It’s clear when one thinks of the St. Louis Cardinals of recent years, it doesn’t involve visions of grandeur or free agent splash signings. The club’s operated off a largely homegrown talent pool and hoped it would get them through.
And many internal guys have worked out great. Much of the Memphis youth movement impressed throughout much of the season, but here we are on Oct. 18 talking about the Cards instead of watching them…So, the standard recent Redbird way of building things might not be working, but do John Mozeliak and company agree they need a new blueprint?
As always, time will tell, the proof will be in the pudding, and we’ll see what happens. But our Cards insider Jen Langosch thinks the club might be seeing a different light this winter judging by Mozeliak’s comments and demeanor at this week’s exit press conference.
“I think what Mo and the Cardinals have recognized is that while they still prefer to draft and develop talent, there’s an understanding within the organization that they don’t have that elite talent from the position player side,” Langosch recently told ‘The Bernie Miklasz Show.’
“Not only do they not have it already at the Major League level, but they don’t necessarily have it at the high levels of the minor league system either,” she added. “To me, there was just an acknowledgement that ‘maybe we have to go somewhere else and find that, because we haven’t been able to draft and develop it as the preference would be.’
But as many Cards fans have let us know: They’ll believe it when they see it. Langosch echoed this sentiment of doing over saying and also shared why she believes the Cards might be tweaking their philosophy a bit.
“It’s great to say these things. I think actions will speak louder than words, but at least to me they were said in a way that was a little bit different than they have been in recent years,” she said. “So, they kind of struck me as a sense of a little more urgency this time around.”
And she’s not wrong, as one did notice a slightly different Mozeliak demeanor than in exit-pressers from recent years. Mo said lots of the same things, but he also admitted a trip from their comfort zone might be in the Cards (Pun intended).
“You’ve heard Mr. DeWitt speak and he’s not happy with where we are. He wants us to do better. He wants us back in the postseason,” Mo said.
“I understand it, I hear it and we’ll try and look at ways to do that. Is it going to be necessarily the most exciting or popular decisions? I don’t know,” he added. “I certainly understand there’s a lot of work to be done.”
“I’ve been referred to as the bridesmaid before, and then there’s other times I’ve been referred to with ’Do you regret (certain moves)?’ So there’s sort of that catch-22. We understand that there’s opportunity in this market and we have to be open-minded to see where that takes us.”
You can read more from Langosch’s ‘Bernie Show’ followed by the entire segment’s audio.
Jen on who she sees the Cards pursuing in free agency:
“If you’re looking at the (Manny) Machado-(Bryce) Harper sweepstakes, to me, Harper probably makes more sense for this club. Obviously they have needs at both right field and third base, so it just kind of sets up very well with who’s available. If you throw (Paul) Goldschmidt in there, certainly if you acquire a first baseman, you can easily shift Matt Carpenter across the diamond so that could be a fit as well.
“Are the Cardinals ready to be bidders? You know, they have the opportunity to be. They have the flexibility to be. At least we saw last year with their pursuit of Giancarlo Stanton that if they think it’s the right player, they are willing to go in terms of longevity of a contract and a very lucrative contract.
“I think Harper makes the most sense, bit I could also see a scenario that the Cardinals go after somebody in the next level like a Josh Donaldson or an A.J. Pollock and maybe build from that way too. I don’t think it’s all-in on a superstar, but I definitely think that they’re going to kick around the tires on what it could take to lure somebody like that to St. Louis.”
Stay connected with 101 ESPN for plenty of Cardinals talk as the offseason unfolds.