QUESTION: Is the Cardinals' talent evaluation team behind the times when it comes to really digging into a players "value" in terms of dollars? Recent bigger-name FA signings would indicate yes to a pretty consistent extent (Leake, Cecil, Fowler, Gregerson, Miller, etc.) but I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
GOOLD: This is the crux of it. And, yes, there's something to how the Cardinals evaluate "value" and their business model. They are far, far more likely to take the risk on spending, say, $30 million on a lefty who doesn't work out then to take the risk of losing $215 million on a righthander who also might not work out. They do operate in those terms. That the cost of a mid-tier player not working out is significantly less and easier to work around than if they go big and run into a problem.
They have acknowledged that not bidding on Scherzer was a mistake -- but because Scherzer has been an outlier of production, not because the risk of signing a righthander into his late 30s is less than they thought. The Cardinals are conservative, data-driven, risk-averse, prone to overspend to keep their own players, more likely to spend to stay ahead of an auction than to join it, and they take out insurance on more contracts that most other teams
These are their traits. They tell you the kind of deals ownership prefers to make, and through that lens you can see how they've arrived at some missteps. The question now is whether that makes them shy to even make those deals, or to shift their eyes to a higher shelf, a higher cost, and take on some greater risk on the chance they get a greater return. You could argue Goldschmidt is that move. You could. Some won't. But you could.
Photo: Andrew Miller, signed before the 2019 season, pitches in Game 1 of the NLCS. (Photo by Christian Gooden, firstname.lastname@example.org)