Tag:John Mozeliak
Posted on: February 13, 2011 1:06 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2011 1:50 pm

Pujols drama gearing up as deadline looms

Albert Pujols The Cardinals' pitchers and catchers report today, but the big day in St. Louis (or, well, Jupiter, Fla.) will be Wednesday -- Albert Pujols' deadline for a new contract.

Of course, what the exact zero hour for Pujols' end to contract talks isn't exactly clear, general manager John Mozeliak told MLB.com's Matthew Leach .

"Honest I don't know at the moment," Mozeliak said. "I'll know when I need to know."

Beyond that, Mozeliak said he won't talk about Pujols' contract talks until at least Tuesday, but will likely talk on Wednesday.

According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch , the team doesn't what to give more than seven years to Pujols, Strauss also notes the Cardinals had not "tendered an offer as of early next week," but are expected to give an offer closer to the deadline.

Even if Pujols does become a free agent after this season, the Cardinals would be considered the front-runner to retain his services. At least one American League general manager agrees, telling Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe , "What will happen is, they'll get it done. The Cardinals aren't a small-market team, so they're in that area where they probably have to do it because not doing it would create chaos and possible loss of revenue."

Of course, then there's what the New York Post 's Joel Sherman calls the Cardinals' "nightmare scenario" -- Pujols signing with the Cubs. An American League executive tells Sherman that Pujols "would be to the Cubs what [Barry] Bonds was to the Giants, but with a nicer face and nine games a year at Busch Stadium."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: January 16, 2011 12:24 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2011 1:29 pm

Cards weren't close to dealing Rasmus

Colby Rasmus The Cardinals aren't -- and weren't -- close to dealing outfielder Colby Rasmus this offseason, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes .

Rasmus reportedly asked for a trade last season, but general manager John Mozeliak said it was never seriously considered. So proposed trades such as the suggested Rasmus for Carlos Quentin deal with the White Sox were never more than media speculation.

"I think any trade discussions about Colby were completely manifested by what was going on in the media," Mozeliak said. "Dating back to September when that [story] broke, I'd get calls from teams right then and there. But they were bottom-fishing. They thought we were just going to give him away. That was never the case."

Rasmus requested a trade and had a heated exchange with Cardinals manager Tony La Russa in the dugout during a game and said he felt isolated from his teammates. Even Albert Pujols made a pointed comment about Rasmus during the season.

Still, La Russa -- who confirmed in September that Rasmus had asked for a trade -- claims it's a media issue, not an issue between the two.

"It's a story line that people wear out," La Russa told Goold. "It's inaccurate and it's unfair. … He's still gaining experience and figuring out how insincere [these reports] really are. We have a good relationship. Good to real good. At its worst, it's good. At its best, it's real good."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: December 6, 2010 6:38 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2010 6:40 pm

Cards don't expect moves in Orlando

A couple of things from Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak meeting with the team's beat writers:

• Mozeliak has met with Dan Lozano, the agent for Albert Pujols, but wouldn't say much more. He said the two sides have agreed not to "negotiate this in the press." (via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Twitter )

• Jason Bartlett's name will be bandied about, but the Cardinals aren't interested, Mozeliak said (Goold on Twitter ).

Mozeliak said the acquisition of Ryan Theriot will finish up St. Louis' search for middle infield help. It appears the team will be happy with Theriot at shortstop and Skip Schumaker at second.

If the Cardinals do anything, they will subtract a middle infielder, not add one, as Brendan Ryan could be moved. The Padres are interested in Ryan.

• St. Louis needs to make a move for a backup catcher, but Mozeliak said, "I don't feel we're close to anything at the moment." (B.J. Raines of FOXSportsMidwest.com on Twitter )

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 14, 2010 5:33 pm

Cards GM says Rasmus trade unlikely

Colby Rasmus Because of his run-in with manager Tony La Russa this past season, Cardinals center fielder Colby Rasmus has been a popular name in trade rumors, but Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak stated what most everyone else has said about a Rasmus trade -- don't count on it.

Talking to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch 's Joe Strauss , Mozeliak didn't say Rasmus was an untouchable, but he came close.

"Every player in the right deal could be traded," Mozleiak said, "but we're not shopping him. More importantly, I think it would be very difficult or almost impossible for us to replace him. So the way we're planning on moving, he's a big part of our club."

Mozeliak said the issues between Rasmus and La Russa have been handed and it's no longer an issue.

"I don't think someone with his service time (two years) can pick and choose where he wants to be," Mozeliak said.

And that's exactly why moving him made zero sense. Rasmus won't be arbitration-eligible until 2012 and won't be a free agent until 2015. He also had the third-best OPS among Cardinals regulars, hitting .276/.361/.498 last season with 23 home runs. For a team that was searching from offense from anyone without a $100 million contract, it would be difficult to give up a 24-year old producing at a premium position.

The Cardinals, however, would like to upgrade at shortstop, Mozeliak said. Brendan Ryan may have been the best defensive shortstop in the National League last season, but he hit .223/.279.294 in 2010. The team could also look to upgrade at second base, where Skip Schumaker hit .265/.328/.338.

"There is a school of thought that Skip will produce more than he did last year. There's a comfort level of that being probable," Mozeliak said. "In Brendan's case you would hope there would be some improvement, too. But if there were a way to address one of those positions in a positive way, we would pursue it. We probably have more of an emphasis on short than second at this point."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: October 12, 2010 2:21 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:28 am

La Russa undecided on return

Tony La Russa has a contract offer, but hasn't decided whether he'll return in 2011, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports .

General manager John Mozeliak confirms that La Russa made his drive from St. Louis to the Bay Area without deciding whether he'd return to managing the Cardinals in 2011.

La Russa has sent mixed signals in the last month or so of the season about returning to the Cardinals.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: October 5, 2010 10:49 am

Cardinals offer La Russa a chance to return

Tony La Russa says he hasn't made a decision about 2011, but speaking to the media on Monday, he sounded like someone who was ready to move on.

"Fifteen years is a long time for one guy in one place," La Russa told reporters, including Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch . "As great as this place is, at some point, it's going to be good when the new guy comes in. I think it's going to refresh the whole situation."

Tony La Russa As two managers were let go on Monday, the Cardinals did extend an offer to La Russa to manage the team in 2011.

La Russa met with GM John Mozeliak and team chairman Bill DeWitt for about 90 minutes.

"We certainly talked about next year and our interest to have him return," Mozeliak told Matthew Leach of MLB.com . "It was a very productive meeting [about a matter] that we hope to have resolved within 7-10 days."

La Russa noted pitching coach Dave Duncan, who has been with La Russa since 1982 with the White Sox, wants to return and the organization has expressed their interest in him returning as well.

Still, with La Russa not saying much of substance, reporters were forced to look at his actions and analyze his words. La Russa is driving to his Bay Area-home for the first time since his first season in St. Louis and loaded up his vehicle with books, plaques, magazines, baseball cards and two seatbacks from the second Busch Stadium. A "clubhouse regular" said he'd never seen La Russa take so much home with him.

However, his parting words offered some hope that he'd return.

"We want to get better," he said. And as Goold notes, he did say, "we" when referring to the future of the Cardinals.

As for the future of the Cardinals, make sure to read Joe Strauss' look at the team's payroll for 2011 in the Post-Dispatch . The team is already tied up to the tune of $80 million in nine players -- already a higher payroll than the Reds had this year for their entire squad. The team owes nearly $50 million to four players alone, Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Chris Carpenter and Kyle Lohse (which one of these is not like the other?). It's hard to see how the Cardinals won't break the $100-million mark in payroll next season and still have the same depth problem they had this year.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: September 16, 2010 10:57 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2010 10:57 pm

Cards GM says Rasmus won't be traded

Colby Rasmus Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told fans at the team's Social Media Night that the team has "no interest" in trading disgruntled center fielder Colby Rasmus and that the position is "locked" for the Cardinals in 2011.

He also said he expects payroll to rise in the next three years and that he hopes Tony La Russa's status will be resolved early in the winter.

Rasmus requested a trade in July, a request the Cardinals didn't honor then and apparently won't this offseason, either.

"A lot of times players, out of frustration or for whatever reason, may go into a meeting and come out saying some things they may regret," Mozeliak said (via MLB.com's Matthew Leach ). "But a lot of times, you have to understand, these things never get out there. In this particular case, it's been festering for a while. But I can assure you, Colby's not  going to be treaded. I can assure you that some of the things he's dealing with are typical growing pains that young players go through. When I look at the talent he brings to the table, and when I think about how I could replace that, I realize that would be a very difficult task ahead."

As for the payroll, the Cardinals don't have much flexibility to go anywhere but up when it comes to the team's nearly $100-million payroll, especially if the team agrees to an extension with Albert Pujols.

The only big salary coming off the books is Brad Penny, who made $7.5 million this season. Kyle Lohse and Adam Wainwright are also scheduled for bumps in salary.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: July 26, 2010 9:55 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:57 am

Cardinals not optimistic they can get Oswalt

Roy Oswalt If you take most trade market musings from general managers with a grain of salt, this week keep a salt lick ready, because there's more bluffing this week than ever.

In that vein, here's a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch 's Joe Strauss that says the Cardinals are bowing out of the Roy Oswalt sweepstakes.

"At this point, it's entirely possible that there may not be a deal out there," Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said. "We're continuing to explore avenues, but as we speak I can't say I'm encouraged."

What may have been left out is Mozeliak starting that sentence with "awww shucks" while pawing at the ground with his foot, before finishing it by pushing up his hat and adding another offer.

As it stands, Mozeliak would be more encouraged if the Astros had any interest in taking Brendan Ryan off his hands in return for Oswalt, but for now, the Astros seem to think they can get more than a nice hosiery model for the three-time All-Star.

Oswalt, for his part, reportedly wants to be a Cardinal and the Cardinals want him. He'd certainly be better than Jeff Suppan or the wildly inconsistent Kyle Lohse. The Cardinals may believe Lohse is just as good of a gamble as any of the other starters on the market, such as Jake Westbrook, Ted Lilly or Jeremy Guthrie.

Lohse is scheduled to pitch tonight at Triple-A Memphis and hopes to join the team next month. Brad Penny, on the other hand, may not be able to return this season, Mozeliak said.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com