JUPITER, FLA. (AP) - The St. Louis Cardinals announced a three-year contract extension with general manager John Mozeliak on Thursday and exercised the 2014 option for manager Mike Matheny, hoping the pair will keep the team contending for the World Series.
“We just wanted to solidify their standing in the organization and keep the continuity of the baseball operations going,” chairman William DeWitt said, adding that the vision of the organization is to “win a championship but not at the expense of mortgaging our future.”
Mozeliak, an 18-year veteran of the Cardinals front office, is credited with acquiring players such as All-Stars Matt Holliday, David Freese, Carlos Beltran, Lance Berkman and Rafael Furcal in his five years as GM. He signed All-Star catcher Yadier Molina to a long-term deal last spring.
“Since taking over in 2007 the results on the field speak for themself,” DeWitt said of his GM. “Beyond that we have total alignment on our vision for this organization and that is to compete year in and year out at the major league level and we know the only way to do that consistently is to have a strong player procurement and development program.”
“I had to shake my head a couple of times because I really didn’t know that was a topic of conversation,” said Matheny, 42. “I felt like I had a lot to do and a long way to do and I still feel that way. It’s special to be wanted to be a part of this organization moving ahead.”
“Even though his learning curve had to be very quick given his experience level coming into this he did an amazing job,” Mozeliak said. “I really believe his future is really bright and I really believe this group is positioned to have a lot of success in the future.”
The Cardinals were 88-74 in Matheny’s rookie year. After defeating Atlanta in the wild-card playoff, they eliminated the Nationals in five games in the division series and lost Game 7 of the NLCS to the Giants after taking a 3-1 series lead.
“They’ve given us an opportunity and given us the personnel to go out and compete every year and this year is no different,” Matheny said. “And you look at the talent that has been developed and is on the way it’s exciting to think about the future.”
By Elaine Donnelly
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