St. Louis Cardinals: John Mozeliak’s cryptic deadline quote raises questions
St. Louis Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak’s recent quote about the deadline could be a hint at his future actions, but it could also just be hot air.
John Mozeliak, president of baseball operations for the St. Louis Cardinals, said this year’s trade deadline will have a “different finality” to it than in past years, according to Brian Stull of St. Louis Baseball Weekly.
The Cardinals have consistently been buyers at the trade deadline, although it has been a while since they made a truly impactful move at the deadline. If one digs into Mozeliak’s quote, they could come up with a number of different theories about what he and the club will do this year in terms of transactions.
Something that needs to be considered is the rule change regarding the deadline. The trade deadline will now be the last chance for teams to make deals. Before this year, trades could still be made after the deadline if the player was able to clear trade waivers.
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With this new rule, the deadline could become more active because there will indeed be a sense of finality to the teams’ construction. They will have to push forward with the players they have instead of being able to trade for any needs that arise. This is quite possibly what Mozeliak is referring to.
This year, the Cardinals find themselves in a tough position. They are right at .500 going into the break, but they are only two games out of first place. The team clearly isn’t as talented as in years past, but the division is up for grabs.
Mozeliak’s quote could also be interpreted to mean that this is one of the team’s last chances to buy before the contention window slams shut. If the Cardinals don’t acquire difference-makers who can extend the team’s winning tradition, a teardown could be on the horizon. Mozeliak could be saying that this has the possibility of being the team’s last hurrah.
If someone wants to take the theory to the extreme, one could say that Mozeliak doesn’t expect to last much longer in the Cardinals’ front office. His popularity has plummeted among the fans after some questionable moves and not taking action when many believed he should. After Mike Matheny’s firing last year when the team wasn’t living up to expectations, it’s not impossible to think Mozeliak’s job could be in trouble.
Finally, Mozeliak might not mean anything by what he said. Fans have grown accustomed to Mozeliak speaking as if he is going to go all out to acquire top-tier players and only ending up getting a bullpen piece. It is very possible that this is just another attempt to satisfy fans before another year of disappointment regarding the trade deadline.
Regardless of how one wishes to interpret Mozeliak’s comment, the team is clearly underperforming, and the patience of many fans is wearing thin. Mozeliak’s actions, or lack thereof, over the next few weeks will speak far louder than anything he says.