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.

    The bullpen should be stout, even a strength, and could be one of the best in the National League. There is a lot to like about the mix of pitches, pitchers, and what Oliver Marmol and Mike Maddux showed last year with their use of the bullpen. 
    Maybe it's strength shifts the need/the reliance on starters? I dunno. Seems like a reach.
    Boston seems in need of a SS and could take on DeJong's contract. He seems like he really needs a change of scenery to have any hope of salvaging his career and this is likely his final season in St. Louis no matter what. This may be the best shot the Cardinals have to unload him and get something (salary relief or a prospect) in return. Is there any movement on DeJong to Boston?
    There is a clear match. If you're a team interested in a player at this point -- say, a player like Paul DeJong -- what is the purpose of moving on a deal like that now when there are games ahead when he'll play and you'll see, for free, what the swing looks like and how productive it will. Same goes for health. What is the motivation for making a move now that will cost talent when we're a month away from games giving a glimpse into that players performance. Is the cost of the trade going to change all that much when there's the potential for a roster squeeze anyway?
    Seems like the Dodgers and Cardinals could match up for a trade involving Dylan Carlson. They need a CF and we need pitching, which they have a plethora of in the minors? Thoughts? Carlson for Bobby Miller and/or Gavin Stone?
    I don't see it. Maybe others do. Doesn't look like the deal the Dodgers want.
    I think we did well to avoid the crazy contracts that were signed in this winter. While the math may need to change it can't be stupid. Do you think this year was an anomaly and we will see length and AAV's fall going forward? I think you have been preaching patients and perhaps I am catching up. Does our new math need us to be willing to trade prospects at the deadline for the bat or arm that puts us in the conversation?
    I think this year was the beginning of the new norm under the current CBA. Could always shift with changes to the CBA after its expiration. How teams are using longer contracts to adjust to the CBT (luxury tax) is interesting, creative, and now part of the business like opt-outs and the other gizmos and levers in contracts these days. 
    And the cost of pitching is only going up.
    Trades are going to change as a result too, but we're seeing how teams what top talent and they're willing to move control years to get it. So, yeah, that may be where the starter is found. But at a price. 
    Derrick - If I’m correct, you have in the past voted for Bonds and Clemens, but you didn’t vote for ARod.

    A conviction matters?
    Suspension matters, yes.
    I may be alone in this, but with all of the young players the Cards have on the way up...I don't give Goldy an extension in 2 years. We have gotten the best he has to give and have talent that can play first base. The money can be better spent elsewhere..
    I don't think the Cardinals agree with you at this point. We'll watch as this develops.
    Hey Derrick,
    Good to have you back taking questions, we really miss your insight, although enjoy your columns too.
    Any concerns about Flaherty or Matz being able to throw 180 or more innings this year? Waino, Montgomery and Mikolas all can go 180 plus if healthy. Hudson had 139 innings last year so he could probably stretch it to 180 or 190 if he wound up in a starting role.
    That is a fair question and fair concern, and it's more of a factor for Jack Flaherty than for Steven Matz. Flaherty is far more years removed from that bulk workload. And he's dealt with arm/shoulder injuries. Matz had a knee injury. He's done a full starter's workload more recently. This is something to watch with both, and it's going to factor in how the Cardinals approach the use of a five-man rotation and the spot starts from a sixth, seventh, eighth starter.
    Thanks for sharing your Hall ballot. I'm curious - do you consider the "fame" aspect of a player's career when weighing their Hall worthiness? Of course, I'm not sure how one would objectively measure fame. This is regarding Abreu, though. during his career, I always regarded him as a good player, but maybe more similar to Ray Lankford than Ken Griffey Jr. That being said, I was surprised how favorable his stats are, and he's more borderline than I would've considered otherwise. I just have a hard time squaring my memory of him with what the numbers say, though.
    Yes, I do. I like what John Thorn, the author and historian, had to say about how it's called the Hall of Fame and that means being famous is a good place to start. I don't think that means it's only reserved for the famous. It's a good place to start. There are many famous players who don't have the careers that would match the standard for Cooperstown, and there are many players who never got the fame but in the end had remarkable careers. Ken Boyer isn't famous on a national level. But you'll get a lot of people in St. Louis definitely advocating for his induction. David Freese is definitely famous on a national level, and those same people in St. Louis are not championing his induction to the Hall of Fame. (Freese, however, is likely to appear on the ballot when he's eligible. Just FYI.)
    I definitely, as a voter, came to realize Abreu's candidacy and claim to a vote after I dug deeper into his career and, sure, recalled what it was like to see him play. His career through the modern lens of OBP and not making outs and all-around play is stronger than it appeared at the time. He wasn't famous. But he was deserving of more of it.
    A thought experiment. I'm with you on Vizquel. He wouldn't get my vote. But, for argument sake, next year there is a guy, call him Amar Vazqual, who played 25 seasons to Omar's 24. In Amar's first year in the league he has 133 hits. His year 2-25 stats are exactly the same as Omar's 24 seasons. Is Amar a HOFer?

    Or, simplified, if Omar or a player very similar to him, had 133 more hits -- to get to 3,000 -- is he a HOFer? Is 3,000 that magic number for you?

    Related: is 500 HR or 250 wins a magic number for you? (Meaning, if when you start your research you see those numbers, your research could end because they have your vote.)

    Is there any other stat that would qualify as a magic number for you?
    I don't have a magic number. 3,000 hits is impressive. 300 wins is definitely impressive. There are other ways to get on base. Not all hits are created equal. Etc. Etc. I don't want to handcuff myself to magic numbers. That's how I feel. I get it if other voters do. I will use big numbers to inform my voting, but approach he has its roots in watching the Colorado Rockies play during their first season there in Denver, in 1993, from the stands.
    I saw Dale Murphy join the Rockies to take aim at 400 career homers. And I remember the conversation being about how if he got to 400 that would help his Hall of Fame chances.
    I wondered -- was Murphy with 400 homers all that different than Murphy with 398?
    That didn't compute for me at that age, and it still doesn't now.
    Why do the writers treat steroid cheats like Pudge Rodriguez and David Ortiz differently than Bonds and Arod?
    I can only speak for myself. Alex Rodriguez was suspended for PEDs after there was testing, after there were banned substances. It was in all the newspapers. Players knew what the rules were and MLB had the tests to make sure the rules were adhered to. Rodriguez accepted and served his suspension. Ortiz wasn't suspended. Played at the same time. Bonds has been connected to PEDs by strong investigative reporters, and he also was not suspended.
    I think the Cardinal fans do themselves a disservice when analyzing the team. When comparing the Cards and Dodgers their doesn’t seem to be much difference in sure things versus if performance. Am I reading this wrong every team has players that have to come through for the season to be successful
    It's interesting. The Dodgers have played just to get into the playoffs as division champ and they have one World Series title to show for all their spending. They do have several new pennants. But only one World Series title. And it was in 2020. In the bubble tournament. What the Cardinals and Dodgers definitely share is neither of them are as successful as Houston in the postseason.
    Several intriguing free agents out there next offseason at SP. Given current years and price for pitchers, any chance the Cardinals make a run at Ohtani, Nola, etc.? Would the Cardinals be willing to spend that much on pitching?
    Aaron Nola seems like at least a possibility. Of that group. As of right now, the Cardinals will have to go into the free-agent market for at least one starter. Period. That's going to be what they have to do or they won't contend, not with the current setup. That could change before November with trades and extensions, but right now -- they will need to add. And it will be costly.
    Hey, Derrick!
    Much has been made of the Birds' offseason, and how they didn't go as far as expected/needed. While I agree the pitching staff needs one more good starter candidate, and not just a new catcher, I believe Mozeliak was genuinely anticipating the announced payroll bump to come among the pitching staff, not at backstop. I think Mo assumed (quite reasonably) that the Cards would make the strongest offer for very talented and very cheap Sean Murphy -- which they did, by far! And then the "Contreras money" would go to someone like Chris Bassitt or another #2/3 starter. Who knows, maybe even Rodon. Though I kinda doubt that.

    Anyway, my question. Assuming Bieber and Alcantara and Gallen are NOT available at the trade deadline, who do think is the best starter who IS acquirable at that point? Because based on Michael Girsch's interview with you many months ago, it sorta seems the club *plans* to acquire at least some pitching at every deadline, going forward. Sometimes starting, sometimes relieving, sometimes both.
    It's a good question. And it's a good policy to go into a season expecting to add pitching throughout it. Sure seems like that's the way to go. Triangulating on Jan. 23 what pitchers will be available in July is ... well, it's either a matter of listing free agents to be or making informed guesses. Things change. No one had any idea last January that Jordan Montgomery would be available from the Yankees in exchange for a center fielder on the IL in July. That just wasn't on the radar and no amount of reporting was going to shake that chestnut loose. What we do know: It's highly unlikely that Alcantara is available for trade. It is more likely today that the Diamondbacks are in contention for a playoff berth than they are trying to trade Gallen. So, I'm not sure where those names came from in your question. 
    Bieber sure. That's possible. Rucinski, sure, if he's pitching well. 
    There are others that would fall into this group of potentially available such as Giolito (name to watch), Lance Lynn, and then you've got Carrasco (or a spring move with Mets?), and German Marquez.
    Does Rolen go in as a Cardinal? Secondly, does Edmonds go in if Andrew Jones gets in?

    Not many CF that can hit 40 hrs and play Gold Glove defense and have a high WAR value too ( both Jones and Edmonds)
  • 1) I don't know. A decision to be discussed when it's a decision he has to make.
    2) If the veteran's committee decides that. He's got a long road to get in, like Ted Simmons, because Edmonds, like Simmons, was one and off the ballot. Should not have been that way. I voted for him. It wasn't enough.
    Derrick, this is a comment, rather than a question: I think HOF voters badly undervalue postseason performance. I listened to your podcast with Kevin Wheeler, and it struck me that so many of the metrics you discussed – ERA+, OPS+, JAWS – are entirely based on regular season performance. But in recent decades, the regular season has become far less important than it once was. Whereas in Stan Musial’s day, it determined whether a team would be one of two teams in the World Series, now it merely helps determine whether a team will be one of 12s still in the mix for a title.

    The way I see it, each post-season game is worth many times what each regular-season game is, and voters ought to take that into account. If a guy hits a home run that wins a World Series game, think home much more that means than a home run that wins a game in June. And yet so many voters seem to consider the post-season as a factor to consider only after looking at regular-season numbers.

    So take the case of Billy Wagner: Yes, he was dominant in the regular season, but (as you said on the podcast) he was awful in the post-season. And while, yes, that was small sample size, that sample REALLY, REALLY mattered because if he had been just a little better, the Mets win the 2006 NLCS and perhaps the World Series. On the flip side, players who are dominant in the post-season (Carlos Beltran,

    Thanks for hearing out my rant. I’d love your thoughts on it.
    Stan Musial was a .256 hitter with a .742 OPS in the postseason. But at least he got there.
    One of the reasons why regular season stats are used so often is because that's the guarantee every player has. To qualify for the Hall, the player needs 10 years of service time, and it's possible those 10 years do not include any postseason at all. None. I don't think voters dismiss postseason performance. Maybe some do undervalue it. In some cases, we cannot consider it at all. That said, I do hear a lot about voters using October to inform their votes. Schilling got a bounce from voters who supported his October performance. Some voters said they didn't support Mussina because of his October numbers, and there are some who have written/tweeted/said the same thing about Wagner.
    When the Cards signed Contreras there was applause - they saw a need, went out and outspent others to get him. They say they wanted to spend on another contract, but the drive to do so petered out. Yes, they would have had to spend more than allotted, but they did it for a catcher. Seems like they just ran out of drive.
    I think -- brace yourself -- the offer(s) they made weren't accepted. Not sure if that's a lack of drive, or a lack of opportunity to offer free agents with the current roster. Either can be criticized. One just seems more likely.
    Which player that ended the 25-man roster with the Cards last season would you say has the most to prove this season for their future moving forward with the team?
    The answer is Paul DeJong, right? This is a huge spring for him. He's got March to prove he can contribute to the Cardinals for April. Not sure how many players have that situation. VerHagen, I guess, because of his contract.
    Thanks for the chat, DG.
    Here's a fun stat. In my lifetime (b. 1963) the Cards have won the N.L. pennant 10 times, with 5 championships to show for it. The 5 teams that *lost* the World Series averaged 99 wins. The 5 that *won* the World Series averaged just 92 wins, i.e., the present team talent level.

    Now, I'm not saying the club shouldn't still be trying to improve. I think they should -- I wanted a trade for Jesus Luzardo, personally, rather than his teammate Lopez. But I think that the numbers cited are meaningful evidence that the Cards probably already have the minimum daily required talent to win the Series. (Heck, as we well know, an 87-win Philly team took the pennant last year and an 88-win Braves team won the whole thing in 2021.)
    Interesting. I too wonder what the Cardinals' power ranking of Marlins' starters would have been. We all know who No. 1 would be. No. 2 is more interesting. I tried to pin that down. Could not.
    I am assuming the question about what cap a player wears going into the HOF was asked basically in reference to Pujols in 5 years.. Which cap do you believe the Hall will ask him to wear?
    Sure seems like this past year would make the Cardinals the leading favorite -- though, again, I'll mention he'll be an employee of the Angels when that conversation takes place, pending some kind of change to his status with a new ownership there in Anaheim.
    (Check that. As I type that -- there's an announcement from the Angels that Moreno isn't selling the Angels.)
    If the HOF makes the cap decision than what difference will it make if Albert is still employed by LA?
    I point you toward earlier in the chat where this was discussed. Thank you.
    Billy Wagner was assigned to close games. That was his assignment [ along with other closers.]. People can compare him or other closers to hitters or position players but over time the game changes ..... He needs to be in the hall [ along with the DH great hitters ] for doing their assigned job.
    This is one of the interesting points that I think a lot about. There are great fielders who play second base because there are greater fielders on their team who play shortstop. Is that the problem of the second baseman? Or is that his circumstance? There are clearly pitchers who are better in the regular use, several times a week, and their body reacts to that whereas they may not be able to handle the workload of a starter. I think about that, too. And Billy Wagner is a driver for exploring that notion of assignment/role and excellence.
    A quick comment on the HoF/PED discussion today (and I've actually really enjoyed a mostly PED-less Hall debate this year): While MLB did not begin drug testing with penalties until the 2004 season, anabolic steroids have been illegal for all Americans, including baseball players, since 1991. I agree that a suspension is unequivocal evidence, and rightly reason to prevent a player from receiving an honor like hall of fame status, but just because baseball didn't have in-house disciplinary rules at the time does not negate federal law, which I believe MLB also stated that players must comply with.
    They did. I have written a lot about that, especially back in the 2005-2010 period when that was a large part of my role on the beat. They had a memo. They banned it. They did not have testing for it. They had a ban with no teeth, a ban with no way to police. They had a ban for knowledge of use but no real way to report that use. So, yes, the substances were banned by the commissioner, but ... no testing, no suspensions, nothing like what they had coming out of the hearings and into the current era of PED policy.
    DG -

    We're still getting some grumblings from fans for tossing DeJong aside, and while I don't agree with that premise, I do understand it. The reason it doesn't make sense to get rid of him is because despite his struggles at the plate he provides what this team needs - some top-tier defense (as a bench player) in the middle infield.

    Having said that, you don't have to dig that deep to find that he will likely see PLENTY of starts for this cardinals team, as any injury to edman or arenado would almost certainly move him into the starting lineup (as edman would likely slide over to 3rd in the case of an arenado injury), and even without injury, he's likely to fill in on rest days at least weekly. Is that too much exposure for him knowing what we know about his bat? Could the cardinals benefit from pursuing a low cost upgrade at the position, not too dissimilar to an Edmundo Sosa?

    If he ends up playing long stretches as a starter for this team then there's going to be blood in the water for the birds.
    That's a rather violent ending. Yikes. It's not that serious. He's going to play a lot in spring training because there are at-bats available due to the WBC. The Cardinals have been clear with him. He's got to win a spot this spring. He knows that. They've said it. We'll all get to watch it. It's not going to be secret.
    How come there are no middle relievers or set up men in the Hall? Those guys get big outs and make lots of appearances. Does WAR take these things into account? Would you help bang the drum some with your fellow writers for my guy and ex Cardinal Jesse Orosco?
    Great question. We're going to see this shift and change in the coming years. That's my bet. First, it had to happen in the game. It did. Second, it had to happen in the marketplace. It did (thanks in part to Andrew Miller). And third it will change in the Hall. We're still in the midst of this evolution of the game and how its measured and viewed.
    Derrick- We, as readers, have been so fortunate to have you cover the team that we follow. Your game story following Shakespeare night a year or two ago was the all-time best. Are the Cards going to be more active as far as international signings? It seems like everyone coming out of Houston's bullpen last postseason was signed for $10,000 and was unhittable.
    Thanks for the kind words. The answer is yes. There are more players that they'll sign as the international period extends. You're right about the Astros -- and some of those signings are a result of a former Cardinal employee. No, not who think. Oz Campo came to the Cardinals early in his career, gathered experience and contacts there, and then rose through the ranks with the Astros. Now, he's the assistant general manager with Miami -- and there's a lot of excitement for him because of that position and how he's earned it -- by being involved in the signings that have made the Astros and their pitching staff so strong with international talent cycling through and excelling. We'll see how quickly that shows up for the Marlins, too. A real intriguing move of this winter that did not get as much attention in St. Louis -- not compared to the Marlins new manager -- but was definitely of interest from a STL view.
    Alright, that brings us to the end of the chat. Now you know why I had to step aside for a little bit. There was news to track down. News to help report. And there was news that the Post-Dispatch was first to report, and we're accountable for the urgency, clarity, and accuracy of that report.
    Thanks for the time you've spent here in the chat. Thanks for reading.
    The Hall of Fame announcement is Tuesday night. Right now, Helton and Rolen are tracking for induction, though more than 50% of the ballots are still unknown. And we'll see where they lean. Fred McGriff is certain to go in. We know that much. 
    The rest of it -- we can discuss next week.
    Have a good week. Go Spurs. Phew. 
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