Join columnist Ben Frederickson for a live STL sports chat at 11 a.m. Tuesday

Join columnist Ben Frederickson for a live STL sports chat at 11 a.m. Tuesday

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

    Joc Pederson was pretty good for the Giants last season. All-Star good. Slugged .521. Knocked 23 homers. Crushes righties. Could be a good fit for an outfield that wants to add proven production without completely giving up on guys like O'Neill and Carlson. Could be a DH as well. Just saying.
    Is Pablo Lopez of the Marlins were a look? Not the front line starter but would make the rotation stronger for sure.
    He took a nice step forward in innings this past season, getting to a career-high 185 and making 30-plus starts for the first time. And he's only entering his age-27 season. He's often mentioned in trade speculation. Some thought the Yankees would get him last deadline. I like him and his upside.
    I'm probably in the minority here but if the Blues sought to bring back one of O'Reilly or Tarasenko, I'm putting my money on Tarasenko. Obviously it has to be mutual, and I think a lot of the trade rumors are hearsay, but when the guy is healthy he shows up. Bring him back on a reasonable deal and give the man the C if he wants it. I'll forever appreciate ROR what he brought in 2019.
    At this rate they'll bring back neither, but I hear your point. Some trade buzz is noise. But it's a fact Tarasenko wanted out, and he's never publicly walked it back that he still does not want out. That reality can be corrosive to a team, even if a guy plays hard and plays well. He's not captain material, even if the Blues do move on from O'Reilly.
    What kind of contract do you think Degrom will get? If they didn't chase Max i doubt they try for Degrom
    Heyman predicts 3 years, $125 million.
    Pitchers get hurt, I get it, but I'd be worried about his injury history, specifically.
    Great when healthy. Often hurt.
    BenFred -

    I apologize, because this comment goes against everything I've said over the last two years (but please bear with me).

    Based on the Cardinals needs, do you think this is the worst year in recent memory to be flush with cash to spend? I know the Cardinals want to spend to their budget and compete every year, but the available talent at the price point this front office is comfortable spending at is not impactful. With such a promising pipeline of talent, it would be a shame to trade away players that may be great in 2-3 years for mediocrity this year. Barring another historic Arenado-level swipe, its hard to see where the talent comes from that truly pushes this team to the next level. Would we be better off stashing the cash for another year, letting the young guys develop a bit more then go on that spending spree when the market fits our needs a bit better?
    I think you're falling into a bit of a trap, and forgetting the Cardinals set their budget annually and that it is not set upon them. They are not a victim of their budget. They create it and can adjust it as they like when they choose to, and they do. Spending is too often only thought about in terms of free-agent buys. It can be that. Or it can be trades that bring on payroll. Money taken on can be used to decrease the prospect ask in trades, like it was in the cases of Goldschmidt and Arenado. The trade deadline offered a good reminder of how the Cardinals are not always looking at the options that are exhaustively discussed. They traded for a starter in Jordan Montgomery that few figured to be available, and made an unpredictable trade inside the division as well. The fact is the Cardinals have some specific needs -- catcher, swing-and-miss pitching and lineup protection for Goldschmidt and Arenado -- that are real needs. The front office has an increased line of spending to use in the best ways to attack those weaknesses. And fans can and should expect the money they pumped into the team to result in a better team because of it, as that's the arrangement that works really successfully for this team. If the front office can't find ways to attack the weaknesses regardless of the free-agent pool limitations, that's a problem.
    Drinkwitz has to be going after a QB in the portal, right. The only reasonable explanation to Horn not getting any playing time, is he is not goo denough. If he is not good enough now, how can he be good enough for Drinkwitz to count on next year when he might be coaching for his job.
    Man, that's a tough one. I hear you. If Horn is not ready to play this season, considering how Cook has struggled at times, then what guarantees he's going to be ready next season? Nothing. You'd like to think Cook will return and improve, but if he feels like he's going to be bumped as starter next season, the transfer portal could be hard to ignore. Same for Horn -- if Eli goes hunting a transfer there this offseason. If Eli is going to go after transfer QBs, it would have to be a guy who can start immediately and has multiple years of eligibility left, because you could risk losing both Cook and Horn if you go that route. Everyone would feel better about the current setup if Horn could get his feet wet this season and show some good signs. Maybe he can do that during the New Mexico State game, opening up a true competition for next season. One more thing Drinkwitz has to consider: Year four, regardless of his extension, feels like the make or break season. Is he going to enter that season with a QB competition, or does he want a sure-thing starter? Can he get one in the portal if he tries? He tried last season and Mizzou whiffed on three guys. Tough spot.
    What did you think of the mizzou game this past weekend? That roughing the punter at the end? There has to be a rule made there. The kick didn't even make the line of scrimmage, if he was throwing it, it would have been intentional grounding wouldnt it? It was a tough way to end when they were looking at the having the ball deep in their terrritory otherwise.
    Wrote about that here below . . . 

    BenFred: Mizzou football’s brutal loss should force change to roughing the kicker rule

    STLtoday.comIn the Missouri vs. Kentucky Wildcats football game, if the officials got this call right then the rule is wrong.
    Is there a front of the line strikeout pitcher you see as available? What do you think it would take to get him? We all can agree they're not going to pay top dollar for Degrom I'm not sure who the second best guy would be? Rodon? Bassit?
    I like Rodon a lot. He had the lowest FIP and highest K/9 of any NL starter. He was pitching in front of a bad defense, and the Cardinals have a strong one.
    Flaherty at full health going into his final year before free agency seems like a recipe for an ace at the top of the rotation in 2023. Matz is a pitcher who can miss bats. Waino at a level before his knee injury/Sept decline is an innings eater, and a critical leader in the club house. Another year of Mikolas like 2022 also works. Plenty of depth for 5th starter and multiple options for 6th if Oli wants to go 6 man rotation at times (I like Thompson and Hudson 2 years out from TJ surgery, Pallante and Woodford are solid for 5th spot, Libertore and Reyes as wild cards if they can figure it out). Although you can never have enough pitiching it seems like the Cards are set up pretty well at pitching to me for 2023. Offense is the main issue, so let's focus on the upgrades needed there and another solid catcher.
    That's why I've said the Cardinals don't need just any kind of arm for the rotation.
    If they're going to add one, it's got to offer something they don't always have, or it's repetitive.
    There's a need for a top-end starter, or none.
    And yes, offense is needed as well.
    And catcher.
    What do you foresee Pallante's role to be in the upcoming season? It seemed like he was coming on strong as a starter before he hit that inning limitation.
    To me he seems like the guy who the team insists has a chance to start once spring training begins, then quickly finds his way to the bullpen.
    It seems to be lost on people that the Cardinals are a business, not a charity. They spend enough to compete every year and attract fans to the park. Getting into the playoffs is the goal because, as the Dodgers, Braves, Yankees and Mets proved, winning it all after that point is a dice roll. Be thankful we live in a baseball city where Aug- Oct matters annually.
  • The dice roll theory doesn't explain the Astros, who have turned the ALCS into their floor during this stretch.
    There certainly are elements of randomness to the postseason.
    The Cardinals are leaning on the argument awfully hard as of late.
    Too hard.
    thanks for posting the article about the mizzou call. I didn't see that, will read it now. Do you think its inevitable either Horn or Cook transfers after the season? Horn if he doesn't think he's going to get a chance since he hasn't or Cook because Horn is going to be the starter next season. Do you see a situation where they both come back without any gaurantees for next season?
    There has been no impression that Horn is miffed because he's not playing. Cook is used to people writing him off and continues to prove, at least to Drinkwitz, that he's the best option to start every game. So he's not going to shy away from competition with Horn, I don't think. What could change the scenario would be if another transfer competitor was pursued, like last season. We often see QB arrivals from the portal lead to QB departures from the same team. How Eli plays his offseason QB cards is going to be interesting.
    I think people are jumping to conclusions too quickly on Horn. Assuming he is not good enough now is one thing, but assuming he can't get there by next year is a reach to me. People seem to be forgetting that he wasn't on campus during Spring practices, so he was already starting at a disadvantage (one he imposed on himself to finish out HS baseball) when it came to learning the playbook for a true Freshman. Thinking of it that way, would you want to put someone you may be hoping to still challenge for the roll next season behind that line? Horn may not be the savior next year, and I certainly think Drink needs to bring some experience with upside for him to challenge, but I think it's too early to completely write him off.
    No one's writing him off, at least not here.
    Just said you can't feel certain he's the answer for 2023 if he hasn't forced the coach's hand yet this season, considering how stalled the offense has looked at times this season.
    Goold has a headline from his chat yesterday "There is no obvious left-handed hitting answer on the free-agent market". What about Joc Pederson who hits right handed pitching? Pederson could platoon with Yepez. Or Josh Bell who hit both righties and lefties? Brandon Nimmo who has excellent defense and bats left handed? Brantly bats left handed but he would be my last choice. I really appreciate the chat. Thank you and have a great day.
    I like the potential of a Pederson fit. Did last season, too. He signed for just a little more than Dickerson, could have been used in the similar role, and had way better results.
    How much did homerun ball 700 finally sell for? The PD scribes wanted the lucky fan to give the ball to AP. REALLY
    Report I saw said $360,000. Nice chunk of change.
    Thank you for doing this. Can you help me understand something? If the Cardinals thought Quintana was our best pitcher to start the playoffs and wants to come back and I assume at an affordable value why don't we lock that up?? He threw 5 plus innings shut out. If we want to get a stud in addition to that great! Please help me understand. We have a lot of holes to fill and he seems like a good fit.
    Depends on who is defining affordable. The Cardinals, or Quintana? He pitched well on a platform year that could set him up with a solid next contract, perhaps a multi-year deal, as the reward for betting on himself. There's no guarantee he pitches as well moving forward into his age-34 season as he did during his stretch with the Cardinals. And his track record suggests pretty strongly that he won't. Quintana, career-wise, has been a middle-rotation arm. The Cardinals have no shortage of those. If they're going to add more starters, they should prioritize top-end additions, especially after bringing back Wainwright, who is in the middle range. The Cardinals were not going to not bring back Wainwright if he wanted to come back. That could have closed the Quintana door.
    When you get onto something you keep on it despite the numbers and then accuse others of spreading misinformation. Harper was a hot head with the Nats and was not a clutch hitter. Contreras is not a great defensive catcher or base runner. The numbers bear that out.
    Hey now, speaking of spreading misinformation, I never once said Contreras was a great defensive catcher.
    Just said he's not as bad as some of you all seem to be convinced.
    As for Harper's ability to come up big, this postseason was a pretty good read on that.
    What are your thoughts on Masataka Yoshida?
    Just reading a little more about him today. Interesting. Here's an article about the two-time batting champ in Japan who appears to be MLB-bound. He hits left-handed! 
    BenFred I was sorry to see Skip Schumacher leave the organization but also happy for his opportunity. He will do well. Like many, I believed Matt Holiday to be a perfect fit but didn’t give it much chance because he still has a nationally ranked high school baseball playing son at home. It had to be a tough decision for him. Did he take it because the opportunity might not come around again for a few years? Also, was the P-D aware of his signing prior to the announcement? I know the business of baseball isn’t supposed to happen during the WS. Thanks and I look forward to your comment.
    I tried to sound the alarm that Holliday was a realistic fit and one the Cardinals should pursue. He clouded the water some with some comments he made on STL radio about all of the stuff he has going on, but those close to him know he wants to get back into baseball and maybe wants to manage one day. The Cards bench job has become a springboard for future managers, from Shildt to Marmol to Skip. His relationship with current players is strong, especially Arenado. It just made a ton of sense and Marmol saw the fit. I didn't know it would happen for sure but figured there was a very good chance, and I think it's a really smart move for both parties.
    Happy Tuesday. Been a teasing, painful year watching Mizzou FB. "Good teams find a way to win, and bad teams find a way to lose"

    I am not coming to bash Brady Cook, but he is very limited. His best attribute is his legs on a broken play or designed QB runs. He had 19 yards passing at the half on 7 completions. It is apparent that they prefer to do quick outside passes for low yardage to keep things simple for Cook in hopes that they're receivers can make a man miss.

    I know it's popular to always call for the backup QB, and that drum has been beat all year long for Horn.

    You have repeatedly said that year 4 is the make or break year for Drinkwitz, but my question/comment is this:
    Going into year 4, if Drink and everyone else believes Horn is the guy for the future, it would make sense to let him have live reps (possibly against NM St.) so that he is not entering a crucial year as the QB without any live reps. Drink is being backed into a tough spot largely because his team can't push a lead to put Horn in a game (i.e. Vandy).

    Cook REALLY struggled Saturday after taking a couple steps forward in weeks prior.
    Yes, I think Horn should have gotten some game action by now. But I think it's too easy to just blame Drinkwitz. Horn has to force the coach's hand, and he's not doing that enough yet. He's not earning the reps in practice. That has to change. Maybe we see him some during New Mexico State game.
    Ben, I would love to see the Cardinals go after either Turner, Bogaerts or Correa. Edman can platoon in the outfield and 2nd base until Gorman establishes himself. Realistically it could be 3-4 years before Winn establishes himself, if at all, so a shortstop like Turner, Bogaerts or Correa would solidify an already formidable infield. Your thoughts?
    The Cardinals convinced themselves they didn't need to be involved in the shortstop market last season. They got OK play there with Edman and Donovan once DeJong struggled. All those guys could be back, and now Winn is that much closer to being ready. So, it's hard for me to see them going all in on a free-agent shortstop this offseason. We'll see. They certainly need help for the offense, but it doesn't have to be a shortstop.
    The Mets payroll this year was $288 million. Dodgers was likely similar or more. Neither made the NLCS. It takes more than just money and buying the shiniest object in free agency.
    Yep. The Cardinals spend. They were conservative during the pandemic but are going to ramp it up now. As always, spending wisely is the X factor.
    Time to jet, folks. Same time and place next week. Have a good rest of your week until then.
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