Cardinals news from a Sabermetric point of view

Mozeliak-Matheny administration to continue

The Cardinals are going to stay the course, managerially speaking. From the Post-Dispatch:

The Cardinals this morning announced a three-year contract extension for general manager John Mozeliak. The club also will pick up the option for 2014 on manager Mike Matheny’s contract.

Mozeliak, who is entering his sixth season as the team’s general manager, had his contract extended through 2016.

As the following chart shows, the Cardinals are among the most organizationally conservative teams, so the news is hardly surprising:

The chart actually understates the matter. We picked as our arbitrary starting point the 1993 season, which is the season of origin for the Rockies and Marlins. But had we started in 1998 (Arizona’s debut season), the Cardinals would have had only two managers and two GMs in the period since, tying for first with the Braves for lowest turnover.

The franchise doesn’t make hasty moves, and once you’re in and prove yourself, the Cardinals employ a certain kind of St. Louis-esque loyalty and appreciation. Another way of looking at it is that the club tends to take a pragmatic, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it approach.” This mentality of course leads to some conventional and safe decisions, which we’ve lamented in the past, both in Matheny’s (here and here) and Mozeliak’s records (here, here, here). But on the other hand, the risk aversion benefits the team, too, in that they are loathe to overspend and enter into contracts that may please some in the short term but have disastrous long-term consequences. We commend Mozeliak in particular for this approach. And we mean it only in the best way when we say that the current administration’s conservatism is perhaps embodied in the fact that the best deal of Mozeliak’s tenure is the one that he didn’t make.

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