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Cardinals announce extensions for Shildt, Mozeliak, Girsch

The Cardinals top brass are now all under contract through at least 2022.
Credit: AP Images KSDK

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cardinals manager Mike Shildt has a new three-year contract through the 2022 season.

Shildt was hired in 2018 and his initial deal ran through 2020.

At its end-of-season news conference Tuesday, St. Louis announced the deal, as well as deals for president of baseball operations John Mozeliak and general manager Mike Girsch. 

Mozeliak received a three-year extension through 2023. The Cardinals exercised a 2020 option on Girsch and gave him a two-year extension through 2022.

"What Mo and his group have accomplished since he took over in 2008 as the head of our baseball ops is pretty impressive," Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said. "We've been in the playoffs seven times. We've had 12 consecutive winning seasons, two pennants, a world championship. ... We continue to have a robust farm system, which is not easy to do. When you have winning seasons, you don't draft high. But we've got a very strong scouting and player development group."

Hired as interim manager to replace Mike Matheny on July 14, 2018, and given the job that Aug. 28, Shildt led the Cardinals to a 91-71 record and their first NL Central title since 2015. The Cardinals beat Atlanta in the NL Division Series, then were swept by eventual World Series champion Washington in the Championship Series.

Shildt is an NL Manager of the Year finalist.

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"There's not a lot of room for change," Mozeliak said. "But we recognize if we can create some that we should."

Mozeliak said the team was discussing a 2020 contract with 38-year-old right-hander Adam Wainwright, who was 14-10 with a 4.19 ERA in his 14th season with the Cardinals. Wainwright had a $2 million base salary in 2019 and earned $8 million in performance bonuses based on starts.

"Clearly both parties would like to find a way to make it work," Mozeliak said, adding he hoped to reach a deal within two weeks.

After the Cardinals' elimination, Mozeliak had coffee with third baseman Matt Carpenter, who slumped to a .226 average with 15 homers and 46 RBIs. Mozeliak views it as "an outlier."

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"He had much higher expectations," Mozeliak said. "He's going to spend his offseason in preparing and trying to do some things to change that trajectory. So in terms of my confidence or our confidence in him, it's high."

St. Louis said Shildt's coaching staff will return for next season and promoted Jeremy Cohen to senior director of baseball development, Kevin Seats to baseball analytics director, Patrick Casanta to systems director, Matt Bayer to project director, Javier Duran to coordinator of technology and innovation and Tyler Hadzinsky to assistant director of scouting.

"You've seen the same faces up here, but underneath there's been a lot of vibrancy and change," DeWitt said. "We always bring in smart, young, new talent, and I feel like we continue to be pretty cutting edge in analytics and how we operate the business."

Girsch, hired by the Cardinals in 2006, talked about the vast change in recent years.

"When I started we did stuff on spreadsheets because you could, and now you can't," Girsch said. "You need cloud-based databases to manage all the data. You need people to deal with the amount of information we have available to us just to have it organized and ready to go before you decide how to implement it."

Mozeliak praised his senior staff, which includes assistant general manager Moises Rodriguez, assistant general manager and director of scouting Randy Flores, director of player development Gary LaRocque and director of international operations Luis Morales.

"Not going to do this forever," Mozeliak said, "so having a way to think about succession and giving people that opportunity to grow I think is most important. We certainly don't want to be a broken record. We certainly don't want to be an organization that doesn't feel like we're trying to innovate or be fresh."

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