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Mozeliak: 'We were pretty active' this offseason

Cards GM confident in adjustments made to team heading into camp
MLB.com @JoeTrezz

JUPITER, Fla. -- John Mozeliak heard the question, diverted his eyed, and sighed. Had the Cubs not added Yu Darvish days before, or the Brewers not revamped their roster so splashily, or a small army of unsigned free agents not mobilized just a few hours' drive away, perhaps the perception of his club heading into camp would be different.

After the Cardinals ran out a virtually league-average offense last season, the club traded two outfielders and acquired Marcell Ozuna, who broke out with 37 home runs for the Marlins in 2017. After a year's worth of frustration in the late innings, the club parted ways with its three most high-profile relievers, flooding its bullpen picture with new faces. Miles Mikolas was added from Japan and former nemeses Bud Norris and Luke Gregerson were signed as free agents.

JUPITER, Fla. -- John Mozeliak heard the question, diverted his eyed, and sighed. Had the Cubs not added Yu Darvish days before, or the Brewers not revamped their roster so splashily, or a small army of unsigned free agents not mobilized just a few hours' drive away, perhaps the perception of his club heading into camp would be different.

After the Cardinals ran out a virtually league-average offense last season, the club traded two outfielders and acquired Marcell Ozuna, who broke out with 37 home runs for the Marlins in 2017. After a year's worth of frustration in the late innings, the club parted ways with its three most high-profile relievers, flooding its bullpen picture with new faces. Miles Mikolas was added from Japan and former nemeses Bud Norris and Luke Gregerson were signed as free agents.

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While the world seems to be screaming for the Cardinals to add from the pool of still-available free agents (Greg Holland? Logan Morrison? Lance Lynn?), Mozeliak puzzles at the perception.

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"To me, it felt like a very normal and busy offseason," Mozeliak said. "And for some reason, it doesn't seem like we've done much."

And so the question remains: Coming off two consecutive playoff misses, in this historically stagnant offseason, have the Cardinals done enough?

"From an internal standpoint, I feel like we have," Mozeliak said. "That's not to say that there couldn't be some things that we do between now and the time when we get to Opening Day. We're very confident in the group we've brought in here now."

It's a group, if you include the entire 40-man roster, that's turned over by more than 25 percent since the end of last season.

Video: Outlook: Ozuna looks to continue success with Cards

Ozuna's bat should bring a jolt, and his presence moves Tommy Pham and Dexter Fowler each over a spot in the outfield. Rookies may make up more than half the Cards' Opening Day bench. In the bullpen, Dominic Leone was brought in, and Conner Greene headlines a stable of hard-throwing prospects on the way. Alex Reyes, who missed all of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery, will return at some point.

(The club also spent a considerable amount of time this offseason attempting to acquire Giancarlo Stanton, who the Marlins eventually traded to the Yankees.)

If the Cardinals don't make the playoffs, it'll be the first time since the late 1990s they failed to do so in three consecutive years. The way Mozeliak sees it, it won't be because this team isn't different from last season.

"We like our club," Mozeliak said. "We like where we're at. We've addressed our needs and what we needed to improve upon. When I look at our offseason, we were pretty active."

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @joetrezz.

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