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

Join columnist Jeff Gordon for his live St. Louis 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.

    Bobo's here. Lots of folks lined up, so let's get started!
    It is hard to understand that some fans and some sportswriter’s do not understand that as soon as Wainwright said he was returning any chance of signing Quintana disappeared. Quintana was not going to come to StLouis and fight for a job, when he can go to another team and know he is a guaranteed a starting job. It come down to do you want Quintana or Wainwright and any other general manager in baseball would take Quintana for 2 years. Your thoughts.
    As I noted last week, the Cardinals had a five-man rotation coming back without Quintana. So he might well have been the No. 6 starter here, despite his small sample size of success. So you are correct, once Adam Wainwright decided to pitch one more year there wasn't an obvious needed to keep Quintana. 
    Remember, he took a $2 million contract with the Pirates for 2022 just to stay in the game. A year ago he had little value. Then he earned a two-year, $26 million contract by pitching well -- and by becoming a free agent at a time when some owners were prepared to pay overpay by a lot to get what they want.
    Under different circumstances, a two-year deal for Quintana here would have made a lot of sense given the lack of veteran pitching signed beyond 2023.
    Bobo,
    So, is re-signing Waino, filling the catching hole with Contreras and allowing Quintana to walk going to be the full extent of the Cardinals’ consequential off-season moves (I’m not counting adding three fillers to the 40-man)? Quintana is a professional pitcher and was a great fit in STL, so there has to be a starting pitcher coming who Mo thinks is better and who would be under control beyond 2023, right? And the outfield is still underwhelming. With some imagination both of these could still be addressed, but does the front office see the same need that most everybody else who is paying attention does? Thank you.
    The Cardinals could still add a starting pitcher, either as a depth/insurance piece at low cost or a via a trade opportunity that could pop up. But the front office did not share the same urgency as fans because the team has five returning starting pitchers, plus Dakota Hudson -- a pitcher they should try to refine this year, given their need for pitchers under team control past '23.
    As for the outfield, there wasn't much in free agency beyond Aaron Judge. So the team seems set to roll into spring training with Tyler O'Neill, Dylan Carlson, Lars Nootbaar, Jordan Walker, Juan Yepez, Alex Burleson and Moises Gomez. 
    I think tomorrow's game vs Central Florida will tell us if Mizzou can adjust from how they played vs Kansas. If we see more defensive break downs then the SEC part of the schedule will be brutal. Do you think Gates owes anything to the Mizzou fan base to at least give an short explanation on why Isiah Mosley doesn't play. Top 10 portal transfer, that signing sold a lot of tickets before the season and he doesn't play. Has to be a lot more to this than meets the eye.
    There is lots of speculation about Mosley, understandably. He is a high-profile player who starred in Columbia in high school and again at Missouri State. So Gates ought to offer a more specific explanation to keep that fan chatter somewhat under control. Currently the young man is subject to lots of unfair social media commentary by folks who do not know what's going on.
    As for this game, UCF has won at Ole Miss and defeated Florida State and Oklahoma State this season. The Knights could tear the Tigers up if Missouri doesn't make massive defensive improvements. Mizzou is done playing teams that it can simply outlast in an up-and-down summer league game.
    Other than perhaps putting their big toe in the pool to get a feel of the temperature of the starting pitcher waters would you say the Cardinals more or less ready to go entering 2023 opening day set including penciled in as their ace none other than Flaherty? If truly healthy and thus poised to pitch to his full potential, most certainly with a big time season it will really "jack" up his pay grade going forward too...
    If Flaherty stays healthy and if he pitches to his former performance level, he will get crazy money in the market. Teams haven't hesitated to invest giant dollars in pitchers with extensive injury history.
    You hear if the Cardinals have any interest in Michael Conforto these days?
    Jeff,
    Recent reporting from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic indicates the Cards were offering some combination of Burleson, Carlson, Yepez and Gorman to the A's for Murphy, but not Donovan, Nootbaar or Graceffo. Interesting priorities, but my question is how does the team reach their conclusions about young players and who does the evaluations? Seems they consistently over-value their prospects, too, which may stifle their opportunities in trade discussions. Maybe they are still feeling the burn from some previous prospect decisions, but at some point you have to deal prospects if you want upgrades. Thanks for your time.
    The Cardinals traded the right guys to Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Gorman. They did not trade the right guys to get Marcell Ozuna and Matthew Liberatore. Despite that pain, they have continued to swap young players to fill immediate needs, as they did last summer to rent Jose Quintana. 
    They did not overvalue Brendan Donovan, who became a useful regular in 2022 with his ability to get on base and play multiple positions well. They did not overvalue Lars Nootbaar, an excellent defensive outfielder who finished well offensively as a left-side hitter. They better value Gordon Graceffo, who is their best pitching prospect. This team has almost no proven starting pitching under contract beyond next season, so trading him would be dumb.
    As for Nolan Gorman, Juan Yepez and Alec Burleson, none of them are good fielders and there are only so many DH at bats to go around. Dylan Carlson's struggles from the left side of the plate suggest he could be relegated to platoon work going forward. Hence the team's willingness to listen on him.
    Jeff, given that you are a big supporter of the Cards front office, we will likely disagree on this point. I believe the team as it stands today is no better and perhaps slightly worse than the team from Oct. The Contreras add offsets the loss of Molina/Pujols, nothing more. And the loss of Quintana reduces the depth of a rotation that didn’t impress last year. Thus, the fate of the team comes down to the oft injured O’Neil staying healthy, the underachieving Carlson and Gorman playing to their hype, Nootbaar proving he is more than a 4th outfielder, and a rotation bolstered by the return of Flaherty staying healthy which requires a major leap of faith. All the while, the two superstars will not repeat their combined numbers from last season. The Cards can continue to compete in the underwhelming NLC. But have likely fallen further behind the elite teams in the NL. Again, I’m assuming you disagree with this assessment.
    Every team is hoping guys who suffered injury-plagued years get healthy. In fact, many teams spent a fortune on injury-plagued free agents in this market while banking on such hope. Also, every team hopes that their best young players enjoy normal progression as they gain experience. This not exclusive to the Cardinals.
    So what happens if injuries persist and some young players stall or regress? Teams make adjustments on the fly, as the Cardinals did last season through multiple promotions from the minors and trades before the deadline. 
    I remember reading how much Josh Hamilton struggled with his addiction so much so that he had to have a personal body guard with him at all times. These diseases are tough to beat in the long game.
    How tragic and sad it is for all of them impacted. What comes to mind when you think about Dan McLaughlin's these days?
    I've known Dan since our days together at WIBV. I have seen him work insanely hard to earn his success. I've seen him overcome a lot of difficult circumstances along the way. His road was not easy. Like everybody who knows him, it hurts to see him in this position. But this situation could have become far, far worse and I'm just thankful that didn't.
    Gordo I want to sincerely thank you for these chats and your hard work each day. For a very remote fan such as I, it's really like a visit home. I know you won't have any inside information, but do you have any speculation as to where the Cardinals may go in their search for a new television voice/face? This will be a highly desired job in the industry. They can probably take their pick, don't you think?
    Any guesses on who might replace Danny Mac on Cards telecasts?
    No, the move could come from outside the market.
    Jeff, thanks for the chats - it's always interesting to get live and up-to-the-minute feedback!

    On Jordan Kyrou - wow, it sure seemed like he started the season slow, but he has come on lately and we're seeing flashes of his ability. But, geez, then you see established stars like McDavid (27 goals!) and Draisaitl and it's humbling. Can Kyrou and Roberts get to that stratosphere? I recall the Brett Hull days and wish I had appreciated his incredible scoring prowess back then. Those players are so rare.
    Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou have high-end talent. Both have a ways to go yet, with Thomas needing to work on his shot and his willingness to shoot and Kyrou needed to be stronger on the puck at both ends. Both could be point-per-game guys in their career, which is great. But McDavid and Draisaitl are on a whole different level. There are just a handful of players at that level in the NHL at any given time.
    Jeff,

    Not throwing shade at Dan Mac. I really disliked his broadcasting until just recently when I literally thought "Man, this guy is good and works his tail off.
    Do you think he ever gets behind another mic professionally?
    I hear the Cardinals are doing a nation-wide search for his replacement. Who would you personally like to see get the job?
    I have no preference on this, really. I don't hear a lot of the TV guys for other teams. Bally Sports could certainly do worse than Bob Ramsey, who did a terrific job way back in the day.
    Good afternoon, Mr. Gordon. Happy Holidays. I read a recent excellent article by Ken Rosenthal, talking about how teams might be getting around the luxury tax by tacking on years to contracts, thus lowering the AAV. The players' union likely would object, but I think MLB should have limits on the lengths of contracts, as the NBA and NHL do. Also, a number of people think it's a good for baseball that the Mets, Padres, Yankees and other big market teams are throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at free agents. I disagree. Less than one year after owners were pleading financial hardship, they are spending money like crazy again. It is only widening the gap between haves and have nots. Fans of the "have" teams say "that's too bad; that's the way the world works." Again, the players' union likely would object, but I think teams should be rewarded with an extra competitive balance draft pick for having a certain percentage of their roster comprised of players they drafted and developed (those players would have to remain on the big-league roster for "x" amount of games). How do you think baseball should handle this latest spending spree by major market teams? Thank you.
    The NHL went through such a spell with the 13-year contracts to guys like Zach Parise. So the NHL did have to limit contract length. This may not get addressed in baseball until the next collective bargaining agreement since owners won't feel the pain of these forever contracts for a long, long time. Some of these teams will get sold in middle of these contracts, leaving it to the next group to pick up the tab.
    There will come a day when teams will think, "Man, what were we doing?"
    I know it is petty, but a part of me hopes that Verlander falls flat on his face for the next two years,
    Come on, Justin seems like an OK guy. His commitment to remain elite at an advanced age is impressive.
    On paper, Pablo Lopez looks like a fit, the real deal with a big BUT: that being significant regression comes down the stretch now for him and two seasons running too. How does that concern likely play in the minds of the folks occupying the ivory tower here at Busch III?
    The issue with Lopez won't be so much regression as the trade asking price for the Cardinals or any other team interested. He has a nice pitch arsenal and an intelligent pitching approach, so I'm guessing other teams see some lasting power there.
    Mr. Gordon, if you were Doug Armstrong, would you trade O'Reilly and Tarasenko? A recent story by The Athletic ranked them fifth and sixth, respectively, among the 25 players most likely to be traded at the deadline. What might the Blues get for them? Even if the Blues do make the playoffs, it's unlikely they go very far, and their farm system is pretty bare of impact players. Do you start a rebuild now and hope it lasts only a year or two? I know that without O'Reilly, the Blues don't win the Stanley Cup, but trading him would be tough because Tage Thompson has turned into a special player. Thanks.
    It would take a lot of great stuff happening to convince Doug Armstrong not to move at least one of his top veterans with expiring contracts to expedite the retooling process. The better the team's finish, the more likely O'Reilly could get another deal here. The trade return for guys like Tarasenko and O'Reilly is typically a good young player, a premium draft pick and a lesser asset of some description.
    Like you say, the team needs more good young players to join Thomas and Kyrou.
    Jeff -- Are the Cardinals the Edmonton Oilers of the MLB? They have an MVP, another elite player and a bunch of other decent guys. They make the playoffs, but don't quite get to the last round...
    Well, the Oilers made the playoffs once from 2006 through 2019. So, no, the Oilers haven't been nearly as good as the Cardinals.
    Do you know if all professional sports leagues are dividing up the new "betting money" evenly, among the teams? Or is it a mix of how that is handled?
    And what is the windfall that the Cardinals enjoy, if any, from MLB's ties to the gambling platforms?
    There are national licensing deals which are divided up, then there are some big local deals where gambling is legal.  I believe the Cubs will have a lucrative sports book operating right there in Wrigleyville.
    Does this year’s transfer portal ultimately determine Drinkwitz’s fate at Mizzou? It’s hard to see him coming back for a fifth year if he’s not winning at least 8 or 9 games in year 4. This team feels a long way from 8 or 9 wins, especially with losing Lovett and Mcguire. He’ll need to hit on at least 4 or 5 impact transfers to make it work.
    Winning eight or nine games a year in the New SEC will be a chore. Missouri could end up hiring and firing a lot coaches if that's the school's expectation while operating on college football's highest stage with much lesser resources.
    What is your opinion of Moises Gomez? He apparently had a fantastic year but, prior to the most recent season, was pretty ordinary. Tampa had given up on him. In fact, the MLB prospect list currently doesn't even have him in the top 100 which is surprising for a guy who hit for decent average and had a record number of HRs.
    What do we know about Gomez? Well, he has lots and lots of power. And he seemed to get high marks for his work ethic. But . . . there is a lot of swing and miss there. He crushed hanging curveballs and misplaced fastballs, but he misses a lot of pitches in the strike zone. 
    It seems the Cardinals are ready to give him a full look at Triple-A to see if he can make the adjustments needed to survive against more mature pitching. It will be interesting to see how he does in winter ball playing in his native Venezuela after enjoying his 2022 power surge.
    The Cardinals gave up on Adolis Garcia too soon. I assume they will more careful with this fellow.
    Here we are again with Mo talking about the team's pitching depth but there is less recycling of air on an airplane than there is in this team's depth. Hudson? The guy who was removed rom the rotation last year because he was slow and couldn't throw strikes... he's a solution now? Woodford? The guy who couldn't buy a look even when the team was desperate for innings... he's "depth" now? On top of that you have two major injury concerns in Flaherty and Matz, and a 41-year old whose wheels fell off last September. Not panting from excitement with this rotation.
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