3 highs and 3 lows of the Cardinals' offseason

Emotionally speaking, Cardinal fans ran through the gauntlet this offseason. Which moments made us feel good and which made us suffer?

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Low moment #3: The Cardinals extend Oliver Marmol through 2026.

Let me preface this argument by saying that I am actually in favor of the team extending Oli Marmol. While I would have preferred it to happen after some success this season, I'm not against the reasoning for the extension to occur before the season starts. After a 93-win season in 2022 and a 91-loss season in 2023, the 37-year-old manager was granted two additional years to lead the Cardinals.

Fans, however, took a different approach to the news. Vitriol was prevalent on social media after news spread of Marmol's extension. Why would a team grant a manager with a .506 winning percentage two additional years to lead the team? Marmol has yet to even win a playoff game let alone a series. He was hired in the first place with a lack of experience; he wasn't ready for the role out of the gate.

A two-year extension keeps Marmol at the helm until 2026. There is still the possibility that he is fired at some point; Mike Matheny was fired in June of 2018 after receiving an extension after the 2016 season. If the team underperforms out of the gate again, Marmol's seat heats up once again.

There was plenty of optimism that someone like Yadier Molina or even Albert Pujols would manage the Cardinals should Marmol be fired. An extension for the incumbent Marmol shows that the front office didn't believe either player, particularly Molina, had immediate interest in managing the Cardinals.

President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak spoke highly in support of Marmol during the press conference announcing his extension. "I've always had a lot of confidence in Oli," Mozeliak stated in an interview with The Athletic. "I never doubted he was the right person for this job. But I also thought of all the things we needed to get done right away. This (extension) was something we could deal with later."

For many fans, the extension of Oliver Marmol was the low point in an offseason filled with disappointments. A desire to see Yadi back in the dugout but as a manager was great among the Cardinal faithful. An extension to a controversial manager darkened those visions.

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