STL sports chat Ben Frederickson

STL sports chat Ben Frederickson

Bring your Cardinals, Blues and St. Louis sports questions, and talk to Post-Dispatch columnist Ben Frederickson in a live chat starting at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

    Greetings, chatters. Hope everyone had a good weekend. I shook off a case of food poisoning to be with you today. That's how much you mean to me! A quick programming note. About an hour into the chat, I'll be relocating to the Cardinals' end-of-season press conference at Busch. I'll keep the chat rolling from there, but there will be some blips as I relocate. Thanks for your patience with that. Let's roll.
    I read MLBTR top 50. They don't have much faith the Cardinals will be spending on any FA's. I'm not on the Cardinal's FO hater train, but I do believe they need to do something. Ozuna for a 2 or 3 year deal at a decent salary would be ok (15ish). But I'm of the opinion that even with that they need a SP better than what they have, and a Moustakas maybe. What's your feel? Keuchel, Hamels, MadBum? Who trips your trigger. I think cost and upside wise its probably Keuchel. I'm not convinced Hamels isn't done, and MadBum will probably get paid for the MadBum of 2015.
    I see the upside of adding a proven starter. Saw it last season, at the trade deadline. But I'm not convinced the Cardinals see that as a need. They have depth in pitching. They have depth in outfield. Their draft-and-develop model encourages them to test the depth before spending to add from the outside. Of the names you mentioned, Keuchel seems more realistic in terms of potential cost and what he could bring -- a lefty presence for the rotation. Perhaps that becomes Gomber, but he's a bit of a wild-card until we see how he responds from his injury.
    The Cardinals have put themselves in a hole with these aging player contracts. This is mentioned in every chat and on every radio station. However the culprit behind doing this stupid move seems Untouchable like it was an event from God.
    For heaven sake just amputate the bad tissue and move on instead of complaining about the pain.
    Are you advocating for the cutting of ties with the aging players, or with the front office members that signed those deals? Hard to tell here. If this is another Fire-Mozeliak post, that's fine, but I'll repeat what I've said often -- it's not happening any time soon, and especially not after the Cardinals reclaimed the division and reached the NLCS. The Cardinals have their manager. They have a revitalized defense. They have good pitching led by a young ace. They are not in nearly as bad of shape as some make it seem, but they do face a challenge. They've got a good chunk of money tied up in aging guys who didn't perform as well as hoped last season, and some the last two seasons. They've gotta find a way to address that, or navigate around that if they want to improve. Or, they have to find a way to get more from those players.
    In determining whether or not to accept the qualifying offer what else really goes into the evaluation process the next 10 days for the Ozuna camp especially now that the Cards are apparently playing a hand too?
    Pretty simple. Is he sure he's going to get a deal he likes better elsewhere? If so, decline. If not, accept. Or, negotiate an in-between that keeps him with the Cardinals on some sort of multi-year deal that suits both. The helpful Free Agent Tracker over at FanGraphs estimates that Ozuna could be worth a four-year, $64 million contract. It's hard to imagine the Cardinals coming close to that. Perhaps they can meet in the middle, if Ozuna is as determined to stay with the Cardinals as he's said in the past.
    I feel like the Cardinal need a major shake up. I am not content with just making the playoffs. The team we have now will not get us to the promised land of another world series championship. If I were the GM I would trade Wong while his value is high coming off his gold glove winning season. I would put Edmans at second which is his natural position. By trading Wong maybe we can get a good pitcher or outfielder.. I would then go all in on signing Rendon for third base. Carpenter then becomes or utility infielder of we trade him too. Your thoughts.
    The Cardinals are content with making the playoffs. They take pride in being in it every year, as they do with their consecutive streak of winning seasons. And they still think if you get in, you can go all the way. In many ways, the Cardinals' run to the NLCS represents that. (So does the Nats winning it all, from the wild-card game, I would argue.)
     
    I've said it before, so I won't go too long here, but trading Wong makes zero sense to me. He was the team's best all-around player this season. There is no reason to believe he can't keep this up for years to come. There has been so much discussion about the Cardinals needing to be better defensively, be more athletic, be more well-rounded. Wong embodied all of those things this season.
     
    I'm not sure you get better by trading one of your best players.
     
    I'll believe the Cardinals can and will win a race for a premier free agent like Rendon when they do that. Not holding my breath there. The kind of contracts those players demand and the wide-open competition free agency invites tend to mean the Cardinals are on the outside looking in. 
  • A lot of Chargers relocating rumors this past 24 hours, including from Benjamin Allbright who has been on the Chargers to STL train for over a year. To his credit, the Chargers aren't working out in Los Angeles. The most recent rumors is the Chargers are going to either London or St. Louis. Thoughts? Do you think London and St. Louis eventually get an NFL team?
    I read a piece from The Athletic this morning that mentioned the Chargers' potential interest and fit in London. It had zero mention of St. Louis. I've also read a lot of stuff on Twitter that is linking St. Louis to the discussion of the NFL and London. I'll just share what I know: When I checked recently, there had been zero, none, zilch, nada discussion between the NFL and St. Louis about the notion of relocating the Chargers here. The only conversation between the league and the area has been in court, as part of the relocation lawsuit that is playing out. When I tell people to forget about this Chargers stuff, it's because there is nothing to it, not just because I think the NFL is a cartel. If the NFL wants to build a stadium and plant a team here without a dime of public money, I imagine there would be enough support. It won't do that, and I hate to see St. Louis falling into the trap of expansion/relocation lust again.
    Do you think the MLS stadium is too small? If our city likes soccer as much as people claim (people claim soccer her is more popular than football) shouldn't the MLS stadium be as big if not bigger than an NFL stadium?
    A lot of thought was put into the size of the stadium. As attendance becomes a hot topic in all sports, from college football to baseball to NFL teams in Los Angeles, I think most are realizing it's better to have a full, fired-up stadium than one that can't be full. Nothing kills a buzz like swaths of empty seats. Stadiums across all sports are seeking ways to make games more of an event-based feel by offering gathering areas, different attractions beyond the game, etc. Blame our Twitter-fueled, rapidly declining attention spans as much as any sport.
    What time is the presser will it be live streamed?
    Starts around lunch time. Heading there now. Not sure if Cardinals will broadcast it, but we will have instant and full coverage at STLToday.com. I'll pump the big news into the chat here as well. Please give me a few minutes to get from the office to the park. I'll be up and running again ASAP.
    Back! Thanks for hanging with me there.
    Does the recent news about Ozuna meeting with the team about a new contract mean anything? Or is this just normal temperature testing to see if he could come down to a contract level the cards are comfortable with?
  • I think it means something, yes. It means both sides are open to discussing an arrangement that is more than the terms of the qualifying offer. The Cardinals in the past declined multiple chances to give Ozuna some sort of public sign they wanted him back beyond that QO. A meeting to discuss something other than that would represent some willingness to consider another arrangement. I remain skeptical that the Cardinals will be willing to offer Ozuna more or as much as another team, considering their ups-and-downs with him the past two seasons and their deep pool of outfield prospects. And if I'm soon-to-be 29-year-old Ozuna, I'm getting paid NOW, not betting on another big bite of the free-agency apple down the line.
    Been reading that DeJong may have been worn down at the end of the season, leading to a fall off of his stats. They say SS is very demanding as an excuse. Let me run this by you. Look at the numbers Ted Simmons put up offensively while catching in the 70s's. He usually played over 140 games on astroturf, in the pressure cooker oven of old Busch. It's hard for an old timer like myself to buy into this. Your thoughts and thank you.
    If you're going to hold every player to the standards set by Simba, then you're not going to be pleased with very many players. Simmons should be in the Hall of Fame. Hopefully he gets his ticket punched in December. I'll also add that it's not as if DeJong was asking for days off. He played every day. And clearly, it wore him down a bit. Does he need to get better with that workload? Sure. Should the Cardinals also come up with a player they trust to get some occasional reps at shortstop? Yes.
    It seems to me that the Cardinals have 5 or 6 holes to fill, assuming Ozuna and Wacha both leave. If they want Edmon to play all over and be the Swiss Army knife, they have all three outfield positions and third base that could use upgrades. I don't think you can count on Wainwright or Reyes, so without Wacha they could have two openings in the rotation. If they fill one of those with Carlos Martinez, then you have a need for a high-leverage reliever (and still need another starter). So I see six spots that need upgrades. I don't think it is realistic to count on internal candidates to upgrade more than two, but would like your opinion. How many internal upgrades (minor league players coming up, being plugged in, and playing better than we had in 2019) do you think is reasonable to expect?
    I think you will be disappointed if you are counting on six new players for 2020.
    We should get some signs today as to what the Cardinals think they need to focus on this offseason.
    One thing I feel confident about: I wouldn't bet on the Cardinals adding any high priced relievers. They have been better at creating them, and that's more cost-effective.
     
    The meeting with the Cardinals front office is up and running. We've got DeWitt, Mozeliak and Girsch in the room.
    Mozeliak has been extended. His contract now covers 4 years.
    An option was picked up on Girsch's contract.
    Shildt has a new three-year contract.
    More details to come.
  • What are Schildt's chances of winning Manager of the Year? Also were you as shocked as I was that Flaherty wasn't a finalist for the Cy Young? It's not hyperbolic to say his second half run was historic.
    I didn't have a vote for manager of the year, so I'll tell you how I would have voted if I did.
    Shildt would have had my vote.
    Remember, votes were due before the postseason started -- for those wondering about Dave Martinez in Washington.
    Shildt is a finalist, so he's got a chance.
    I think the turnaround he led with the defense and baserunning, the team's reclaiming of the division, specifically the recapturing of the upper hand in the rivalry with the Cubs, on top of the fact he got no outside help from outside after spring training was  pretty good body of work for consideration.
    As for Jack, I figured he would be a finalist. Surprised a bit by that. I did think he would need something stunning, like a no-hitter in the second half, to help turn his historic second half into a full-season award.
    No specific news on Adam Wainwright today, but it sounds like the discussions that could lead to his return next season are ongoing.
    Mozeliak says Jeff Albert's philosophy is important to long-term success, but mentions he needs to find ways to adjust his messaging. Says he gives hitters, especially young hitters, a lot of tools, but needs to find out which tool goes best with each player. There's no wavering on the team's commitment to Jeff Albert.
    Any idea if Wainwright has an interest in being a manager/coach or working in the front office or does his outside interests outside of baseball make it pretty unlikely that he'll have a role with a baseball organization after his playing days are over?
    I think he would make a heck of a broadcaster, and he has shown some potential interest in that -- but I don't think he's done pitching quite yet.
  • Good, glad Mo got an extension Inn recognition of the great work he did negotiating that Carpenter extension.
    As Carpenter is still on the payroll, with hopes for production in the next two seasons, you're not going to hear anyone in the Cardinals FO say they regret that extension.
    If injected with truth serum, sure, they probably regret it.
    Now they will try to make the best out of it, one way or the other.
    But the best way to look at it is this, whether you agree or not -- because that's how DeWitt looks at it -- is this.
    The free-agent deals that have not worked out great, and the Carpenter extension, are one bucket in a room full of buckets that Mozeliak is in charge of.
    DeWitt sees the room full of buckets, and likes what he sees.
    Others see the one leaking bucket.
    Wonder if fowler will be traded
    No mention of Fowler specifically today, but a lot of discussion about the young outfielders. I asked specifically if they can know what they have there until those guys get a chance to play, and Mo said no. So, the question is, what might a 2020 look like if it's dedicated to sorting through that group. Does that look like wide-open positions at all three spots? Does it look like sticking with Fowler -- who has a full no trade and will not be easy to move -- and Bader and opening up left field for competition if Ozuna leaves? TBD.
    That's a wrap for the presser. Hang with me while I get back to the office. Thanks.
    Back! OK, here's the deal. We will go later than usual this week due to the delays. If the crowd sticks around, I can go until 4 p.m. Sound good? Back at it.
    Did DeWitt extend you at the P-D, he was passing out extensions like Halloween Candy.
    Unfortunately, no. My fastball command is lacking and my whiff rate is out of control. And I'm not yet arbitration eligible.
    I don't understand the calls for trading Kolton Wong. Makes no sense as I don't believe we can get anyone in return that is equal to what we have in him, which is a GG 2nd baseman who lead the team in batting and stolen bases. These folks would have wanted to get rid of Ozzie after a couple of years too. Question is, have you heard how Lane Thomas is doing coming back from his injury? Got a chance to see him with Memphis last year and I look forward to him getting a shot this next year. Thanks for the chat.
    I'm with you, and based off comments today, it doesn't sound like trading Wong is in serious consideration.
    As for Thomas, Mozeliak mentioned him specifically during the presser as someone he felt like would have helped the team if he wasn't injured.
    The Cardinals have to sort through which of these young outfielders they can bank on, and Thomas should be in a position health-wise to make his case this spring.
    Ozuna walks, Rendon for 8yrs 240, trade Gorman + Ponce + ONeill for Boyd + Manning, Carp half of his money + Oviedo for Minor, CMart + Whitley + Gant + Genesis for Max Kepler + Rogers, Fowler + half of his money + Gomber + Montero + Capel for David Peralta + Archie Bradley

    Wong, Peralta, Rendon, Goldy, Kepler, DeJong, Yadi, Thomas, pitcher
    Jack, Hud, Mik, Boyd, Minor
    Rogers, Bradley, Miller, Brebbia, Gallegos, Helsley, Webb, Junior,..Hicks
    Knizner, Munoz, Sosa, Bader, Ravelo
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