Calling the organization's offseason activity "short" and "quick," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak spoke on Tuesday as someone who appears to have wrapped up his work constructing a 2014 team that seems poised to compete for the World Series championship it fell just short of this past season.
As he took questions for the first time since the organization added Mark Ellis, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak admitted that he was surprised at how quickly an agreement was reached with the 36-year-old infielder.
The Cardinals' 2014 coaching staff is now complete after general manager John Mozeliak officially announced the hire of David Bell on Tuesday. Bell will work alongside former teammate John Mabry as the team's assistant hitting coach.
Despite overtures from clubs willing to promise more playing time and a more clearly defined role, Mark Ellis said he found himself drawn to an opportunity with the Cardinals that offered an even more appealing guarantee -- the assurance of joining a team built to contend for championships.
The Cardinals announced on Friday that their television partner, FOX Sports Midwest, will feature a new studio in Ballpark Village and put its name to the entertainment marketplace featured in the center of the new construction.
It should be no surprise that the Cardinals' front office came and went from central Florida having stirred up little attention at this year's Winter Meetings. Such is the advantageous position the Cardinals could take after addressing their most glaring holes well before baseball's annual gathering.
Shortly after Mike Matheny stood before members of the Playing Rules Committee and articulated the effect concussions have had on his life, the Cardinals manager watched as Major League Baseball took a step forward toward banning home-plate collisions.
Though the Cardinals continue the process of increasing their presence and operations internationally, general manager John Mozeliak suggested that the club still remains about a year away from potentially becoming serious players in those markets.
The Cardinals are in the process of finalizing an agreement that would bring David Bell to St. Louis as the team's next assistant hitting coach. General manager John Mozeliak chose not to comment on those negotiations while meeting with the media on Tuesday, but he did confirm that the rest of the Cardinals' Major League staff will be returning in 2014.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, along with Giants manager Bruce Bochy, will lead a discussion on Wednesday urging Major League Baseball's general managers and managers to eliminate home-plate collisions.
A day after the Memphis City Council delayed its vote on the Cardinals' proposal to purchase their Triple-A affiliate, Cards general manager John Mozeliak said he is "still optimistic we can find a way to get this done."
Mike Matheny discussed the dilemma of fitting an excess of starting pitching candidates onto a roster that features only five rotation spots, and how Jon Jay still fits on a club that recently added another center fielder to the mix. Matheny talked at length, too, about where Jhonny Peralta can find a fit in an organization that has long boasted of holding its players to higher standards on and off the field.
The obstruction call heard 'round the world was celebrated again on Tuesday, as Allen Craig received a GIBBY for top Postseason Moment of 2013. Also taking home a GIBBY was Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, once again voted the game's top defender.
After debating for nearly four hours on Monday night, the Memphis City Council again delayed its vote on a proposal that would permit the Cardinals to purchase the Triple-A Redbirds franchise and Memphis to take ownership of AutoZone Park. The Council will meet to discuss the issue again on Dec. 17.
A right-handed-hitting infielder remains atop the Cardinals' offseason wish list, but general manager John Mozeliak said he feels no pressure to ensure that a deal gets done during his four-day stay at the Winter Meetings.
Though top prospect Oscar Taveras has still not resumed running, a recent medical checkup by the Cardinals left the organization confident that Taveras will be 100 percent recovered from ankle surgery by the time Spring Training opens.
Tony La Russa's legacy will be that he won the third-most games in history (2,728), revolutionized the use of the modern bullpen, and consistently put guys in a position to succeed. But his real genius was dealing with players, getting them to focus and to believe.
Big trades can happen anywhere, and a crowded hotel bar is certainly no exception. Walt Jocketty and John Schuerholz settled into a couple of cocktails and some good conversation the first night of the 2003 Winter Meetings at the New Orleans Marriott, laying the groundwork for a deal that would involve J.D. Drew, Jason Marquis and Adam Wainwright.