The St. Louis Cardinals offseason summarized in 7 quotes

In a career-defining offseason for a number of staff members and players, quality quotes abound. These 7 defined the offseason the most.
Feb 19, 2024; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol (37) talks to reporters at
Feb 19, 2024; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol (37) talks to reporters at / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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"I think the biggest change from a year ago to where we are today is the veteran leadership." - John Mozeliak

Plenty of ink has been spilled this offseason regarding a lack of leadership in the clubhouse last year. One of the explanations for a sub-par 2024 season was a lack of veteran leadership. That void, along with rotation needs and bullpen assistance, was one that needed to be filled this winter. By adding players such as Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson, Matt Carpenter, and Brandon Crawford, the leadership hole was filled, at least on paper.

Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt stumped for the addition of Matt Carpenter. Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson bring innings, experience, and leadership. Sonny Gray has already left his imprint on the pitching staff that missed Yadier Molina last year.

When talking with The Athletic, Mozeliak made it a point to discuss the absences of Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina last year. The team lacked true leadership last year, and Mozeliak sought that quality in his free-agent additions this winter.

The veteran leadership is reportedly one of the most exciting aspects of this roster according to John Mozeliak. The clubhouse last year was faltering. The team's manager, Oliver Marmol, even went so far as to say that certain players needed to be "weeded out". The additions of strong clubhouse figures with leadership qualities won't be able to be quantified this year. But the feel on the field will hopefully be dramatically different.

The issue with these veteran leaders is that they haven't exactly performed well in recent history, Sonny Gray excluded. Matt Carpenter hasn't had an OPS+ greater than 100 in a full season since 2018. Brandon Crawford had a great 2022, but he has been up and down each year, and his defense was bad last year by some metrics. Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson both had ERAs greater than 4.73 last year.

Veteran leadership is important; let's just hope individual success comes out of these savvy old-timers.