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Tampa Bay uses long ball to beat Dodgers 8-1

Tampa Bay Rays' Tommy Pham follows through on a solo home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

QUESTION: Tommy Pham is not even a free agent until 2022. He’s only making $4.1 million — a bargain! What wasn't there to like, that we had to off-load him for a prospect or two?

GOOLD: Cardinals wanted to create playing time for Harrison Bader in center field, and I seem to recall a lot of folks in this chat and throughout the fan base clamoring for that exact move. Pham had a .248/.333/.399 slash line at the time and a .730 OPS. He was losing playing time, and this is where we get back to front-office accountability. The Cardinals should take a moment to consider if they weren't patient enough with Pham or hadn't given him the right support to get right. The Rays did. He's rolling.

Follow-up: Was there ever a consideration to playing Bader in CF and Pham in right? I'd argue the Cardinals' insistence on playing Pham only in center hurt them.

GOOLD: There was a lot of discussion about that, and had Pham stuck around longer under the Shildt Administration, that is likely how it would have gone. But, again, you have to look at the stats at the time and the Cardinals seemed to be convinced he wasn't going to stir from those struggles, that he had plateaued with them and there were interested teams, in Cleveland and Tampa Bay.