Mo's Cardinal Transactions

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    Paid - Annual

    I have developed a data base of the Cardinal transactions from 10-3-07 when John Mozailack was named Acting General Manager up until the 2019 all-star break. Over 13,000 manual entries but still pretty accurate.

    Does not included transactions involving free agent amateurs. No draftees or international free agents signed. Includes only players that performed in the major leagues after acquisiton by the Cardinals.

    Cardinal players granted free agents who were resigned without a break in service not included.

    Data will include all performances subsequent to the transactions.

    This will be an overview. I will drive down into the individual transactions in a later post.

    Position Players

    69 position players were acquired during the period. Included are 38 free agents, 26 by trade, 2 rule 5 drafts and 3 waiver acquisitions. 28 of the 69 left the Cardinals due to subsequent transactions. Eight of them never played for the Cardinals before moving on.

    The 69 position players generated the following performance:
    39,390 at bats, slash line o .257-.323-.424-.735 Total WAR 115.8

    The position players generated the following performance while Cardinals
    22,016 at bats (55.9% of total) , slash line .264-332,-430,-763 WAR 85.5 (78.3%)

    91 position players moved from the Cardinals to other teams during the period. Included are 50 free agents, 1 rule 5 draftee, 32 through trades and 3 losses by waivers.

    The 91 position players generated the following performance after leaving the Cardinals:

    50,484 at bats, slash line of .250,-.317,-.395-.712 WAR 111.1

    66 pitchers were acquired during the period. Included are 33 free agents, 3 rule 5 draftees, 25 by trade and 5 acquire by waivers. Those pitchers have generated the following performance since their acquisition by the Cardinals.

    10,228.7 innings pitched 561 wins, 570 losses, 4.06 ERA, 1.320 WHIP and 57.9 WAR

    40 of the 66 pitchers were subsequently dealt to other teams. 22 were Cardinals for all or part of only one season and 8 never reached the major leagues as a Cardinal. The 66 pitchers generated the following performance as a Cardinal.

    4,877 innings (47.7%), 266 wins, 257 losses, 3.86 ERA, 1.304 WHIP and 28.1 WAR (48.5%)

    36 players have achieved a WAR exceeding 4.0 since the initial transaction involving the Cardinals

    Only Matt Holiday (23.2) has achieved a total WAR exceeding 20.
    David Freese (17.0) is the only other individual exceeding 15 WAR.
    7 others have achieved a WAR of 10.0 or more.
    Included are Rich Hill (11.0), Adam Ottavino (10.4), David Peralta (AZ) (13.6), Albert Pujols (13.4), Scott Rolen (14.9), Colby Rasmus (12.7), and Jason Hayward (13.1)

    A few conclusions. I will have more in the next segment as I detail specific trades and provide more information.

    The Cardinals have clearly been a build from within team. Holiday is the only significant trade acquisition. Certainly Ozuna and Goldschmidt will generate bigger numbers but how big is certainly open to question. They have been even less active in the free agent market. Nothing like Greinke, Scherzer, Sabathia and Turner in Mo’s tenure.

    The high turnover of pitchers is possibly due to strong Cardinal pitching prospects and roster limitations. Good example is Rich Hill who was signed as a minor league free agent with a deadline to make the parent team. The Cardinals passed but the Red Sox and later the A’s picked him up and ultimately he has been a mainstay in the Dodger rotation.

    Other than Ottavino the Cardinals have not lost significant players while prospects during this period. Marco Gonzales (4.0 WAR) and Luke Voit (3.0 WAR) are the only other players leaving the Cardinals while prospects with a WAR greater than 2.0. The agonizing over the Padres drafting Peralta and Cordoba has been a non-issue.

    Euro DandyEuro Dandy


    This is an interesting topic. We have all the analytics on player and team on-field performance, but I’ve wondered about that type of analysis on the business side of player and team assets like acquisitions, trades, drafts, depreciation, disposal, etc. Has there ever been any real effort to do this type analysis on a scale across MLB? If not, you could be laying the seed to become the Bill James of FO evaluations using analytics. Just start writing articles and books!

    The difficult, and perhaps unrealistic, side of that is to capture the value of non-action versus action. As they say, sometimes the best trade is the one you don’t make. Mo could get credit for not resigning Pujols and Heyward, but would lose credit for not signing guys like Scherzer (assuming he could have). There’s so much there that would be next to impossible to know and assign value to. It’s also probably not as relevant because FO personnel are not viewed by owners in the same light as player “inventory” to buy, sell, trade and assign value to. Still an interesting topic to me.



    I think you are referring to padres drafting Perdomo, not Peralta. Although Peralta thriving with the D-backs was unexpected after being released as a pitcher.


    Paid - Annual

    Right Mrperkins it was Perdomo.

    Actually I started to write a book about Cardinal GM’s/Owners in charge of player acquisition. Have a lot of the data up to Jockkety. Need to add WAR. Probably will not finish it.

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