ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- It looks like every major move Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak made during the off season was a good one.
The Cardinals are looking like the class of the National League Central, and the decisions made by Mozeliak are a big reason for that. For starters, not agreeing to give Albert Pujols a 10-year, $240 million contract may turn out to be the best deal the Cardinals never made.
Pujols’ batting average is floundering below the .200 mark, and he still has only one home run through the first month and a half of the season.
The day after Albert signed with the Angels, Mozeliak said he was “relieved” to have the situation resolved. I’m sure both he and owner Bill DeWitt Jr. are more than just relieved right now. They’re probably jumping up and down, slapping each other on the back, giddy with excitement that they didn’t allow themselves to get handcuffed by Pujols’ outrageous salary for the next 10 years.
Other moves Mozeliak made are looking just as shrewd. Carlos Beltran had a recent history of injuries, but Mozeliak signed him to a two-year, $26 million dollar contract. Beltran is putting together an All-Star-caliber season with 10 homeruns and 26 RBI’s through Tuesday.
Many Cardinals fans thought Mozeliak spent unwisely when he gave Rafael Furcal a two-year deal for $14 million. Furcal has also delivered in a big way, leading the club with 40 hits and sporting a .342 batting average.
Yadier Molina was given a new $75 million dollar contract and he’s off to the best start of his career.
When Chris Carpenter got hurt in spring training, Mozeliak decided not to go outside the organization to find a replacement for the starting rotation. Lance Lynn was given the job, and all he’s done is win his first six starts and post a 1.40 ERA.
Jake Westbrook and Kyle Lohse were rumored to be the trade market in the offseason. Mozeliak decided not to part with either and both have been outstanding in the early weeks of the season.
Westbrook is 4-2 with a 1.76 ERA, while Lohse is 4-1 and sports 2.11 ERA.
It’s been remarkable, really, how every major decision Mozeliak made in shaping the 2012 Cardinals has been the correct one.
If you’re looking for an MVP on a team that has several worthy candidates, the most deserving guy just might be the general manager.