Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals will announce contract extensions for manager Mike Matheny and GM John Mozeliak today.
Mozeliak’s contract was through 2013, but will be extended. Matheny had a team option for 2014 and it will be exercised. No word yet on whether either are getting pay increases or years beyond 2014. UPDATE: Jennifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Mozeliak’s extension will take him through 2016.
Matheny, despite no managerial experience, did a fine job last year. He showed some inexperience at times but everyone is going to suffer in comparison to Tony La Russa, and Matheny didn’t suffer that much. He seems to have the confidence of his players, the front office and the fan base, and that’s what really matters. For Mozeliak’s part, all he has done is keep the Cardinals competitive while overseeing a minor league system which was just ranked number one by Keith Law.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Indians and Padres are still discussing a potential trade for a starting pitcher, namely Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer. Rosenthal adds that a deal isn’t close and is unlikely to occur before Opening Day. The Padres are balking at the Indians’ asking prices for the two starters.
The Padres could certainly use an ace at the top of the rotation. With the addition of Manny Machado, the lineup is looking decent, but beyond Joey Lucchesi, the starting pitching doesn’t inspire confidence.
Kluber, who turns 33 years old next month, has club options for the next two seasons at $13.5 million and $14 million with $1 million buyouts each. Last year, the right-hander finished third in AL Cy Young balloting, finishing 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA and a 222/34 K/BB ratio in 215 innings.
Bauer, 28, is earning $13 million this season and will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration heading into 2020. Last year, Bauer went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA and a 221/57 K/BB ratio across 175 1/3 innings.
The Indians are the prohibitive favorites in the AL Central once again, but that has as much to do with the mediocrity of the rest of the division as the Indians’ commitment to competing. If the Indians were to trade either or both starters, that would be good news for the Twins, who are projected to be 15 games worse than the Indians but still finish in second place, according to PECOTA from Baseball Prospectus.