John Mozeliak's masterful 2023 moves are going just as planned for the Cardinals

Between the 2023 trade deadline and this past offseason, John Mozeliak has transformed the starting rotation and prospect group in the system.
St. Louis Cardinals v Miami Marlins
St. Louis Cardinals v Miami Marlins / Rich Storry/GettyImages
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Partially through a failed 2023 season, it became quite evident that the St. Louis Cardinals would be sellers at the 2023 deadline. The moves made by President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak weren't intended to be a rebuild but rather a retool. Mozeliak was able to ship out players on expiring contracts like Jordan Montgomery, Jack Flaherty, Paul DeJong, and Jordan Hicks while bringing back prospects and talented minor-league players.

In return for Mo's efforts, the Cardinals were able to bring back 10 total players, 2 of whom found their way into the organization's top-10 prospect list.

Mozeliak continued this retool during the winter when he made a total of 13 acquisitions. While most of these moves were on the pitching side, the Cardinals leader was able to bring in some position player depth with Matt Carpenter and Brandon Crawford.

It's early in the season, but a decent amount of Mozeliak's efforts and transactions are working out in the team's favor. Both the prospects he was able to acquire at last year's deadline and the players he signed this past offseason are off to great starts by and large. While bigger splashes were hoped for at both stages of team development, what John Mozeliak was able to accomplish under certain restraints beyond his control is admirable.

Sonny Gray

It's been only four starts, but Sonny Gray has already been as good as advertised. Runner-up in last year's American League Cy Young race, Gray has picked up right where he left off. In 23.1 innings this year, Gray has a 1.16 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and he has struck out 32 batters. He has been a stopper and an ace in the young season.

All offseason, it was clear that the Cardinals needed an ace, something they haven't truly had since Jack Flaherty in the second half of the 2019 season. In those four seasons since, it has been a revolving door of good not great starters with fillers in the back end of the rotation. With Gray at the helm, the team can tout a pitcher who can go head-to-head with the best in the league any night. Sonny also gives the Cardinals a #1 pitcher in most playoff matchups.