The UCB, as a group recently sent a bunch of questions to Cardinal’s GM John Mozeliak, and he answered every single one. Here are the questions I ask: In hindsight, I wish I’d asked more questions some more thought provoking ones, but this was my first GM interview, so I thought I did ok.
How does the Oscar Taveras tragedy affect your drafting strategy going forward? While it is a very sad incident, baseball is still a business, whether we like it or not, so you obviously have to adapt in situations like this. Do you look for another OF bat or just another special bat, period? Or does it not affect the draft strategy at all?
John: Our draft strategy is always to draft the best players we can, whether it’s hitters or pitchers. One thing I know is Oscar is not replaceable and to try to chase that – we would end up being disappointed.
Do you consult with Matheny on both possible draftees and trade targets, is it more “here’s what you have Mike”, or is it somewhere in between?
John: Our draft is run by Dan Kantrovitz, and Mike Matheny is consulted on potential trade targets or potential trades, as well as free agents.
Without naming any names, are you targeting any big name free agents with intention to sign and not just putting feelers out?
John: I never comment on the free agent market, but clearly if we feel there is an opportunity to improve the club we will certainly engage. ”
What do you consider your biggest need this off-season?
John: I feel we’ve addressed it already with the addition of Heyward. Now I think it’s still looking at bullpen depth and potentially a right-handed bat off the bench.
Have you considered letting Yadi platoon at first base or is that just a pipe dream of some bloggers?
John: A perfect question for the manager. I would say that is a good idea. (This question was asked by both me and Ben Chambers from The View From Here, go check out his questions with Mo.)
All in all pretty diplomatic, which makes sense. As a GM, you try to keep things close to your vest so as to not give anything away to you opponents. I did find it interesting that Matheny was consulted on various roster moves. So if Matheny approved an acquisition, say Peter Bourjos, why didn’t he play more? Something to think about.
As always, thanks for reading.