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Mozeliak not looking to pounce late in FA market

Cardinals GM confident in current roster after acquiring Goldschmidt, Miller
January 19, 2019

ST. LOUIS -- Though the Cardinals continue to monitor a slow-moving free-agent market with an open mind, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak insisted on Saturday that the organization isn't necessarily preparing to pounce."We don't feel like there's that one player out there that if we could target we'd go

ST. LOUIS -- Though the Cardinals continue to monitor a slow-moving free-agent market with an open mind, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak insisted on Saturday that the organization isn't necessarily preparing to pounce.
"We don't feel like there's that one player out there that if we could target we'd go after if we're patient enough," Mozeliak said. "It's just really sort of understanding what's there. But I don't see anything that makes us want to change direction at this point."
That can change, of course, especially if players seeking Major League contracts begin settling for Minor League deals or shorter commitments. That sort of landscape contributed to the Cardinals inking Bud Norris right before Spring Training last year and Greg Holland just after it ended.
But Mozeliak described a confluence of factors in play, including a full roster and an offseason goal sheet already completed. They achieved their stated desire to improve the offense with a trade for Paul Goldschmidt and boosted the bullpen by brining Andrew Miller into it. Both moves came before Christmas.

As for the roster, not only is it full at 40, but the Cards want to be prudent with their prospect protection.
"We've always approached our organization or our team building as opportunistic," Mozeliak said. "So if there was something out there that we still felt could make a difference, we would do that. But I will say that we are pretty confident in the roster we have, and I'm not sure that there's a lot of younger players we want to take off our roster just to make a move."
Roster space wouldn't get in the way of the Cardinals adding players under Minor League contracts, and they have had a run of successful such signings in recent years. Those included Norris last year and Pat Neshek before that.
As for the trade market, it, too, has cooled. Expectations of Jose Martinez being dealt have diminished since the Winter Meetings, when the Cardinals engaged in conversations with interested teams. Cost expectations never matched, and St. Louis feels no reason to let go of Martinez for an insufficient return.
"I think there's still some pieces on our team that people have some interest in," Mozeliak said. "But I would say overall, it's not something that we're actively pursuing at this time."

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.