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

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

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

    Greetings, chatters. Hope everyone's week is off to a good start. World Series starts tonight. Mizzou hosts a Kentucky team that has had its number lately in the covid-scrambled SEC schedule. P-D teammate Jim Thomas had the scoop that there have been some preliminary talks between new XFL ownership and The Dome. Plenty to discuss. Let's roll.
    Trading away the AL mvp And ALCS MVP Within three years . And letting the homerun champ of the NL walk because he’s not good enough in our assessment.
    Must be a ignominious record for our Moe ?
    Luke Voit likely won't win the AL MVP. I hope he does. That would be great for him, and he certainly deserves consideration. But I doubt he wins it. Could come in third, or maybe second. We'll see. I do think the Cardinals under-projected Voit. But they also did not have the DH in play when they traded him. And they have filled his position with Paul Goldschmidt. He's pretty good.
    Ozuna never hit like he did this season in Atlanta when he was with the Cardinals. Few if any were weeping when the Cardinals let him walk. I was one of the few who pointed out that a team that lacked offense was letting one of its most reliable hitters -- albeit a still underperforming one compared to expectations -- depart without a proven answer. Many scoffed.
    Would Ozuna have had that kind of year here? I don't know. But he would have had a better year here than most of the Cardinals hitters did, especially the ones who were supposed to replace him.
    The Cardinals have to figure out what's off in their projections of hitters, and why hitters are getting better results before and after they join the Cardinals. Both are big questions that need answers.
    Hi, Ben. Enjoyed your column about "What Cardinals Could Learn about Ozuna's Turnaround." I would imagine, aside from all the money they'd miss out on raising for the worthwhile Cardinals Care, the team wouldn't be all that unhappy if health and social distancing guidelines canceled the Winter Warmup, so Mozeliak wouldn't have to answer all the questions from fans about Ozuna and Arozarena. Just like Matt Carpenter probably wasn't all that unhappy about no fans meaning not hearing the boos over his play.
    Then I would suggest you would be surprised by the line of questioning Mozeliak usually receives from fans in those settings. Calls for accountability and hard questions are both fair and wise, and these are the questions the Cardinals will face whenever they get around to scheduling their end-of-season media availability. But the notion that fans grill Mozeliak like the media wont? I've not observed that in any of my Winter Warm-Ups, and I make a point to attend those questions and answers because you often get different responses from Mozeliak than he gives to the media. The conversations can be productive and fans often ask great questions. What they don't do is what Twitter and the Internet likes to suggest reporters should do -- bluster and grandstand for likes and retweets. That's not to suggest that's what you're calling for. Just pointing out that Mozeliak knows he's going to have to answer those questions, from media and fans. He's a big boy and has a big boy job. He will be ready, even if no one likes his answers.
    BenFred,

    Do you think that 2021 will be a transition year for the Cardinals? What I mean by that is that the Cardinals will still be competitive, but they won't try to reshape the roster. They might just try to add some stopgaps, and in 2022, when some contracts fall off the books and prospects are ready, they can really reshape the lineup?
    I suppose it comes down to what you mean by reshaping the lineup. I don't have much recent evidence that suggests the Cardinals are ever going to be interested in a reshaping of the lineup to a massive degree. That's not really how they operate. Their deals and contracts are staggered so there's rarely a massive exodus beyond a position or two, maybe three. They had a chance in recent seasons to set one of those up, and they moved away from that with the extensions they handed out. It's hard to see DeJong, Goldschmidt and Dylan Carlson going anywhere anytime soon. The players around them could change, but not all at once.
    I'm assuming that with no revenue from COVID, the Cards are going to hope that M Carpenter, Fowler, Bader and O'Neil will all return next year and hope that a longer season will result in bigger numbers? I highly doubt it. I think the sample size is big enough to realize that this line up is not going to get it done.
    If your hope is that the Cardinals will shift away from all of those players you mentioned, I imagine you will be disappointed.
    That said, doing nothing to attempt to upgrade the lineup is going to be a hard sell to fans if the Cardinals go that route.
    It's not just about what did not work in pandemic-crazy 2020.
    It's about what didn't work in 2019 combined with 2020.
    The Cardinals don't need to be an offensive juggernaut, but their fans can and should expect the team to attempt to match the strong pitching and defense with a lineup that can create a National League average amount of runs.
    There's enough evidence available over the past two seasons that says this lineup can't be relied upon to do that.
  • Ka kaw! What do you think about the new ownership group of the XFL? I hope the third time is the charm, because it is so important for the world to see what an amazing sports town STL is and that we support football when we aren't getting Major Leagued by a bad owner.
    From the St. Louis view, it's really all about what that ownership group thinks of St. Louis, more than anything else.
    I would have to imagine that the team Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) and his business partner Dany Garcia are assembling will see pretty quickly based on their research that St. Louis would be a no-brainer for a team, considering the response via attendance, ticket sales, merchandise sales, etc.
    The news that Jim Thomas had this morning about The Dome being in preliminary talks with the revamped league is a good sign, but it doesn't guarantee anything.
    If the league balks at the cost The Dome charges, for example, that could perhaps lead to the league looking elsewhere.
    Just too early to say.
    There's no doubt that St. Louis proved it will support a non-NFL team, which is no surprise considering how it supported a terrible NFL team led by a man who was determined to steer the team out of town.
    I hope the BattleHawks get another shot, and if the new leadership group was on top of its game, it would get Kurt Hunzeker back to lead the operation again. I'm not sure he can wait around that long, though. 
    Ben,

    We are going to get up to 8 inches of snow in Minneapolis...
    any good STL sports news to cheer up this cold STL sports fan?
    Winter is coming, isn't it? Got my furnace fixed today, just in time. Here's some good news. I don't have the dates of the depositions yet, but it is official that the deposition list Team STL requested for the Rams relocation lawsuit has been approved. It's TBD if the extra time with Roger Goodell, Eric Grubman, Kevin Demoff and Stan Kroenke will be approved, but that could still happen. It's all going to be done via video it sounds like, due to COVID concerns. Think about that every time you see one of the NFL owners who will be deposed pop up at a game. It's OK for them to travel to football games but not to the depositions. Typical. But, good news nonetheless.
    If and when fans can return to the stadium, I could see a big decline in ticket sales, due to Corona and the fact their offense is so bad,
    Part of getting fans back to the ballpark is giving them reasons to want to come. 
    That can't be ignored in the offseason plan-making for the Cardinals -- if they are sure fans will be back.
    Lots of uncertainty at the moment.
    Please no Joc Pederson. We have enough players that resemble Mario Mendoza!!!
    Interesting comparison.
    Mendoza hit for home runs in his career.
    Pederson has averaged 29 homers per 162 games for six seasons.
    He would not be signed -- by the Cardinals or any other team -- for his average and on-base percentage.
    He would be signed for slug, something the Cardinals are lacking in.
    And no one who sees the potential fit is claiming he is THE answer.
    Just a potential upgrade for an offense that struggles to go deep.
    I'm not sure what Cardinals fans want.
    Point out obvious potential answers like George Springer, and you are told there's no way the Cardinals will go spend like that.
    Point out more affordable options like Pederson, and you are told he's not good enough.
    So it goes.
  • How much is too much to resign Yadi?
    Throw the numbers out. The Cardinals gave Matt Carpenter an unnecessary extension because, as they repeated time and time again that day, they did not want to see him end his career in another team's uniform. Does anyone think the Cardinals are prepared to follow that up with allowing Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright to . . . finish their careers in another team's uniform? I don't. Molina wants a two-year deal. He knows he will have to take a pay cut from the $20 million he makes now. Things could get interesting because he has to be a free agent due to the pay cut. The Yankees, as mentioned by P-D colleague Derrick Goold, are interesting. If Tony La Russa really is going to manage again, I would have to think that might be appealing -- although the White Sox seem to have an answer at catcher. But at the end of the day, I don't see how this ends any other way than Molina and the Cardinals coming to an agreement that makes sense for both. Wainwright as well. If Molina is determined to get the two-year deal, he should be willing to be flexible of less guaranteed money and more incentives. He will make that money if he's healthy, just like Wainwright has in his series of one-year deals with incentives. If Molina wants to be here, something will get worked out. I find it very hard to believe the Cardinals are going to alter their approach to legacy players -- non Pujols legacy players -- with Molina and Wainwright. Even during pandemic times.
    Very happy to see Curt Flood finally get some recognition. The next step is putting him in the Hall of Fame. If Marvin Miller gets in, then so should Flood. Every player who signed a big contract for millions of dollars should be hitting their knees every night thanking God for Curt Flood’s courage.
    Well said. It would be nice to see players lead that campaign. They all owe Mr. Flood a lot.
    Love Yadi, but he must know that with the financial restrictions on a lot of teams that his chances of signing elsewhere are slim. If the DH is coming, and it looks like it might be here to stay, Yadi could catch a few times a week, DH the rest and start getting Kninzer some innings. You are the GM for the day. You offer two years at……
    I doubt Molina is interested in being a part-time player, and the Cardinals have shown no interest in thrusting him into that role until his performance or lack thereof demands it. If Molina does get a two-year deal, Cardinals would be wise to look to package Knizner in a deal that could help upgrade the offense, like they did with blocked catcher Carson Kelly. Some of that would depend on how they project Ivan Herrera, but Knizner would likely be starting for some major league teams next season. It doesn't make much sense, to me, to let him sit on the bench (mostly) or start every day in Memphis for two more years if that's the length of the Molina extension. The 2020 season was a good example of what I'm talking about. Matt Wieters did not look like a competitive major league hitter very often, yet he got nearly twice as many at-bats as Knizner. Knizner is more valuable than that, so the Cards should seek to maximize that value via moving him if Molina is back on a two-year deal. It's beyond time to acknowledge the obvious. This is not going to be a timeshare situation.
    How would you prioritize what the Cards need to do this off season?
    1) Trade or sign a 4 Bat
    2) Trade or sign a 5 Bat
    3) Sign Waino
    4) Sign Yadi
    5) Extend or renegotiate Wong's contract

    How would you prioritize these? Or did I miss something else?
    They need to upgrade their offense. That's number one for me. However you have to do it, do it.
    Getting Molina and Wainwright back will be first on the team's list I imagine.
    They're not going to let those guys walk unless demands are unrealistic.
    Cards need address OF. Extend wong. Resign yadi and wainwright
  • Outfield would seem to be the easiest place to alter the offense. The more complicated but also obvious place would be third base. Carpenter's got the contract of a third-base starter but a 2019 and 2020 track record that says he is not a competitive hitter, and Tommy Edman took a step back in 2020.
    Enjoyed reading your piece about Ozuna’s rebound. Since he is on a one-year contract, basically betting on himself, do you think he just put more concentration and focus in this year in hopes of getting a multiyear deal and big bucks from another team? I can see the Reds making a big push for him next year. As for me… I never dated the same girl twice.
    The Cardinals should not go after him, considering they had two years to unlock his best and could not do it.
    What would be different a second time around?
    Plus, he's going to be more expensive now. He's no longer tied to a draft pick. That's big.
    People seem to be forgetting that Ozuna had a walk year in St. Louis, too. One that came after the shoulder situation, too. He didn't hit like he did in Miami his final season or like he did in Atlanta his first season.
    I think he was a better fit for the lineup, and I think you also give some credit to the Braves for unlocking what the Cardinals could not.
    The Cardinals have always been a good judge of young talent across the years, but recently it seems like they have let a lot go without a lot of return. They also seem to stay with things that are not working for longer than other clubs. Is it time for a change in the GM spot?
    President of baseball operations John Mozeliak is under contract through 2023.
    General manager Michael Girsch is under contract through 2022.
    Given what we know about chairman Bill DeWitt Jr.'s support of the current front office and his distaste for paying people to not work -- buying out contracts -- I would imagine the most notable front office names are pretty safe.
    I'd include manager Mike Shildt in that safe camp.
    Could there be churn elsewhere in the front office and on the coaching staff? Sure. There has been and will continue to be.
    I think the evaluation of talent isn’t THE problem. It may be off at times but it’s not the problem. I think the instruction is the biggest problem. This is just one example. The front office’s evaluation of ozuna was that he was a very good hitter in his prime ( that’s an oversimplification, I know). He gets to St. Louis and is quite underwhelming. Now this year he mashed in Atlanta. You could point to ballpark, lineups, and other factors, sure. But I think Jeff Albert’s ability to unlock hitting talent is questionable at best. It’s time for a new approach and message. And yes, obviously they need better hitters too.
    Jeff Albert was the Cardinals' hitting coach for just one of Ozuna's two seasons with the Cardinals. The second one. Some of Ozuna's more troubling numbers improved during that season. Was that Albert, or the fact Ozuna's shoulder was better, or something else entirely? Who knows. Albert is fair game to question, but I would not cite Ozuna as one of the arguments in that case. Like most things, I think it's a combination of talent and teaching/approach. I find it really fascinating that Jim Edmonds is becoming more and more vocal about how much he has been in contact with certain hitters. He has a lot to offer, but doesn't it tell us something that so many players are seeking him out. It suggests there is something they were not getting from the current staff. I think so, at least.
    Will I be a Cardinal in 2021? I wouldn’t mind it though I’m probably going to want more money than their GM wants to fork out.
    I think you would be a great fit, George.
    I think Cardinals fans would quickly forget your cheatin' past if you became a dynamic difference maker at leadoff for seasons to come.
    You have my vote.
    Alas, it's not my money to spend.
    BenFred, someone needs to be fired over the Arozarena trade. Didn’t they see his talent? If the Rays win the WS, they win the trade, no matter what Liberatore does. Flags fly forever.
  • What if Liberatore wins a championship with the Cardinals? That would negate your argument, right?
    If you're going to call for someone's job, put a name on it at least.
    Maybe Arozarena becomes the Cardinals' Brock-for-Broglio.
    We don't know yet, and part of the reason Brock-for-Broglio became Brock-for-Broglio was Broglio not playing well.
    That's how trades are properly graded. Late, and with a view of both sides in full.
    The question about this trade should not be about what the Cardinals got in return for Arozarena -- because we won't know for a while with Liberatore -- as much as it should be what projections the Cardinals were citing when they prioritized other outfielders over Arozarena to the point they decided to move him without more of a major league sample size.
    If Arozarena keeps this up -- and we're still talking about a pretty small sample size -- then that question grows along with his presence in the game.
    Goldy is at first and not Voit because they chose to prioritize Carps playing time in lieu of other internal options. DeW has to look at the payroll w. Carp, Fowler and Goldy and wonder what it would mean to have Voit, Arozarena and anyone else playing. Probably 40 Mil a year. And Gallegos and Libertore are not good enough excuses when the Cards produce pitching by the bushel and hitters not so much. Just my take.
    thanks for the chat What do u think the 2021 payroll will be set at. 2 do u think the Cards will look for a bat through a trade or FA. 3 who you got for the Series Me i m going for the Rays. Thanks
    1) Don't know. Cards haven't talked about offseason plans since season ended.
    2) Both. Gotta examine all ways to improve the offense.
    3) Dodgers in 6
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