GM Meetings: John Mozeliak to address St. Louis Cardinals plans for Right Field


At the 2014 GM Meetings, St. Louis Cardinals GM John Mozeliak will be addressing the club’s plans for right field.

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Mozeliak acknowledged that the team does have two internal options with Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk according to Jenifer Langosh’s article. It’s not going to be easy to replace Oscar Taveras but it is something that must be done. There’s a movement in the fan base to go after a free agent or trade for a player with a power bat. At the same time, there’s also a movement to go with an internal option with many fans high on Piscotty.

The general manager arrived in Phoenix yesterday with plans to start addressing right field.

"“I think it certainly leaves that position in question,” Mozeliak said. “Clearly internally, we have Grichuk and potentially Piscotty to fill that spot. I would also say that it does now force us to explore other options, whether it’s the free-agent market or the trade market. Really, this past week and [this] week will be groundwork to see if something like that is possible.”"

Mozeliak waited a week before reaching out to other teams. He has good reason, given the lack of stellar production from right field during the 2014 season.

"In a season where Allen Craig (70 starts), Taveras (58) and Grichuk (16) handled the bulk of playing time, the Cardinals, in terms of right-field production, ranked last in the NL in runs (56), home runs (nine), on-base percentage (.283), slugging percentage (.326) and OPS (.609). Only two teams’ right fielders generated fewer hits."

With the offseason homework, Taveras was due for a breakout season in 2015 but tragically died as the result of a car accident. Mozeliak has to at least make an effort in looking at the free agency landscape for right field.

"“I’m not saying it’s a must, but I also think we need to be prudent and make sure that we understand what that landscape looks like,” Mozeliak acknowledged. “When you look at sort of what Grichuk did and you look at Piscotty’s inexperience at the big leagues, if our goal is to try and find ways to get an uptick in offense, we do have to explore it.”"

Should the team pursue a free agent, it is unlikely that the club would go after those who received a qualifying offer. Knowing both Mozeliak and scouting director Dan Kantrovitz, the Cardinals are unlikely to give up a draft pick.

Langosch writes that the team could look at both “short-term placeholders and long-term fits.” She adds that “a left-handed-hitting option to complement the right-handed-hitting Grichuk and Piscotty” may be looked at but that’s no guarantee.

The team is also looking for a right-handed bat that can complement the left-handed hitting Matt Adams at first base. The best option for the team is one who can play both right field and first base. Michael Cuddyer is a name that keeps coming up but with a draft pick attached to his name, the team won’t make an attempt to talk with him.

Other areas that Mozeliak will look at during the GM meetings include upgrading the bullpen and a utility infielder to help provide some depth-on the bench.