MLB executives don't believe Cardinals' John Mozeliak is a top-tier executive anymore

After a few years of underperformance and lackluster postseason showings, John Mozeliak is no longer a top-tier executive according to his peers.
Feb 15, 2024; Tampa, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak
Feb 15, 2024; Tampa, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

For the longest time, the St. Louis Cardinals were at the forefront of Major League Baseball. From the early 2000s until the late 2010's the Cardinals ran the gauntlet of the National League. While their rivals in the division would crop up for a year or two to challenge the beasts of the Central, the Cardinals were consistently in the discussion for winning the division crown.

Recent history has been significantly more unkind to the organization and its fans. A brief devil magic season in 2022 aside, the 2020s have been tough to watch. A 2020 COVID-shortened season was tough to watch for many reasons, 2019 was the last time the team won a playoff game, and the 2023 season left a terrible taste in the mouths of fans.

Compile all of that, and you'll find a President of Baseball Operations who is losing trust among his peers. In a recent survey of 40 executives in baseball distributed by writers at The Athletic, this point became evident. According to the survey, "(These executives) had experience as the primary decision-maker for a team, either in the past or the present. We asked each executive to rank the top five front offices in baseball and assigned a point value to each position."

A quick glance at the article will reveal one name that is notoriously absent from the survey: Cardinals' President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak. Mo was once at the forefront of baseball innovation; the Cardinals were among the best in baseball at drafting and developing players. Mozeliak was able to make trades in the late 2010s that were beyond lopsided. He worked the margins better than any other manager with trades and signings.

Recent history, however, hasn't been as strong. Players succeeding elsewhere include Sandy Alcantara, Adolis Garcia, Zac Gallen, Randy Arozarena, and most recently Tyler O'Neill are stains on Mozeliak's resume.

Mozeliak's absence from the top-16 executives is noteworthy, but perhaps even more important would be the fact that two of the Cardinals' in-division rivals surpass them. The Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds' executives placed 6th and 15th in the rankings, respectively.

Not only are the local fans fed up with John Mozeliak and his team's results recently, but Mozeliak's own peers are also seeing his flaws. Mozeliak's contract expires after the 2025 season, and he plans to retire after that season. A change of guard in the St. Louis front office that has become stale is necessary to rectify the organization's reputation.