Talking With John Mozeliak

For the third straight year, John Mozeliak has been gracious enough to answer some submitted questions from the members of the United Cardinal Bloggers.  We throw a variety of questions at him and he answers a select few.  This year, 11 bloggers participated and fired a total of 47 questions of varying subject matter at the general manager.  Mo answered a little over 60% of them and the bloggers and podcasters that asked the questions will be publishing those answers over the next week or two, so keep on a lookout for those.

This year, Mozeliak answered three of the six questions I submitted.  He passed on the strangeness of this October, whether the Cubs success spurs moves more than any other team, and how comfortable the organization is with their Cuban scouting.  Here are the questions he did tackle.  Please note that we started compiling these questions in early November, so a few things may have changed between when we asked them and when he answered them today.

C70: Is there an expectation inside the industry that the qualifying offer mechanism will be modified or eliminated in the upcoming CBA? How have those negotiations affected this winter’s market?

Mo: Yes, the details are still coming out. It was something important to the players, but nothing will change this off-season. It will change post 2017 season.

C70: Does the fact that some upcoming free agent classes appear to be so deep impact how you approach this offseason?

Mo: Yes, we want to be aware of future free agent classes. In terms of how we address 2017 versus our long-term strategy is something we debate, and we understand the free agent class helps answer that. Our focus is to improve the upcoming year, and we think there are solutions out there.

C70: What’s the funniest trade suggestion you’ve ever read from a fan or writer? Also, if you read blogs, are you occasionally tempted to comment pointing out just how far off base the writer is?

Mo: The funniest trade discussions probably are ones for example that center around someone like Mike Trout. It’s just unrealistic and puts a smile on your face, but it’s not going to happen. Really there are times where it’s just so crazy it’s almost insane – so you just move on.

In terms of responding: the answer is yes, but I remind myself it’s not prudent and show restraint.

As always, I’m appreciative of Mo’s time with us both here and at the Blogger Day the Cards have hosted over the past few years.  There’s nothing in his job description that says he has to acknowledge this obsessive section of the fanbase, but he does it and seems to enjoy it.  The answers this year aren’t very in depth, though again that is partly a function of how many he had to answer, but let’s look at them anyway.

Of course, we’re hearing a lot today about the collective bargaining agreement that the players and owners agreed to last night, even if all the details haven’t seemed to be hammered out.  There won’t be a first round pick attached to free agents in the coming years, which should make for a little more activity on the free agent market.  On the flip side, that probably also means fewer players will be extended a qualifying offer, because the only way that it made sense often was that the player would decline and the team would get a nice top pick.

The lack of a first round pick will be big in the next couple of years as some deep free agent classes are scheduled to hit the market.  Mo could have probably bought himself a little cover with the “why aren’t they spending” crowd if he said that the plan was to be aggressive in years where there were actual top talents available.  It’s not surprising that he wouldn’t want to commit to that in writing, of course, but I know that some folks would feel a little better if they knew it was the quality of players available that was keeping them quiet, not a lack of desire to spend.

And in case you were wondering, we can officially shut down any Mike Trout rumors.  Unless that’s what Mo wants us to think……  The amount of restraint to resist commenting on some Twitter or blog projected trade has to be immense, especially when you think it’s crazy.  (Though I do wonder if any GM has ever been inspired by reading a blog trade to at least explore it.)

Again, keep an eye out for some of the other questions and answers that turned out much better than mine!

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