Breaking down John Mozeliak's comments on the Cardinals payroll

John Mozeliak spoke with Martin Kilcoyne of FOX 2 last week. Within the interview, Mozeliak had some interesting comments about the Cardinals' payroll for 2024.
Cincinnati Reds v St. Louis Cardinals
Cincinnati Reds v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

Last week, Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak spoke with Martin Kilcoyne of FOX 2 and the two discussed some very interesting and important topics.

One such topic was the Cardinals' payroll and how they view their budget.

Kilcoyne brought up the fact that Bill DeWitt III had mentioned the Cardinals aren't looking to exponentially increase the payroll at this point and would only do so "within reason."

These were certainly frustrating comments for fans to hear, as in the beginning, the Cardinals were very vocal about changing their approach and that they wouldn't be held back by the uncertainty of their TV deal with Bally Sports. That obviously has not come to pass, and they are now using the Bally Sports bankruptcy and regional sports network deals as an excuse.

Mozeliak had some interesting comments on the team's payroll and budget.

"It really works more like understand what your revenues and your expenses are going to look like, and then we sort of backfill in for what the payroll will be," said Mozeliak. "Mr. DeWitt and I tend to work in three-year increments, and so we kind of had a plan of what we want the payroll to look like in those three years, and then I try to manage accordingly."

Mozeliak continued. "There are some times when something comes up and we may have to go over it and it's my responsibility to pick up the phone and defend why we're doing it."

Mo discusses Cards payroll and budget

Based on Mozeliak's comments, the Cardinals could potentially go over their budget. This means there could still be a small chance that they sign Jordan Montgomery and add him back to their rotation. The Cardinals' current payroll sits at roughly $165 million, as seen in the graphic below.

The graphic also shows that the Cardinals have about $26 million left on their budget for this year. The problem is that Bill DeWitt Jr. has seemingly imposed his own salary cap. But it is still interesting to note that there is more money available than the Cardinals will admit and that there might still be a chance to go over the budget, as Mozeliak alluded to.

It's also important to remember that Mozeliak doesn't make the final decision on things. That power goes to DeWitt. While Mozeliak has done a poor job over the past several years and deserves some of the blame, not all the blame should be pinned on him.

That's not to say I don't think the Cardinals should spend more. They absolutely should. They need more to be a World Series contender. But that ultimately depends on DeWitt and how he sets the budget.