St. Louis Cardinals: John Mozeliak doubles down on team’s activity
The St. Louis Cardinals’ President of Baseball Operations spoke to the media for the first time yesterday in Jupiter, Florida.
As the St. Louis Cardinals begin their Spring Training activities, much of the focus still lingers on whether the team did enough over the off-season to make it back to the playoffs after a two-year absence. The media was able to get a hold of President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak to assess the team’s off-season and where they head from there.
However, there was one quote posted by MLB.com’s Joe Trezza that certainly caught a lot of attention heading into the afternoon yesterday.
In other words, we’ve done enough.
Before I rant about Mozeliak’s comments, I am going to defend him…slightly. For all the things the St. Louis Cardinals didn’t do, we can’t forget the front office actually improved the team. When the off-season started the St. Louis Cardinals set out to get a big bat and a plus outfield defender, a better bullpen, and rotation help. They did that. The team also made room for young players on the roster and even added some though trades with other teams.
The St. Louis Cardinals even gave the coaching staff a little jolt this off-season. And if you don’t think that doesn’t have an impact, just look at the quotes from Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong on Jose Oquendo and Willie McGee. Even Mike Maddux‘s arrival to the team should bolster confidence in the pitching staff this season.
More from Redbird Rants
- Cardinals Rumors: 3 pros and cons of signing Carlos Rodon
- What’s next for the St. Louis Cardinals after Contreras signing?
- Report: Cardinals Emerge As Mystery Team for Carlos Rodon
- Cardinals: Trade targets after signing Willson Contreras
- Reflecting on the 2013 Cardinals’ top 30 prospects
That being said, this quote is hollow.
Mozeliak’s second to last sentence really stood out to me. “We’ve addressed our needs and what we needed to improve upon.” As I mentioned earlier, this isn’t misleading. The St. Louis Cardinals have improved in places they needed it.
The issue I have is the extent of the team’s improvement. The area that sticks out to me is the bullpen.
I think the bullpen is better than last year, but I question the organization’s stance on improvement when it comes to the closer’s role. I understand if the cost acquisition for Greg Holland, Wade Davis, and Alex Colome were just too much, but why did we pass up on arms like Juan Nicasio?
Nicasio proved he was capable of late-inning work and signed a pretty low-cost deal, or at least what I expected it to be. Compared to Luke Gregerson, Nicasio is only making $3-4 million more than Gregerson this season and next season. What make it more curious is the Cardinals were able to sign Bud Norris for $3 million yesterday. Could that not have gone to Nicasio?
The Cardinals may have improved the bullpen with veteran pieces to compliment the young arms now, but they failed to hit the mark on the most-needed role in the bullpen. The reluctance of the team to make a move for one of the top closer’s available on the market is glaring and will be the entire Spring. If the team’s late inning struggles continue, everyone will wonder why the Cardinals didn’t sign or trade for a closer when they had the chance.
Next: What to watch for in Spring Training part one
Have the Cardinals done enough in your eyes? Let me know in the comments below.