From his greeting to farewell, St. Louis Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak spent nearly fifty minutes (47:06) speaking with media this afternoon at the team’s Winter Warm-Up event and covered a variety of topics facing the organization.
Perhaps because it followed his Q&A session with fans–or maybe the cups of coffee he had already consumed, but even by his own standards, Mozeliak was especially quick with the wit and one-liners.
“Would it have been nicer to see Lackey end up in Australia, sure–but that didn’t happen,” was a more humorous example as Mozeliak explained he was not naive, but was not getting caught up in the moves made this off-season by the Chicago Cubs.
Mozeliak also answered not once or twice, but multiple variations of questions regarding as to why the Cardinals chose to stay with internal options such as Matt Adams, Randal Grichuk, Brandon Moss, and Stephen Piscotty versus outside names like Yoenis Cespedes, Chris Davis, or Justin Upton.
“It’s really about understanding that we are trying to give these guys a chance to play–that’s why you have a farm system,” stated Mozeliak. “That’s why you have such a competitive path to get here and ultimately, you hope you get that chance to do it.”
The General Manager turned to an analogy when the topic came back up a little later.
“If you can imagine having multiple cars in your garage and you seem to drive the same one every day, at some point, you may ask yourself ‘well, does the other one work?’ You have to give it a chance. You have to go test-drive it. You have to let it out of the garage and find out if it’s what you thought it is. To me, whenever you simply go out and just get that proven commodity it could end up because you need it–and that makes a lot of sense. It could be, because you ignore that, it could be because you want to give that person that chance and I feel like that’s sort of the crossroads we’re at.
“I always feel like I can always look our players in the eye and tell them they’ve got a chance. Right? Some places, you can’t do that because you’re always back-filling from the free agent market. It might be because of need or it might be because they just feel more comfortable getting the proven player. But, one thing that I think we’ve been able to be advocates for in our minor-leagues, is if you do your job and you do it well, you’ll get a chance.”
The chance is now for Randal Grichuk, Tommy Pham, and Stephen Piscotty. The same can be said for Matt Adams and Brandon Moss, who like the others are being taken out of the garage to show what they can do.