The General Manager
Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
In his four years as Walt Jockey’s first lieutenant, Mozeliak watched talent he helped find as a scout — Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina chief among them — lead the St. Louis Cardinals to three straight division titles, two league titles and one World Series title. Then, in 2007, Mo took over and helped win two more World Series titles. Under Mozeliak, the St. Louis Cardinals have reached the postseason for five consecutive seasons now.
So far, his signature move is his 2011 standoff with free agent first baseman Albert Pujols, the face of the St. Louis Cardinals and its best player for nine straight seasons to that point. Mozeliak held the line at $200 million over ten years, the highest contract offered in franchise history. Pujols, of course, got $40 million more from the Los Angeles Angels, which was a huge blow to St. Louis Cardinals fans at the time.
Since then, though, Pujols has had four good but not Cardinals-esque seasons in L.A. More importantly, his contract (and now the Mike Trout contract with it) have limited what the Angels can spend in free agency. And its farm system is just awful. While the St. Louis Cardinals have been to the postseason every year since Pujols left, the Angels made it just once, in 2014, when they were promptly swept away in the LDS.
In a results-oriented business like professional baseball, Mozeliak is one of those rare executives who has met the challenge and then some. I think most St. Louis Cardinals fans would agree that we’re lucky to have him.
Next: The Mathematically Inclined Assistant GM