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Goold: No Cardinal prospect is untouchable, but the deal would have to be overwhelming

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Check out the highlights from Derrick Goold’s Cardinals chat with readers. The full transcript of the chat can be found here.

Q: If Jordan walker hits .300+ in spring training, does he make the opening day lineup? Or would they give him more time to develop?

A: It will not be based on his batting average. That won't be what gives away his chances of making the team. I mean, unless he's hitting .500 and then if he is he's likely slugging 1.200? Goodness. Look more for how he plays, how his metrics look, not what the box score says. And if he's getting a lot of playing time toward the end of spring training, that's the biggest tell of them all.

In 2001, they kept throwing new things at a young player to see if that was the week that convinced them he needed more time in the minors.

In 2023, we'll see some of that with Walker.

Wait till you see him get those starts against aces.

Q: How does Wainwright compare to John Lackey? Lackey is on the HOF ballet for the first time and I don’t think he’s a hall of famer. Wainwright has 1 year left to prove it, but I think he’s a tough case borderline out. Orel Hershiser has 56 WAR as a pitcher and isn’t in and I would think he would be over Wainwright or Lackey.

A:We'll know more about Wainwright's chances when Lester reaches the ballot, not Lackey. Lester will be a good test for Wainwright, especially if Wainwright gets to 200 wins (or beyond). Lester had a 43.5 WAR in his career. Wainwright is at 42.4.

Q: Are there any untapped international markets out there where teams are setting up development camps similar to how the Cardinals did in the DR years ago?

A: Almost every team has a campus in the DR, and the Cardinals were one of the teams late to setting up an academy. They have definitely improved their presence there in the past 10-15 years. The Cardinals are trying to expand their presence in Asia. They had a signing from Europe awhile back, and there's Australia that has drawn some attention. I don't know if there are academies coming, but the Cardinals do have a relationship with Orix in Japan.

Q: Do the Cards end up targeting two catchers? Vazquez and Barnhart?

A: No.

Q: Who is the Andre Pallante of Spring Training 2023? A guy we are not talking much about now, but will be in a few months?

A: Connor Thomas. But I guess we're talking about him, so any answer would then disprove your question, right? Would Graceffo count? Jake Walsh is on the 40-man roster and could pull off that same rise. Do not dismiss McGreevy. But again, if we're now talking about him. 

Q: Where do the Cardinals need to improve this off season to compete for the World Series?

A: They need something for the lineup, the offense. That could be a middle-order hitter. That could be a leadoff hitter. They just need some kind of jolt that Pujols provided, and that they could get for a full season. That would change the look of this team, the heights of where it stands in the National League.

Q: Do you know if the cardinals consider any of their top prospects untouchable/unmovable (I.E Walker, Winn etc.)

A: They have no interest in trading Walker or Winn unless they are overwhelmed with what they could get for Walker or Winn. So, no prospect is untouchable. But a deal that would include them is so unlikely.

Q: What do you make of the reports linking the Cardinals and Contreras? It seems like Contreras would offer the path of least resistance at this point given that he wants to be here and what the Jays and A's asking prices are.

A: He's a free agent. He's a catcher. They're looking for a catcher. And they're talking to free agents. He's the best bat available at that position. The Cardinals are looking for offensive upgrades. It's an obvious conversation they must have. I've been trying to outline some of the considerations in play for the Cardinals when it comes to Contreras and catchers.

Q: With all the money the team have made off the fans this season fans are expecting big name signings this offseason. If the team doesn’t go out do you believe the fans will boycott the team and stadium because they feel like they are having their money stolen by ownership just to pocket it and not put it back into the product on the field like LA, NY, or other higher payroll cities?

A: I don't get the comparison with NY or LA. You had me until then. Why would you think those teams don't want to make money, too? I was recently asked if ticket prices is the difference between the Dodgers and the Cardinals when it comes to spending -- that tickets are like gas, for example, and just so much more costlier in the bigger city. Well, that's part. The bigger deal is that the Dodgers have a broadcast rights deal that could be worth $8 billion, per the LA times. The Cardinals' deal? Yeah, it can be worth around $1.2 billion, per reporting by the Post-Dispatch. 

That's a massive gulch in revenue. 

Don't act like the Yankees and Dodgers don't want to make money, too.

As for the boycott…As long as I've been on the beat, I've urged players to act as consumers and use the power of their purchases to send a message. I see on Twitter and in chats a whole lot of talk about not showing up. Have only seen it happen once. And it wasn't this past year. So, sure there will be a lot of talk of it. But there won't be a lot of action. And what's true for the team is true for the fan base: Action speak loudest of all.

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