Join columnist Ben Frederickson for a live STL sports chat

Join columnist Ben Frederickson for a live STL sports chat

Ben Frederickson answers your Cardinals, Blues, St. Louis City, Mizzou and SLU questions in Tuesday's 11 a.m. live chat.

    Hey gang, happy MLB trade deadline day. I'm here until a little before 2 p.m. unless plans change at the ballpark and I need to be there sooner. By now you have heard the big news. The Padres landed Juan Soto and Josh Bell. They paid a high price for it, too. LHP MacKenzie Gore. OF Robert Hassell III. SS C.J. Abrams. OF James Wood. RHP Jarlin Susana. And one more major leaguer. Some are saying it's Eric Hosmer but nothing official yet. Two of San Diego's top three prospects and three of its top 15. And then more. It's being referred to as one of the bigger deadline halls in trade-deadline history. But that's how good Soto is, and Josh Bell is no slouch. The Padres are all in, but that's not surprising. Said it from the start: It was going to be hard for a draft-and-develop team that cares about its farm system -- especially this loaded edition -- to beat the Padres for Soto if the Padres wanted him bad enough. Padres view their farm as trade chips more than anything else. Let's see how the Cardinals pivot. If they were willing to make competitive offers for Soto they can now pivot and improve pitching more than Quintana, which was a solid but not special add last night.
    What would a prospect package from the cardinals for Soto have looked like compared to what San Diego sent?
    Two names that appeared to be sticking points, and we should know more throughout the day, were Dylan Carlson and top prospect Jordan Walker. The Cardinals did not seem interested in moving either, but certainly not both, and I don't blame them for that stance. Moving Carlson in this kind of trade did not make much sense to me, because Juan Soto can't play all outfield positions, and Carlson has been the team's best outfielder this season as Tyler O'Neill and Harrison Bader have struggled and/or been limited by injuries. Moving Walker would have hurt but would not have hurt the major league team as constructed.
    What happens if Hosmer declines going to Washington? I'm guessing he has no trade protection of some sort
    The Nationals appear to be on his no-trade list, per reports. But let's not forget the obvious. Guys can get paid (well) to drop those. And he's repped by Boras, as is Soto, and let's not pretend the agent is not in the loop on this kind of stuff. I would imagine the wheels have been greased beforehand. Seems too far down the road to derail now.
    Obviously just s hunch, but something tells me not to part with Jordan Walker, period. It seems to me that Walker has way more upside than even Oscar Taveras showed. Masyn Winn. Sure. Even Carlson. Walker is a keeper. How do you view those three as trade chips?
    I've explained my Carlson thinking. The moves made a the trade deadline, traditionally, are ones that help your team THIS season. I don't really see how trading your most productive and reliable outfielder this season helps that end. I can see the Cardinals putting a no-trade bubble around Walker. He's the new "it" guy. There always seems to be one. But, he does appear to have a higher ceiling than some of the guys who have been labeled as untouchable before. My hunch is that the Cardinals would have entertained moving Walker for Soto -- if the other parts of the package made sense and did not include Carlson -- but don't think that means he's potentially moving in any other deals now that the Soto one was off the table. The good news here should be that the Cardinals had to get uncomfortable building potential Soto trade packages. That forced them to decide who could be parted with. They can now use that information to go chase rotation help beyond Quintana, and I imagine they will. I don't think they're going to shut it down now that this is done. Deadline is not until 5 p.m. If they retreat and do nothing, well, that would be the big disappointment.
    Looking at the names involved in the Soto trade, Scott Boras’ name is all over this, and I have little doubt he had to lot to do with orchestrating who was coming and going from both sides. Do you see this as an issue? Might his relationship with the Cards have an impact? I can’t think of an agent with this much clout and name recognition in professional sports, let alone baseball…
    Boras has become the boogeyman for some. He's powerful. He has his hand in pretty much everything. He's a vocal pushback to the owners' narrative. I think that can be good for the game at times. He can't make teams change offers or accept or reject deals, though. And he works for the players, not the other way around, even though some players seem to forget that.
    Other playoff contenders are loading up. Most were deeper and stronger than the Cardinals before so the FO better trade for another starter or it will be extremely difficult for the team to match up and win if they make it to the postseason.
    That's where I'm at. I'm not going to throw a big fit about Soto. It never felt like a slam dunk as much as some were determined to make it seem. I think that was reflected in the coverage here at the P-D, too. We kept it real. Now, if the Cardinals spent all of this time hovering around the Soto conversation and only wind up adding Jose Quintana and Chris Stratton? That will be disappointing. There are still arms out there who can help this team.
    Well, the Soto news is deflating. Having him in front of Goldschmidt and Arenado would have been incredible. I don't really see any other deals out there that move the needle, certainly none that should entice the Cardinals to give up any of their prime assets. This is not a championship team worthy of such a move. If they can make another Quintana-like move, fine, but otherwise, it's time to plan for 2023.
    No one is going to move the needle like Soto, sure. But before the news broke that he was "available" no one was talking about the Cardinals needing an outfielder. It was all pitching. There can still be upgrades there. And there's plenty of time. And the market just got its biggest logjam out of the way.
    Do Mo' and Girsch need to add not just another starter, but also another bullpen piece? Or is the feeling that, if they get another #2-#3 SP for the rotation, they have enough relief arms between the current group, Memphis callups, and whichever current starter(s) get bumped into long relief (I'd think Hudson)?
    Ideally they bump Andre Pallante back to the bullpen. They need another starter to do that. That's not to be viewed as Pallante not doing something right. He's been a season-saver. But he was also really successful in the bullpen and he's probably a better weapon there than Carlson -- if you get a starter who is an upgrade over Pallante. Another thing to keep in mind. Pallante is on pace to set career-highs in innings pitched. There is some concern about how that workload could add up down the stretch if he remains in rotation.
    Just like St.louis media to take mozeliak side and say it’s all good. You all are puppets and can’t think or write for yourselves. This is a horrible non move for one player (Carlson) to hold up a deal to get a babe Ruth type player but you rather hold on to the guy that will be a bust. Cmon!
    And yet, here you are.
    I hope you feel better after getting that off your chest.
    A suggestion: If you are frustrated with the team, show it in a way that matters.
    The team doesn't care if you rip writers. The team rips the writers. You think we are puppets. Team thinks we are too negative. Blah, blah, blah.
    Have a nice day :) 
    I don't think San Diego overpaid at all. In fact, they also got Josh Bell. And they gave up young guys who had hype but have been mediocre at best so far. Fantastic deal for the Padres. Their version of the Arenado trade.
    Not quite. Rockies got farm depth from Cardinals in Arenado deal -- and handed over $50 million. Padres got high-end prospect talent, top-10 guys. Cardinals avoided that in the Arenado deal, protecting, for example, Nolan Gorman.
    If you go by Baseball America rankings, Padres surrendered their 1, 2, 4 and 10 prospects. Three top-100 prospects leaguewide.
    You can make a case that's worth it. Soto is 23 years old and is now in San Diego for 3 postseason pushes with no opt-out chances. Maybe he extends there if he likes playing alongside Tatis and Machado. And Josh Bell can be a difference-maker too. But it's a much different deal than the Arenado one.
    Hi Ben: From my constant Twitter refreshes on #Soto and #STLCards it's apparent that the overwhelming opinion amongst STL fans is trading POTENTIAL superstars for an ACTUAL superstar is the right move here. Especially an actual superstar who is only 23 years ago with a couple years of team control. Mo has a history of hoarding the wrong prospects for way too long and them never panning out (Flaherty, Pham, Grishuk, Mercado, Perex, etc)
    I get the argument. I do. But the same Twitter folks would be popping blood vessels two years from now if some of the pieces the Cardinals gave up were starring for the Nationals. And don't tell me it wouldn't be like that. There is recent history that proves it. Twitter is not how you run a team. When the Cardinals go up against the Padres for a deal that has to be powered by prospect talent surrendered -- the team that doesn't care much about prospects is going to probably win out on pushing it. The Padres are that kind of team. It hasn't helped them a ton in the postseason, for what it's worth. Maybe that changes now.
    Ben, What happens now if Nolan opts out and Goldy ask to be traded at season end? All we are left with is a pirates team that will be last in the central.
    What happens if a meteor wipes us off the face of the Earth? I've never once gotten the impression Arenado will be looking to leave. Goldschmidt demanding a trade? That would be a true stunner. Maybe it's hard for some of you all to believe, but these guys like playing here. And they have a better chance of winning than they did at their previous NL stops.
    Ben -

    Am I nuts here? I don't think the Soto move would have been good for St. Louis at all. Sure he comes in and immediately improves the team's hitting, but he would be our 3rd best hitter. He''s not some 50 hr or .350 avg guy, hes a consistent 30 and 300 guy. The bulk of his value stems from his timely hitting which would admittedly be nice, his youth and his consistency. Unless the Cardinals move to a bigger market, it doesn't seem like we'd reap much of the benefit of his youth and consistency since hed likely move to LA or SD or NY when his contract is up and have a glorious 10+ year career there. Then once hes gone wed be the Cubs - no arenado, no goldschmidt, no soto, no pujols, no molina, no wainright and no prospects filling in behind.
    I think you are guilty of underestimating Soto. A lineup with Soto, Goldschmidt and Arenado would have made the Cardinals look like one of those three-headed monsters you see doing damage in the postseason. It would have allowed other guys to become better than league-average hitters at the new lineup spots they slid into down ballot. If the "puke point" the Cardinals were up against was not the Padres, maybe it happens. As soon as it was clear the Padres were very in, it was reasonable to doubt the Cardinals chances in this. Some didn't get the memo.
    BenFred these chats are as close as I get to social media (only my wife can talk to me like that!! :) But I have been a Cardinals and baseball fan since the late 1960’s. I would surmise I am in the minority but I am perfectly okay with the Cardinals passing on Soto. I believe Walker will be mashing baseballs in St Louis as early as next season sometime. He and Gorman will be a pretty formidable left/right duo for the next 10 seasons or so. Thanks for the opportunity to comment.
    No social media? I'm jealous.
    I really wanted Soto ... curious why he didn't have more RBI's in his yearly career?
    He's got a .929 career OPS with runners in scoring position. Biggest thing is he gets walked. A lot. Since his 2018 debut no player has been walked more times than Soto. He's got 464 walks. Bryce Harper, an outfielder the Cardinals could have signed without giving up a single prospect, has been walked a second-most 404 times since then.
    Since Hosmer apparantly has exercised his no trade clause do you think the Padres/Nats deal is off?
    Doubtful. There are ways to persuade. Dollars. Also, he's a proud guy. Hard to see him blocking the deal if he knows the Padres want him gone.
    Okay, Soto is gone. Any new rumors regarding STL trades prior to deadline?
    Rumors galore. On to the pivot phase.
    Any potential logjam for Jordan Walker getting called up to the big leagues next year? Would we have to move in from DeJong and have Edman play short again?
    There is no real logjam for a bat that is ready these days. The DH makes it so. If the Cardinals or any team has a hitter who can help the offense, the DH makes it possible to get that bat to the majors and worry about defense on the fly. A 2023 ETA for Walker is not rushing things. That's the year many of the prospect projections have listed as his projected debut season.
    Mo presser prep:
    "At the end of the day..."
    "DeJong is as good as a trade."
    "We still expect Flaherty back this year."
    "We signed VerHagen with the idea that he could be a 6th starter..."
    "2024 is going to be an important year for this club."
    Wrote a column about that here below.
    I will push back on assumption that Cardinals are done, though.
    And I'm not one who views this trade deadline as a bust if it didn't include landing Soto.
    There are other ways to improve this team's chances at winning the division and doing some damage in the postseason.
    I was never a member of the Soto-or-doom logic and have tried to warn against it.

    BenFred: Tired Cardinals talking points won't sell with another ho-hum trade deadline

    STLtoday.comIf a quiet Cardinals deadline comes and goes, these four familiar excuses will not work
    I also wouldn't have given up the farm for Soto, but c'mon. Saying Carlson is untouchable is silly. It also would've lowered the extra prospect haul. They're the same age. One has 21 WAR and one has 4.5 WAR. They're not in the same stratosphere. In 2 years there will be another Carlson percolating in AA. That's how this works. And I like Carlson.
    It's not a Soto-to-Carlson comparison at all. It's the fact that trading him in a deal for Soto would water down the damage you can do with Soto. Soto is wicked talented, but he can't play multiple outfield spots at once. He can't play center. If you're going to make the win-now move of getting him, don't weaken the team he's joining. And if that means paying more in prospects who are not yet ready to help, so be it.
    I could be perfectly happy if the Cards now went for MadBum and Syndergaard. Fill some holes with decent veteran talent. Eat some innings. Ride it. Your thoughts?
    I like the Bumgarner idea more than most, but now that Soto is off the table and Quintana is in the bag, a bigger swing might be better. Pablo Lopez. Tyler Mahle. More upside there than MadBum, and I'm a MadBum believer.
    I read that column, Ben, and this non-trade only extends the issues you address. By not trading Carlson, Walker, Winn, etc. they are signaling that they believe that these players will reach their full potential and impact the major league roster. Soto was a guarantee or an absolute. You said Mo is "allergic to absolutes." Absolutes create near-term accountability but prospects and can be rising for years. Remember when the Rams always had the youngest team in the league.
    If the Cardinals call it quits after this Soto stuff, sure. Maybe see what they do before the deadline first? I'd like to find out.
    This is a good time to stop supporting out of town owners who don’t care about their fanbase. Now the time to put all of our money into St.Louis City Sc and the local ownership group who puts their money where their mouth is. They bring in world class talent. And pay for their stadium development.
    For what it's worth, City SC has made it clear they're going to prioritize development and players that fit their system, not chase the biggest contracts or name brands that move the needle. It's similar in a lot of ways to what the Cardinals and Blues talk. Some of the takes today are off. The Cardinals didn't get Soto. It was always going to be a longshot, no matter what you heard elsewhere. Let's see what the pivot is. STL dealt with Stan Kroenke. It knows ownership that doesn't care about fans. The DeWitts are not in that group. Come on.
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