Now that September 1st has past and the Cardinals’ roster for this year is set, it is time to sit back and evaluate our GM. As many of you remember, John Mozeliak walked into an Interim job as GM in early October 2007. Shortly later, on October 30, he accepted a 3 year contract as the Cardinal’s new General Manager. Mozeliak has, in his time as a Redbird, made the following transactions:
Note concerning payroll: As mentioned in the Chicken or the Egg? Post, different sources will cite different numbers due to a team’s payroll being different at the beginning (projected) than at the end of the year (actual)…with changes being made to the roster throughout the season. Some sites (ex. Baseball Reference) do not calculate the DL into their figure. To keep things consistent I used the following reverences: Projected values were taken from USA today and the Actual values I couldn’t find (help is welcome). The actual should include salaries and prorated shares of signing bonuses, earned incentive bonuses, non-cash compensation, buyouts of unexercised options, and cash transactions, whereas the USA Today projected salaries are for the Major League Baseball players on opening day rosters and disabled lists. Never thought of it before, but minor league (ML) contracts do not affect MLB payroll…at least that’s what I’ve gathered.
2006 Team (Jockety): Projected-$88,891,371
2007 Team (Jockety): Projected-$90,286,823
2008 Team (Mozeliak): Projected-$99,624,449
October 2007 as Interim: (Added: 15.25million, Subtracted: 0 to 2008 team)
Signed Joel Pineiro to 2year 13million (5.5million for 08).
Picked up Jason Isringhausen option 1year 8million.
Signed Russ Springer 1year 3.5million (1.75million increase).
Granted Randy Keisler Free Agency (minor league contract).
Granted the following players Free Agency/Release: Mike Maroth, Danny Ardoin, Gary Bennett, Miguel Cairo , Troy Cate, David Eckstein, Brian Esposito, Chris Narveson, Troy Percival, Mike Smith, Mike Venafro, Russell Branyan, Kelly Stinnett, Kip Wells, Preston Wilson, So Taguchi, Brian Falkenborg, Andy Cavazos, John Rodriguez, Scott Spiezio, Matt Clement.
Signed Rico Washington 1year $390,000.
Signed John Wasdin as a ML free agent.
Signed Mark L. Johnson as a ML free agent.
Signed Dewon Brazelton as a ML free agent.
Signed Cesar Izturis 1 year 2.85million.
Signed D'Angelo Jimenez Spring training invitee.
Signed Jason LaRue 1 year $850,000.
Signed Cliff Politte as a ML free agent.
Signed Matt Clement 1year 1.5million.
Signed Aaron Miles 1 year 1.4million.
Signed Ron Flores 1year 1million.
Signed Josh Phelps spring training invitee.
Signed Ron Villone 1year $600,000.
Signed Kyle Lohse 1year 4.25million.
Signed Felipe Lopez as a ML free agent.
Drafted Brian Barton from Cleveland (rule 5 draft)
2008 Conclusion: Increase in Team Projected payroll of $9,337,626. Lots of this money is designated for Jockety’s contracts including some noteable ones that didn’t contribute– Clement 1.25million, Encarnacion 6.5million, and Mulder 7million (over 15million for nothing). Mo’s year of restructuring…although I don’t think he ever called it that. IMO, he deserves a B+; nothing spectacular, but several good pick-ups and a good trade or two.
2009 Team (Mozeliak): Projected-$77,605,109
Granted the following players Free Agency/Release: Rico Washington, Josh Phelps, Mark Mulder, Mark L. Johnson, Cesar Izturis, Jason LaRue, Braden Looper, Felipe Lopez, Russ Springer, Ron Villone, Jason Isringhausen, Ron Flores, D'Angelo Jimenez, Cliff Politte, John Wasdin, Juan Encarnacion, Randy Flores, Tyler Johnson, Aaron Miles, Adam Kennedy
Signed Jason LaRue 1year $950,000
Signed Trever Miller 1year $500,000.
Signed Justin Knoedler as a ML free agent
Signed Joe Thurston 1year $475,000.
Signed Royce Ring 1year 475,000.
Signed Dennys Reyes 2year 3million
Signed John Smoltz to 1year cheap thousand
Agreed to terms with outfielder Wagner Mateo
2009 Conclusion: The payroll figure above is pretty much useless due to the significant changes to the club this year. Lots of money came off the books (see above) which freed us up to spend some. There are obvious plusses and minuses to Mo’s trades this year so it makes it difficult to put them all in a bundle and grade them. IMO, he deserves a B-; very good pickups of Miller and Smoltz and some wish washy trades. Personally, I love the team that Mo’s put together, however I sure will miss Walrus and Todd.
Overall: It is complicated and subjective to try to compare GM’s, but I believe it is necessary to evaluate what we have in John Mozeliak. IMO, Mo has done a good job with what he has been given, and he deserves a solid B. I know there are differing opinions on Mo and this is the place to state ‘em…fire away. This is my first post; please take it easy.