John Mozeliak Discusses Contract, Cardinals’ Offseason

John Mozeliak’s most recent contract extension with the Cardinals covered the 2021-23 seasons, yet the president of baseball operations doesn’t seem too concerned about his status as he enters the final year of that contract.  Speaking with reporters (including The Athletic’s Katie Woo and Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat) today at the Cardinals’ Winter Warm-Up fan event, Mozeliak said that he’d spoken to ownership about a possible new deal, but “I’m not overly focused on my contract or what 2024 looks like yet.”

Since Mozeliak also noted that “I don’t want to be a distraction first and foremost,” it seems possible that we might not hear any details about future negotiations until (or if) a new deal is officially announced.  Mozeliak has been in charge of the Cardinals’ front office since October 2007, and looking over that long history, two of his past extensions (in 2010 and 2013) weren’t signed until Mozeliak was in the final year of his deal.  However, the Cardinals were a little more proactive in locking up Mozeliak in his two most recent extensions — his current pact was signed in November 2019, when Mozeliak still had a year to do on his previous deal.

This all being said, there isn’t much to indicate that the Cardinals are actually thinking of moving on from Mozeliak, who has been with the organization in various roles since 1995.  Since Mozeliak took over from Walt Jocketty following the 2007 campaign, St. Louis has enjoyed 15 consecutive winning seasons, 10 postseason appearances, and a World Series championship in 2011.  Last October, the Cards signed two of Mozeliak’s top lieutenants (GM Michael Girsch and assistant GM/scouting director Randy Flores) to multi-year extensions, hinting that upper management had an interest in keeping the front office mix in place.

It doesn’t mean that Mozeliak isn’t facing some pressure heading into 2023, given the Cardinals’ relative lack of postseason success.  Over the last eight seasons, St. Louis has only a 1-5 record in playoff series, with the 2019 NLDS triumph over the Braves representing the only October trip that didn’t result in a one-and-done.

In terms of bolstering the 2023 roster for a deeper playoff run, the Cardinals had two major roster questions answered early, as the team re-signed Adam Wainwright, and Nolan Arenado chose not to opt out of the five years (and $144MM) remaining on his contract.  Furthermore, the Cards also made a splashy free agent signing, inking Willson Contreras to a five-year pact that installed the catcher as Yadier Molina’s successor behind the plate.

Besides the Contreras deal, however, it has been a relatively quiet winter to date, and Mozeliak noted that some of the front office’s plans fell through.  “When we reflect back on the offseason, there were certainly some things we were hoping to do that we weren’t able to accomplish…A lot of things sort of unfolded or transpired that…

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Read More: John Mozeliak Discusses Contract, Cardinals’ Offseason 2023-01-15 01:35:43

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