The St. Louis Cardinals have signed manager Mike Matheny to a three-year extension per a team release Thursday morning. This puts Matheny securely in the manager’s seat for the Cardinals through the 2020 season, already having one year remaining on his current contract.
At the conclusion of the 2016 season, there was some who questioned whether Matheny would even be back for the 2017 campaign—which his contract already includes. However, Cardinals owner Mike DeWitt and general manager John Mozeliak helped to quell any rumors that he would be dismissed prior to the 2017 season:
“Mike takes a lot of heat, and I’ve defended him and I will continue to,” Mozeliak said. “I really feel like some of the things that we’re dealing with aren’t fair to put on the manager.
“I do feel like all of us are always held accountable for what we do here, so there’s nobody excluded from that. But having said that, I don’t look at him as someone that we are where we are because of that.”
After all, the Cardinals are fresh off of a 86-76 season in which they finished just one game back of the Wild Card New York Mets and San Francisco Giants. Overall with the Cardinals, Matheny is 461-349 with a pennant and a 100-win season under his belt.
That all being accounted for, it’s somewhat strange that Matheny’s managerial acumen gets called into question so often. He may not be the most tactically-savvy manager, as Matheny is known for managing for the save—a move that earned Buck Showalter a lot of critics this postseason. However, teams under his watch have gotten results. Perhaps that’s more related to the product on the field, or perhaps Matheny goes uncredited for being an excellent clubhouse manager.
Regardless, this move will likely quell all concern of Matheny being relieved of duties during the 2017 campaign—something that could have happened much more easily had he only had that season remaining on his contract.