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Exit Interview: John Mozeliak

Posted on November 11, 2012 at 3:00 PM
Filed Under: St. Louis Cardinals
To give myself a reason to look back on this season, I've started this series of blog posts to review each player that spent time in St. Louis during 2012.  More summaries than anything, I imagine the player coming into Mike Matheny's office--well, I guess in this case Bill DeWitt's office--and having a short conference before heading home for the winter.

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General Manager: John Mozeliak

Overall grade: A-

Positives: In Mo We Trust.  That got tossed around a lot at the trading deadline, when the only move he made was to send former first round pick Zack Cox to Miami for middle reliever Edward Mujica.  That trade, on a smaller level than the Colby Rasmus deal in 2011, again propelled the Cards into the postseason.  Of course, one of the big reasons that the Cardinals were in a position to even think about being buyers at the deadline was due to Mozeliak's masterstroke of bringing in Carlos Beltran to help fill the hole left by Albert Pujols's defection to Anaheim.  Mo also did a great job piling up draft picks last season, showing that he still has a firm eye on the minor leagues as well.  Plus his hire of Mike Matheny went well in the first year, something that was not guaranteed when Mozeliak made that gamble.

Negatives: It's tough to know where Mo is to blame and where we are just looking at the market being a problem.  Rafael Furcal and Skip Schumaker both returned on two-year deals when it was questionable whether either of them should have been retained for one year, much less two. Mozeliak's attempts at adding left-handed relief was a non-starter this year, as J.C. Romero flamed out after six weeks and Brian Fuentes took his ball and went home after about two.  In both cases, the fallout was limited as they had come in on minimum deals.

Outlook: A couple of more years like the last two and John Mozeliak is going to start being mentioned in the same breath as Bing Devine as the best Cardinal general manager not named Branch Rickey.  He's been able to juggle the winning expectations of the big league club and the player development of the minors to keep both thriving.  He's been able to maximize everything so that the small market of St. Louis can pay big market (or at least well-to-do market) prices.  Interesting, Mozeliak is up for an extension of his own, as he could be a free agent at the end of the 2013 season.  It seems a slam dunk that he'll get one, but if not, he'd be a sought after person to lead up some of these moribund teams.


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Heroes
Carlos Beltran (6)
Yadier Molina (5)
Matt Holliday (4)
Jon Jay (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Pete Kozma (3)
Shelby Miller (3)
Adam Wainwright (3)
Allen Craig (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Tyler Lyons (2)
Edward Mujica (2)
Jake Westbrook (2)
David Freese (1)
Joe Kelly (1)
Seth Maness (1)
Trevor Rosenthal (1)
Michael Wacha (1)
Ty Wigginton (1)

2012 Top Hero: Matt Holliday (17)
2011 Top Hero: Lance Berkman (24)
2010 Top Heroes: Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols (24)
2009 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (28)
2008 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (25)

Goats
Jon Jay (6)
David Freese (5)
Mitchell Boggs (4)
Joe Kelly (4)
Pete Kozma (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Allen Craig (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Yadier Molina (3)
Matt Adams (2)
Carlos Beltran (2)
Matt Carpenter (2)
Matt Holliday (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Seth Maness (1)
Shane Robinson (1)
Fernando Salas (1)
Adam Wainwright (1)
Jake Westbrook (1)

2012 Top Goat: Rafael Furcal (11)
2011 Top Goat: Ryan Theriot (12)
2010 Top Goat: Brendan Ryan (14)
2009 Top Goats: Rick Ankiel and Todd Wellemeyer (13)
2008 Top Goat: Troy Glaus (13)

Cardinal Nation Approval Ratings (March 2013)
Yadier Molina 96.2% (up 8.8%)
Chris Carpenter 89.8% (down 0.3%)
Derrick Goold 89.1% (up 6.3%)
Matt Holliday 88.4% (up 0.9%)
Allen Craig 88.3%
Adam Wainwright 88.2% (down 3.7%)
Jose Oquendo 87.1% (up 2.4%)
Jason Motte 86.9%
John Mozeliak 86.5% (up 1.1%)
United Cardinal Bloggers 85.2% (up 6.3%)
Bill DeWitt 85.1% (up 5.3%)
Mike Shannon 85.1% (down 0.2%)
John Rooney 84.5% (up 3.0%)
Mike Matheny 84.4% (up 3.3%)
David Freese 82.9% (down 2.6%)
Jon Jay 81.8% (up 10.7%)
Lance Berkman 80.6% (down 8.0%)
Jenifer Langosch 79.5%
Lance Lynn 79.5%
Dan McLaughlin 76.0% (up 8.0%)
Jim Hayes 73.0% (up 1.1%)
Ricky Horton 65.5% (down 2.0%)
Jaime Garcia 64.1%
Albert Pujols 59.2% (up 4.3%)
Ballpark Village 58.3%
Joe Strauss 54.3% (down 13.4%)

2012
Tony La Russa 88.2% (up 17.4%)
Mark McGwire 82.6% (up 20.1%)
Skip Schumaker 73.3% (up 9.2%)
B.J. Rains 69.5% (down 0.9%)
Kyle Lohse 68.9% (up 13.8%)
Al Hrabosky 66.4% (up 3.2%)
Colby Rasmus 46.5% (down 35.3%)

2011
Dave Duncan 87.9% (up 0.9%)
Matthew Leach 85.5%
Pop Warner 76.7%
Ryan Franklin 72.8% (up 3.1%)
John Vuch 68.9%
Jeff Luhnow 66.4%
Dan Lozano 58.7%

2009
Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%


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