Cardinals executive John Mozeliak’s acquisitions of Jordan Montgomery and Jose Quintana were some of of his most successful deadline deals.
Every year, fans doubt St. Louis Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak and call for his firing after expressing dissatisfaction for his actions at the trade deadline, or lack thereof. But more often than not, his moves bear positive results. The 2022 trade deadline saw Mozeliak net starting pitchers Jordan Montgomery and Jose Quintana, and they have provided stability to what was a hole in the roster.
While many fans expressed a rabid desire for the Cardinals to trade for Juan Soto, Mozeliak’s commitment to fixing the roster’s weaknesses instead of going after a big-name stud has so far proven to be a shrewd decision. While Montgomery has cooled off in recent games, his performance in his first several starts was astounding. Quintana has since picked up the slack from Montgomery, and the rotation for the postseason is in a much better shape than it was had the Cardinals not made those moves.
This trade deadline is probably in the top three since Mozeliak took over as the general manager and later President of Baseball Operations. One of two that comes to mind is the 2011 deadline, where Mozeliak pulled off the blockbuster trade with the Toronto Blue Jays, sending away Trever Miller, Colby Rasmus, Brian Tallet and P.J. Walters for Octavio Dotel, Edwin Jackson, Corey Patterson and Marc Rzepczynski. Dotel and Rzepczynski did for the bullpen in 2011 what Montgomery and Quintana have done for the rotation this year, and we all know how that season ended.
The other trade deadline where Mozeliak emerged quite triumphant was 2014, where he traded Allen Craig and Joe Kelly to the Boston Red Sox for John Lackey and minor leaguer Corey Littrell. While Kelly emerged as a strong bullpen arm for a few teams after that, Craig’s career was all but over by that time, as he never found production again. Lackey was strong for the Cardinals in the 2014 postseason and in 2015 before being granted free agency after the season.
Despite the annual calls for Mozeliak’s head, his activity at the deadline is usually productive and helps the Cardinals win. How the Cardinals fare in the postseason will determine if this trade will go down as a historically great one for Mozeliak. It also remains to be seen how the players he dealt, including Harrison Bader and Johan Oviedo, perform later in their careers, but as of now, Mozeliak seems to have worked his magic again.