Historically, the Cardinals have not been big players in the free agency market. Soon to be flush with more cash than ever from the recently signed TV deal, many of us fans had hoped this would be the year for a big splash in the free agent pool. Unlike many of the sentiments I have read online about the Cardinals falling short on David Price and Jason Heyward, I don't believe that this was by design. I believe Mozeliak and the Cardinals' brain trust had legitimate interest in signing at least one, if not both of these targets. They had a price in mind based on their valuations of the players and the market and they made their offers. Unfortunately for them and Cardinals' fans alike, these offers came up short. They didn't panic and adjust their offers like many teams do, forcing them to pay more than their perceived value. Instead, they calmly recoup and say things like, "it's clear now that this offseason is not going to have the dynamic signing that we tried to do with Price and Heyward."
There is no doubt that the Cardinals have holes on this roster that need to be filled in order to compete with the likes of the Cubs and Pirates in the NL Central(starting pitching and power anyone?). Based on Mozeliak's comments the other day, we are being led to believe that they have no plans of spending large amounts of money to fill these gaps. That could mean that they plan on finding options through the trade market for a player such as Carlos Gonzalez; however, I don't see Mozeliak trading several pitching prospects or a major league ready prospect or two for two years of Gonzalez after doing so last offseason with Heyward. They could rely on more strategic signings of oft-forgotten veterans that, with the help of some tweaks from our coaching staff and the backing of the best fans in the game, end up reviving their careers. There are certainly more than a few of these options on the market right now.
Maybe Mozeliak means it when he says no "dynamic signings now." It is certainly possible that he will only look for a couple journeymen innings eaters to help fill out the rotation and bullpen and roll with the internal options for 1st Base and the outfield. There is another possibility, though. Maybe he is saying these things to regain leverage with any of the bigger free agents that he would like to target. The agents of Alex Gordon, Chris Davis, and Justin Upton will certainly try to use the fact that we just lost out on our targets against us in any negotiations to increase their leverage for more favorable terms for their clients. If you publicly dismiss any possibility of signing one of their clients and those players don't sign over the next 3-4 weeks(which is more likely than not), it would help bring leverage back to the Cardinals' side if they do indeed have any interest in those players. Mozeliak signing someone like Alex Gordon or Chris Davis in mid-January seems to be a much more realistic scenario than him trading away numerous young pitching prospects for an older and often injured player such as CarGo.
I think Mozeliak's history speaks for itself. He has been instrumental in building one of, if not the best, sports franchises in the world. The Cardinals' success since his tenure began has been tremendous. He signed the largest contract in the history of the franchise with Matt Holliday which has proven to be a good one. He didn't overspend to bring back an aging Albert Pujols that would have hamstrung the franchise for years to come. He signed Wainwright and Molina to team friendly contracts. Seriously, look at what Wainwright signed for just two years ago compared to what guys are getting today. He would have easily been a $200M man! He is not perfect for sure. Trading Miller and Jenkins for Heyward doesn't look the best now, but was a risk necessary to help us win in 2015(which we did and if not for an abnormal amount of injuries who knows what October could have been), and he almost brought him back long term. Trading Kaminisky for two years of Moss hasn't proven to be great yet, but Moss could return to form this year, and maybe Kaminisky's talent is never realized. One thing is for sure...I believe he has earned the benefit of the doubt and there is still time to make improvements for 2016. Cardinal Nation...whatever he decides in the coming month/s, it is clear now that In Mozeliak We Should Trust!
Thanks for reading.