23 if last year was considered an anomaly and they resumed their previous career progression? What would it do to the Cards offense if even two of these players resumed their development?
    I don't know how to do that without several hours of ... well, math, maybe? Flat out guessing? I'll be honest. I'm not exactly sure what you're asking. If players perform closer to their averages in 2023, then they would be just that -- their averages. They would get closer to them, and you'd have your answer. But I get the sense that's not what you're asking, and I don't have the ability or computer system really to run a bunch of simulations to get to an answer.
    I also don't see how Alec Burleson had a down year.
    He was one of the most productive hitters in Triple-A, and that didn't translate to 16 games in the majors, fewer than 60 plate appearances? That's a down year? He hardly had a chance in the final month of the season to show what kind of hitter he really is, and so all the information we have is the body of work from the minors -- the impressive body of work from the minors. No other way to put it.
    Carlson was injured right at the time he was starting to take off. Edman didn't have a down year. He improved in almost every category. He went from a below average OPS to above average compared to his peers. And it was not a small uptick -- something 15-20% better.  Yepez was replaced by Pujols. Gorman hit 30 home runs in 401 plate appearances.
    Let me type that again.
    Gorman hit 30 home runs in 401 plate appearances.
    He struck out a lot, but he also hit for power and not isolated. He hit 30 home runs split between two levels, and he did so with playing time limited at times.
    So, again, I'm not sure about the "down" descriptions or how exactly to answer your question, other than any production that improves upon last season is necessary from multiple players for the Cardinals to have an offense that will rank in the top third for the NL, which is where they need to be.
    Do the Cards have interest in Andrew Chafin and Liam Hendriks? It seems both would be very helpful additions.
    Chafin, yes. Not sure how aggressive. But they've at least had that discussion. Have not heard any connection to Hendriks, and that's mostly because every indication is the White Sox intend to keep him, at last check.
    In alternative reporting about the Murphy trade, it insinuated the Cards weren’t trading Noot or Donovan, and instead said choose among Carlson, Gorman, Burleson and Yepez. I’m not asking you to comment on that, but do you get a sense Noot and BD have actually jumped Gorman and Carlson in the organization’s view?
  • You can ask me about that. It's fine. I'll defend what I report. It's part of the job. I stand by my reporting, which has not been refuted. At least I didn't see that in any subsequent reporting.
    Lars Nootbaar was of interest to other teams. He vaulted into the realm of being of interest to other teams, regardless of where the Cardinals have him situated on the roster. (Though, yes, the Cardinals come out of 2022 highly intrigued by what they saw from Nootbaar in the second half of the season. They're calling him an everyday outfielder for a reason.) Same with Brendan Donovan. Their performance set that up, just as the performance of others opened the way for them to push ahead and get the interest from other teams.
    That is, after all, what drives the conversation. Teams know what the Cardinals want -- Murphy, Jansen -- and the Cardinals then wait on the ask to get that player. They're not eager to deal a player without being asked for that player. And other teams were the ones that brought Nootbaar into the discussion.  
    DG...Happy New Year. Saw your comments on the Chris Sale discussion below. Concur with your analysis on potential trade of players who will contribute v. one who might and who knows how much.
    Having said that, what do YOU see the Cards doing to improve the club over the remainder of the off season? I'd like to see your thoughts on what you believe is most likely...thanks.
    The Cardinals would like to -- and you could argue need to -- add another layer of pitching depth to the group. That would be a pitcher with a solid K-rate, too. They would like to add a swingman of some type, or perhaps a reliever that then frees up one of the current pitchers to be in that role. For example: Early, made reference to Chafin. Adding a left-handed reliever like him would mean that Thompson moves into a swing like role. It's that kind of move that makes sense for the Cardinals and would improve the roster at a time when the headline free agents are all signed, with one notable lingering exception.
    With a balanced schedule, I think the Card’s reluctance to trade within their division is antiquated. Why not avoid all trades in the National League then? I think you fill your needs where you can, hope for an equal swap of talent/potential, and move on. Seems dumb to avoid a guy like Reynolds because of his current jersey.
    I asked that question of Mozeliak at the winter meetings and wondered if it was time to abandon that approach given the reduced games. He said it was something he would have to consider, think about, but the reality was there were still more games against the division rivals than not, and one avenue to the postseason is still through the division. That said, I think it's worth watching as the schedule takes hold, baseball adjusts, and if the Cardinals do rethink that viewpoint.
    What's happening with Corey Dickerson? They hired him to be a lefty off the bench and, after a slow start, that's exactly what he did i thought. Why not bring him back?
    They could. He's looking for more playing time, as you'd expect at this time of the offseason. Everyone is. Players are looking for roles now, and roster spots as spring gets closer.
    Mr. Goold: Arenado's statement about the grass not always being greener is hogwash. He obviously thought the grass was greener in St. Louis than it was in Denver, What he should have said is that he enjoys playing in St. Louis, and unlike a lot of players, he isn't about chasing every buck he can get.
    Isn't that what he did? Actions speak louder, after all.
    What do you want to see your Spurs accomplish in the January transfer window?
    Get better. That was a difficult game to watch Sunday.
    Question about control. Let’s say a Cardinal scout was impressed with my 70-plus year old fastball and signs me. How long under current rules to the Redbirds have control of me, minor and major leagues?
    Alright. Let's go through this, with years. It's a good exercise. And we'll maximize the years of control, cool?
    A high school senior, you are drafted, at age 18, in 2023 and signed in 2023.
    Under current rules that means the Cardinals would need to protect you from the Rule 5 draft after the 2027 season.
    That means your first season on the 40-man roster will be 2028.
    The Cardinals have three option years -- not three options, option years, and they can option you up to five times in each of those years. So:
    -- First option year: 2028.
    -- Second option year: 2029.
    -- Third option year: 2030.
    In 2031 you're a spring sensation, and they know if they option you again you'll be eligible for waivers and some team will take you. But you win a starting job and for the first time are in the majors as a regular and gaining service time.
    From 2031-2033, you are considered pre-arbitration, though likely to get Super-2 status and four cracks at arbitration.
    From 2034-2036, you have arbitration rights and the team still has control.
    With six years of service time, you become a free agent after the 2036 season.
    That's obviously an extreme example of control because most players would not go through their three option years without getting any service time or any appearance in the majors. And any time a player is gathering service time that puts them closer to free agency. Still, this gives you the outlier of how far control can extend.
    Hope that helps.
    Saw your post on Twitter of Won-Bin Cho in the cage. Don't know much about him. What can you tell us?
    The Cardinals' first amateur signing from Asia. A teenager when he signed, and a left-handed bat with uncoiling power. He spent most of the past year on the complex team and didn't log a lot of game time when box scores were being kept, but had a solid year of improving at the game and seeing a level of pitching he had not before. That was a big part of scouting him for the Cardinals and other teams -- the inability to get him against top pitching.
    More information on him and how he became a Cardinal is here: 

    ‘He bet on himself’: South Korean teen Won-Bin Cho brings intriguing swing to Cardinals’ minor-league camp

    STLtoday.comFirst amateur player out of Asia signed by Cardinals will be debuting as a pro when he reports to camp. At 18, he's the second-youngest outfielder present.
    I'm confused. Fox's Sports parent Company is in trouble but we're Bally's Now?
    It's Sinclair. That's current with Bally's. I should have pointed that out. Thanks for the back check.
    Other than watching the awesome final season festivities for Molina and Pujols did they make an effort to influence Arenado’s decision to opt in?
  • I don't get that sense, no. Not actively. What he saw and how he saw them celebrated certainly was a part of it, but I don't think they lobbied him. Players rarely do that. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado are close, so they definitely had those conversations. But when it comes down to the decision, players respect the role the family has in making that call.
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