St. Louis Cardinals: How Well Did John Mozeliak Do at the Winter Meetings?
Perhaps that was his objective, but for anxious Cardinal fans who were left with a pretty sour taste in their mouth after blowing a 3-1 series lead against the Giants in the NLCS, I think they were hoping for something more to happen.
Mozeliak did address a major issue with the Cardinals' bullpen by adding lefty Randy Choate. Choate had a very solid 2012, posting a 3.03 ERA as a lefty specialist. While appearing in 80 games, Choate did not post a record and only pitched 38.2 innings. However, he showed his value in that he held left-handed batters to a .158 batting average.
Choate will be a welcomed addition to a Cardinals bullpen that had gaping holes from the left side. Marc Rzepczynski struggled mightily in 2012, Brian Fuentes didn't pan out and Barret Browning still needs some seasoning in the minor leagues.
So one problem solved. But what to do about a regular second baseman? Mozeliak didn't make a play for a regular second baseman during the winter meetings. Perhaps the "kicking the tires" approach will work to see what is out there.
Mozeliak did meet briefly with Marco Scutaro's agent, but he was quickly re-signed by the Giants. The second base position is the only everyday position that needs shoring up for the Cardinals. Mozeliak and Cardinals skipper Mike Matheny expect Rafael Furcal to be ready to go at shortstop in 2013, but Daniel Descalso is the scheduled starter at this point.
Descalso had some clutch hits during the postseason and has always had a good glove, but the guy can't hit on a regular basis. He is not everyday material, at least from the numbers he has put up so far in the big leagues.
Who Should the Cardinals put at Second Base in 2013?
Overall, I think Mozeliak addressed a big need but left the second base matter unfinished, so I would grade him at a nice solid B for his efforts this week.
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