Join columnist Jeff Gordon for his live STL sports chat at 1 p.m. Friday

Join columnist Jeff Gordon for his live STL sports chat at 1 p.m. Friday

Bring your Cards, Blues, Mizzou, SLU and MLS questions and comments, and talk to columnist Jeff Gordon in his weekly live chat.

    Why did the Cardinals sign Steven Matz? I want to be clear before I get into this question this isn’t a criticism of Matz. I know his era is bad now, but I fully expect it to fall towards his career norms. That is where my problem comes in. It’s not that Matz is a bad pitcher, or that he doesn’t have value. He’s almost the definition of a solid number 4 type pitcher. I have 2 problems with the Cardinals signing him. Number one it looks like that is the exact type of pitcher Matthew Libatore is. Why pay a guy to be what you already have control over? Number 2 is this current team doesn’t have a number 2 in the rotation. If Flaherty gets healthy I’ll happily take him as a top of the rotation starter. I’m very happy with Mikolas as a quality 3. Before you try to upsell Mikolas ask yourself this question how does he compare to the second game starter for the Mets, Padres, Brewers, Yankees? That question does assume health for all teams. The Cardinals need to stay out of the middle of the free agent pool. Either sign Scherzer or stick to the 1 year dumpster dives, but stop with these middle of the road deals. That rule shouldn’t just apply to the pitching. Ex Arenado deal = good and Fowler deal = bad. Do you think the team will ever realize this?
    Do I believe the Cardinals will chase top-end free-agent pitching on Bill DeWitt Jr.'s watch? No. When he spends big money, he would rather invest in position talent that is far less likely to break down.
    On the pitching side, he would rather see the organization develop the next Sandy Alcantara and Zac Gallen and not trade them away. Right now the prospect pitching is trending in the right direction with Thompson, Pallante, Liberatore, Gordon Graceffo and Michael McGreevy.
    But, yes, the team will need Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson to recapture their pre-injury mechanics to fulfill its potential for this season.
    BoBo I want to assure SaintGiff that he is giving me way too much credit because I wasn't thinking of Bauer and I think he needs to get a therapist before MLB should even give him a another chance. My angle is Montas and don't you think Montas checks a lot of Boxes for the Cardinals? They will need him more next year. What position players do the Cards have that could land him? Minus Walker, Gorman, Mason Winn, Donovan and Yepez. Or would they have to give up one of those guys up? Or would they need to trade one of the young pitching prospects they can't really afford to trade at this point?
    Like I said earlier, the Cardinals would likely have to surrender at least one of the top young starting pitching prospects to get Montas. But since Frankie would also be around next season, that could make sense. He would be a candidate to pitch in the posteeason for this team for sure. Beyond that, what do other teams think of Alec Burleson? And is Moises Gomez a prospect now -- and if so, how does that change the calculation?
    I think that the Cardinals have been consistently a pretty good team. What I find frustrating is that I think they are not using all of the monetary resources at their disposal to improve. I think that ownership has gotten, is getting, and will get a very good return on their investment from the appreciation in team value. They don’t need to hold back money from their current cash flows to reward themselves even further. Am I off base?
    Bill DeWitt Jr. thinks you are off base. Agent Scott Boras has used that franchise appreciation angle to push teams to deficit-spend, but most owners dismiss that argument. DeWitt wants to turn an annual operating profit, which he could not earn during the pandemic. Maybe the next Cardinals owner will be willing to push the spending envelope, but don't expect DeWitt to change after all these years. On the other the other hand, DeWitt will keep trying to actually contend every single year -- unlike most of the Cardinals' peer franchises.
    John Tortorella signed a 4 year deal. How many cups does he win over the life of the contract? I say two.

    Also, will you be calling in sick the night the Flyers come to town? Your fear is palpable.
    Ah, the Torts troll! It's going to be a long few years for this poor guy. The Flyers aren't terrible, but they are long way from Cup material.
    How about that article on Dan Bryan?! All I can say is wow. Great read and I encourage everyone to check it out if they have not already. Can you post the link Jeff?! Thanks
    Here is the story. Every parent can empathize. 

    Missouri dad to throw first pitch at Cardinals game in latest tribute to his son

    STLtoday.comDan Bryan is on a mission to play catch with a different person every day for a year in memory of his son Ethan. Next up: First pitch at Friday's
    Do you think the brass hope Arenado ops out and moves on? They think Walker can handle 3B at min wage. The Cardinals didn't give up much to get Arenado. Two years and he did well. Another 6 years, WOW might not age well.
    I believe Jordan Walker ends up in left field. Nolan Arenado has some mileage left and the team can certainly afford him. Could the back end of that deal look bad? Sure, but if sticks around he should really help this team stay in the playoff chase for the next few years at least.
    Fair, I except that response, Gordo. But then why are McFarland, VerHagen, and Dickerson still Cardinals? That is stubborn acceptance by Mo. He wasted DeWitt's money this winter, period. You can say it was because of the lockout but Yepez and Gorman were only in AAA for a few weeks to start the season. VerHagen and Brooks was a classic example of the SFOIB (Smartest Front Office in Baseball) trying to peacock.
    None of the guys you mention are a lock to finish the season with the team. The roster has evolved on the fly and it will continue evolve. Fans who whined about the roster in April are now whining about an appreciably different roster in June. And more change could come in the days and the weeks ahead.
    Barbachev, Kostin, Mikkola and what can get Provorov? Tarasenko(7.5) straight up for Provorov(6.5)...which do you think might interest Philly? or do you think Chychrun is a better fit?
    I'd prefer Provorov of the two, despite his $6.75 million cap hit. Ivan kind of drifted last season and I'm sure he is one guy that new coach John Tortorella circled for improvement. I'm not sure if Tarasenko on an expiring contract would interest a team that needs significant rebuilding. The three younger players you mention could get that team's attention. I could see Barashev playing well for Torts.
    Jeff, how happy do you have to be for Johan Oviedo getting that orangutan off his back? Derrick Goold's game story that was Oviedo-centric was certainly a "feel good" article. What do you see as Johan's contribution to the Cardinals going forward? Thanks.
    Derrick did a great job with that. You gained the sense of how well-liked Oviedo is and what a critical point in his career this is. Johan has the tools to be a very good big league pitcher, not just a guy who could eat some innings. But like Oliver Marmol said regarding Drew VerHagen, having big league stuff doesn't mean anything unless you can use it to get big league outs. Perhaps a confident Oviedo can keep attacking hitters and turn the corner.
    You talked about being in good shape “next season when there will be money coming off the books”. We have been hearing that every year for the past several years (Carpenter, Fowler), they are off the books at last and the best pitcher we can sign is Matz, not an ace, more of a number four or five starter. In playoffs, your top 3 pitchers will do almost all of your pitching. It would have been nice if we could have squeezed out enough money to get a number 1 or 2 starter to go with Flaherty (hopefully) and Mikolas. Just take a moment to dream of going into the playoffs with three top starters. Unless Flaherty is done or someone else is hurt, I don’t see Matz pitching a lot of playoff innings.
    The looming expiration of the Carpenter and Fowler deals made it easier to make that massive long-term financial commitment to Nolan Arenado. Like we say over and over and over and over again, Bill DeWitt Jr. has seen a lot massive pitching contracts backfire across MLB during his ownership era and he is unlikely to change his view. I think the biggest serious pitch this team made to a hurler on his watch was to David Price -- and the Cardinals ended up being glad he didn't take it.
    Jeff, they were bashing you on the Cardinals forum the other day regarding your statement about bringing DeJong back and sending Gorman out. I defended you, and said ideally DeJong is a key piece to the Cardinals success if he can come back and just hit .250 or so and provide pop and that solid gold tinted glove of his. You can thank me later, or but me a beverage sometime!
    What I wrote was that Gorman needed to start hitting to avoid a return to the minors. He was in the midst of a 10-for-58 downturn with one homer. The outs were piling up, Was it outrageous to suggest a player in a 10-for-58 rut might need to regroup back at Triple-A so as not to lose confidence at a critical point in his development? No.
    Jeff, one man's opinion: I've been a Cardinals fan for more than 50 years. I've told many people I will be one until the day I die. But if they ever acquired Trevor Bauer, that would be tested. Whether he's guilty or not during that incident in California, he's an awful human being. It is simply not worth it. Thankfully, I think management shares that opinion. Oh, and he would cost you more than $30 million per year and would be hated in the clubhouse.
    At every turn, Trevor manages to make his return to baseball more difficult.
    Gordo, let's look at the rotation for the next couple years:
    2023
    Flaherty
    Mikolas
    Hudson
    Waino
    Matz

    2024
    Mikolas
    Matz
    Hudson
    Liberatore
    ?

    So where are these pitching prospects supposed to fit in? There is no room for almost 3 years, so why not trade them for an upgrade? And include Hudson too.
    This assumes Wainwright will pitch and pitch well in 2023. That is quite an assumption. This assumes the pitchers listed will stay healthy -- they have not. At any given time a team needs an entire backup rotation for the expected rotation. If everybody is healthy, then you have extras for spot starts and long relief. 
    Now, would I trade one of the top starting pitching prospects for Montas? Sure, since Frankie would on the team next season too and the Cardinals would still have multiple big arms in development.
    I'm going to take George M's question a little more granular; can DeWitt honestly say that there was no team in the last 6 years that was worthy of a significant deadline addition? If the answer is "no" than DeWitt needs to basking Mo why not?
    The Cardinals made significant additions last year, rebuilding the bullpen and fortifying the rotation. The net gain was impressive. That led to the epic winning streak to close the season.
    Jeff, I sometimes think MLB does some stupid things but I find it humorous when people get bent out about a handful of regular season games being on Apple+ or Peacock. All you have do to download an app -- which even someone technically challenged like me can do. If you have to pay, it's less than a beer costs at Busch Stadium. This how young people consume sports and entertainment today. I've watched Peacock and Apple's coverage and find it kind of refreshing. It's not the same thing over and over. Relax people. It' not like they put Game 7 of the World Series on pay TV. What say you?
    Well, the pay TV think could be next. The regional sports networks are moving to some form of that to work around the hassle of dealing with streaming services.
    Contending is chasing a ring, competing is chasing a playoff spot. DeWitt competes, not contends. He has not fielded a contender since 2015.
    By your measurement, the Atlanta Braves won the World Championship last season while competing, not contending.
    DeWitt is quite comfortable with his business model. It's not changing.
    The guy who keeps writing about Tortorella is proving my point from a few months ago. These on-line chats are the Sports Open line of the 2020s. The same people keep writing in, just like the same people kept calling in. On another note, who is your favorite in the World Cup? France has the best team but for betting purposes, and having the Cup in a weird place at a weird time of year, I might put some money on an off-beat choice, like Senegal.
    I am the wrong guy for World Cup betting advice. The next time Tom Timmermann does a Blues chat, sneak that question in and see if he bites. Tom is our global soccer expert.
    In addition to the Post-Dispatch's fine story on Dan Bryan, I urge everyone to check out the ESPN profile of him that ran last weekend. Really well done. Sending him and all his loved ones the best. What a horrible tragedy. I suspect Cardinals fans will give him a nice ovation.
    Jeff, I don't care how the back end of Arenado's contract looks. He's still an elite player. Why hope he moves on for another "prospect?" You know you've got a future Hall of Famer still playing at a high level.
    I agree, It was just last summer that chatters were insisting he was going to opt out of his contract because it was obvious the Cardinals really didn't want to win.
    How big of a greedy scumbag is Phil Mickelson and the rest of the "LIV and Let Die" maggots? I hope they enjoy that Mephistophelian bargain they made. I hear the guy that collects on it is no gentleman.
    There has been something in the news on that . . .
    The Cards have more high end prospects now than I have seen in my 50 years of following the team. Obviously there won’t be room for everyone and the scrutiny of the next big trade will make the trades we have discussed look small. It’s hard for me to accept a trade of several prospects for 1.5 years of Montas. Who else is out there with more control years? The last rental trade, Ozuna, killed us. Change nothing else but don’t make that trade and with Alcantara and Gallen on this team and the Cards are 20 over right now.
    Rental trades are always dicey. Maybe the guy you add will excel and want to re-sign for the long haul. Maybe he won't. When you make that trade, you better really know what sort of talent you are moving. As it turned out, the Cardinals moved the right guys to get Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado.
    Bobo You’re getting crotchty and demented in your old age. Too much Moe Kool-Aid. Each week I tried to bring you up in your assessment and every week you take a big swig of MoeAid
    The same recycled complaints will get the same response. The Cardinals have their plan, like it or not, and it works well for the franchise.
    Jeff, the NLC race between St Louis and Mil will likely come down to the front office that makes the best moves to improve its team. Given recent history, Mil would appear to have a huge advantage here. Would you agree?
    The team that plays the best will win. That could be the result of a lot of things besides trades -- guys getting healthy, guys simply playing better, young players stepping in to energize the lineup, starting rotation and bullpen, whatever. Fans get excited if a team trades for a left-hander with a big curve and a mid-90s fastball or a lefty slugger hitting 450-foot bombs. But sometimes a team adds those players through player development.
    So we'll see which factors prove most important.
    Hi JG. Do you think Jack is rusty or hurt ? I still cant make up my mind if he is an Ace or a flash in the pan.
    Flaherty has a 3.39 career ERA in 101 MLB games, so that's sustained success, not a flash in the plan. He's had a variety of injuries. I believe he is healthy, but he must regain repeatable mechanics.
    I am trying to be as neutral as possible with this question. Did you receive significant negative feedback on your article about Erik Johnson? I don't think anyone would be writing stories rooting for me if my poor decision making made me miss a year's work while my employer had to continue to pay me.
    That's one thing that happened in Erik's life, which he overcame. He also suffered dozens of injuries playing the game hard. I have to believe a lot of people are happy for him.
    Will Bobo be able to placate the locals after the Malibu chump tonight celebrates his second championship in six months?
    The locals will be distraught.
    I was at the Memphis vs. Indianapolis game last night. There were as many, if not more, Cardinal fans there. Here is My "eye test" of Cardinal prospects I saw:
    Paul DeJong looked the same as he did in STL. Don't look for him to be back or traded.
    Delvin Perez looked good. Had 2 hits and stung the ball. He looks like he's "filling out his frame". Whitley looked good in relief. Burleson looked good at bat and had the game winning RBI.
    Most of the rest didn't look like MLB players. Capel ???? iffy. Luken Baker got "hosed by Ump a little.
    MLB needs to stop the blackout in Indy for Cards games. There is a tremendous market here for STL to get tourists.
    That seems like a pretty strong take on the current Redbirds, minus the guys promoted. DeJong had a brief power surge that made it seem plausible that he could get another spin with the Cardinals . . . and then he reverted back into 0-for-4, 1-for-4 mode with more sporadic power. 
    Burleson is an interesting guy. He has hit at every level, starting in college, and he has big outfield arm that he needed to tame. Right now Lars Nootbaar's excellent fielding blocks him from fill-in work, but perhaps the Cardinals will draw on this depth with a trade or two before the deadline.
    Gordo,

    I get your attitude toward the Cardinals. And there's a lot of merit to it. There really is. The thing I can't get over is, the whole idea of playing the game is to give yourself the best opportunity to win a championship each year. I think the Cardinals get just about there, but are far too comfortable settling at good enough to make the postseason. They don't seem very uncomfortable that it's been a long time since they were a legit contender. I'm not talking good enough to win 88-92 games and make the playoffs. I'm talking about a team with the talent to win. The Cardinals won championships with underperforming teams. What they didn't lack was elite talent. When they made the playoffs those seasons, they had the horses to beat anyone. Period. They haven't had the horses since 2012. And it's been clear since 2014. When you're a competitor, you can win enough to buy time, but eventually the itch to win drives you crazy. It makes you uncomfortable until you scratch that itch. They haven't seemed uncomfortable except when they can a dude because Mo didn't want to work with him(you gotta admit Mo is Charmin soft for that one, the baby) or when Mo says the quiet thoughts out loud and has to apologize.

    Outside of that, I really enjoy your chats. I appreciate that your level headed, don't rush to judgement and appreciate the characters that sports sort of still has.
    OK, it looks like we're done for the day. Thanks for all the questions and comments, even those that made me grumpy. Be safe and come on back next Friday.
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