ORLANDO (KMOX) – Still with a few meetings to attend late Tuesday night, St. Louis Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak joined KMOX to talk about his “busy” day 2 at the MLB Winter Meetings in Orlando. A day when St. Louis was reported to be involved in multiple deals for All-Stars and MVP candidates, Mozeliak believes they were able to “move the needle.”
Here is the full conversation between Mozeliak and our Chris Hrabe and Mike Claiborne:
On Tuesday, rumors hit Twitter from the likes of The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale and Sirus XM’s Craig Mish connecting St. Louis to deals with the Baltimore Orioles for Manny Machado, the Miami Marlins for Marcell Ozuna and the Tampa Bay Rays for Alex Colome.
Although Mozeliak did not comment on any deal that may or may not be in the works, he did say he feels “there is some optimism” for deals to be made this week.
Mozeliak says most of his time has been focused on the trade market, rather than free agents.
One of those trade rumors being with Baltimore for Machado. The 25-year-old will be going into the final year of his contact in 2018, and Mozeliak talked about the idea of acquiring a player with such limited club control.
It’s something St. Louis has done in the past and been successful at retaining players, like Matt Holliday, Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds and Mark McGwire. But most recently wasn’t able to keep Jason Heyward after one year of service.
“We sometime take a jab, if you will, that we hold on to our prospects too long, but I think people need to realize we have had a lot of success and we’ve won a lot of baseball games and the reason we’ve done that is we’ve tried to maintain our best talent,” Mozeliak says. “So when you’re reflecting on what you have to give up for one year of performance, it’s hard to win those types of deals.”
Mozeliak was not talking about Machado or any specific player, but reports say the Orioles would be looking for “two young, controllable starting pitchers” in return for the infield-MVP candidate.
Another deal St. Louis was rumored to be involved in was a trade with Miami for Marcell Ozuna, who as Hrabe wrote on Tuesday is a Giancarlo “Stanton Lite” in terms of power, but a plus defensive option in the outfield. Nightengale called St. Louis the “favorites” to sign Ozuna.
Then even another deal had St. Louis at the top of the rumor mill, Tuesday, as Tampa Bay closer Alex Colome is being shopped. It’s a deal that’s been talked about in the past month, and might also include third baseman Evan Longoria.