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Cardinals announce extensions for John Mozeliak, Michael Girsch and Mike Shildt

The Cardinals will keep their leadership structure in place well into the next decade.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals Photo by Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals announced contract extensions for their president of baseball operations, general manager, and manager at Tuesday afternoon’s end-of-season press conference, signing John Mozeliak to a three-year extension that will keep him under contract through 2023, exercising Michael Girsch’s 2020 option and signing him to a two-year extension that will keep him under contract through 2022, and signing Mike Shildt to a new three-year deal that will keep him in St. Louis through 2022.

Shildt was awarded a three-year contract (through the end of the 2020 season) when he took the Cardinals’ managerial job late in the 2018 campaign, so this new contract essentially serves as a two-year extension. Mozeliak also announced on Tuesday that Shildt’s entire coaching staff will return in 2020.

While Mozeliak and his front office have received more criticism in recent years as trade acquisitions like Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna have been somewhat underwhelming and free-agent signings like Dexter Fowler, Mike Leake, Brett Cecil, Andrew Miller, Luke Gregerson, have disappointed to varying degrees, the fact remains that the Cardinals have had winning seasons in all 12 years that he’s headed up the baseball operations department. They won the 2011 World Series under his leadership, reached the World Series in 2013 before losing to the Red Sox, and have made the playoffs in seven of his 12 seasons on the job. They snapped a three-year playoff drought in 2019, winning the NL Central and reaching the NLCS before getting swept in four games by the Nationals.

Girsch has had the general manager title since midway through the 2017 season. It’s unclear how much authority he has over the team’s player evaluation and personnel decisions, as Mozeliak is obviously still the primary figurehead and has final say on any moves that may occur, but obviously the Cardinals are happy enough with the way Girsch has worked in tandem with Mozeliak that they’re willing to extend the relationship.

After leading the Cardinals to a 41-28 record after the All-Star break last season and being named the full-time skipper after originally serving as interim manager, Shildt had an extremely impressive first full season on the job in 2019. Under the 51-year-old manager’s leadership, the team went from leading the majors in errors in ‘18 to making the fewest errors in the league in ‘19, becoming the first team in MLB history to accomplish that feat. After leading the Cardinals to an NL Central title in a year where most experts projected the Cubs or Brewers to win the division, Shildt was named a finalist for NL Manager of the Year on Monday night.