Check out the highlights from Derrick Goold’s Cardinals chat with readers. The full transcript of the chat can be found here.
Q: From a storyline perspective what potential WS matchups would you be most excited about as far as ones you could overwrite the heck out of?
Goold: Matt Carpenter, Yankee. Imagine the tales I could spin.
Q: The knock on Brendan Donovan is his glove isn't that great. I think he looks like a younger version of Edman, And I take that to mean, if you give him one position to focus on whether its left field or second base, he will develop into a gold glover there and then be able to move to other spots, like shortstop or third and excel there too. The high OBP percentage should mean he's an everyday player.
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Goold: The Cardinals are ready to explore where/how to create an everyday spot for Donovan and, absolutely, the OBP is the driving element here. Count me in the camp that believes Edman is the superior defensive player. But I see some parallels in their career.
Q: If Flaherty won’t sign a market value extension this off-season, business wise, isn’t there more value to receive for a full year versus a half a year production. Yes or no? Secondly, do you think the Cards would hand him a 7-8 year deal?
Goold: I do not think the Cardinals will talk about a deal of that length with any pitcher, and that's not saying anything about Flaherty other than he's a pitcher. The Cardinals have never shown that level of interest in length of contract for a pitcher, not for one they had (Wainwright) or one they coveted (Price). Heck, they had Scherzer right there as a good fit all those years ago and the length of the contract was why they did not engage, did not even really make a play for him. They felt the risk for length of contract with a right-handed pitcher into his 30s was too high when it came to missing full years due to injury.
That's what first catches my eye about the question.
The next one: Please when talking about trades consider you're also trading the performance that might be as valuable in the near term as the prospect you'd get in the long term. Flaherty at peak pitching his way toward free agency for the Cardinals has value to the Cardinals -- value in the standings, value in the chase we've talked about a few times in this chat about being one of the top two teams in the NL. Having Jack Flaherty at his best for a full season, regardless of where he goes next or the Cardinals' ability to sign him to an extension, would be immensely beneficial to a Cardinals team that must win 100 games to avoid the wild-card round.
Q: Along with Pujols and Yadi's retirement can we please retire the following Cardinals narratives:
“Remember the 2006 team…”
“Remember the 2011 team…”
“Just get in the playoffs and anything can happen…”
2006 and 2011 were outliers of outliers, we know that now and those seasons should only be referenced when discussing Cardinals teams that won the WS, not some whimsical examples of what could happen. And maybe just getting in the playoffs is enough and crazy things happen, but recent history shows they don’t for this club. It hasn’t in 11 seasons. The Cardinals need to focus on building better teams and not relying on the random nature of a sport.
Goold: It's worth noting that those teams are not alone, however. Other franchises also had that experience.
Remember the 2004 Boston Red Sox that swept the Cardinals? Wild card.
Remember the 2019 Washington Nationals that won with Scherzer? Wild card.
Remember the 2022 Atlanta club that won the title? Worse record than wild-card Cardinals.
I've said it before, and I'll say until I'm dead and then I'll have it engraved on my gravestone next to an explanation of the Yelich/Ozuna situation -- this is how teams have viewed the last two-plus decades of team-building. Moneyball made it popular. The postseason is random. Get in to win, build a team that gets in, and see if it can win.
THIS. IS. NOT. AN. APPROACH. UNIQUE. TO. THE. CARDINALS.
I have no clue why it's presented as such when it's so prevalent.
Standing on the field last year as Atlanta hoisted the trophy, I was approached by one of their executives who I've known for a while -- not like someone I speak to a lot, but someone who at least recognizes me when I'm wearing a mask and on a baseball field as confetti rains down -- and he told me: This is what we mean. This is why you try to get a ticket into the postseason because anything can happen.
Q: Who is claiming that the Cardinals "get in and see if we can win" approach is unique!? I don't claim it. I don't think that it is and I haven't seen others say it was unique. I do however, think it is a wrong approach that can leave you locked out of the wrong side of randomness for a very long time (See: the Cardinals 1 LCS win in 10 years...)
Goold: I'm having a hard time squaring the circle, here. A lot of comments I get suggest that the Cardinals have this approach every year -- and they do -- without also acknowledging that a vast majority of teams, including the ones who have recently won the World Series, have the same approach. They do. Again, they do. Atlanta did. Washington did. Boston has for a while. Cubs did. And so on. Dodgers kind of don't, but they're the Death Star. They are run unlike any other organization, and at the moment Atlanta is really the only challenger. The Mets can get there, but they've got to get better at development and drafting to then be the new Death Star.
If it's the wrong approach for the Cardinals, fine. Good. They do need to get better. I've written at length about their recede from contention and their slow fade from being a factor in October.
I've said many times in this chat that they may even need to dial up their expectations to chasing 100.
That's not an overstatement.
But to criticize "get in to win" approach without acknowledging that other teams do it too and do it successful is to miss the point. That's my view. Get over the "get in to win approach," and get on board with the win 100 and see what happens when you get in.
Q: DG - if you had to make a list of three to five "Cardinals prospects to watch" in the coming year or two, whose potential development are you most eager to follow?
Goold: Hence. Walker. Winn. Cooper Hjerpe. Inohan Paniagua. Won-Bin Cho. Josh Baez. Jonathan Mejia. And, then, Jovi Galvez.