The St. Louis Cardinals hired John Mozeliak as their new general manager Wednesday, promoting him to replace the fired Walt Jocketty.
The 38-year-old Mozeliak was the Cardinals' assistant GM for the past five years. He got a three-year contract.
Mozeliak has been with the organization more than a dozen years and served as interim GM after Jocketty was dismissed on Oct. 3.
"I can tell you I was extremely impressed with what he got done," team president Mark Lamping said. "We didn't miss a step, we took a step forward."While interim GM, Mozeliak picked up an $8 million option on closer Jason Isringhausen, re-signed starter Joel Pineiro to a two-year, $13 million deal, and re-signed reliever Russ Springer to a one-year, $3.5 million deal.
SCHILLING PONDERS FUTURE: Although his first choice remains Boston, Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling said on his blog that he would consider a dozen other teams for a "last year" based on quality of life and a chance to make it back to the playoffs. Schilling previously said he would only rule out the rival New York Yankees. On Tuesday, he posted on his blog, 38pitches.com, the following list: "Cleveland, Detroit, Anaheim, New York Mets, Philadelphia, Atlanta, L.A., S.D., Arizona, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis, Milwaukee." Only the Red Sox can sign the right-hander, who turns 41 this month, until Nov. 13; other teams can express an interest but not negotiate over money.
BORAS TO N.Y.: TALK TO A-ROD: Scott Boras says the New York Yankees could still negotiate with Alex Rodriguez if they want to. Boras maintained Wednesday that the Yankees should treat A-Rod the same way they deal with reliever Mariano Rivera and catcher Jorge Posada, who also are free agents. "Why is it that Alex is the only Yankee who can't become a free agent?" Boras said Wednesday. "We think it's a question that's going to be asked for years to come." The Yankees had repeatedly said that they wouldn't negotiate with Rodriguez if he opted out because they would lose the subsidy the Texas Rangers agreed to as part of the 2004 trade that sent A-Rod to New York. Rodriguez terminated his contract on Sunday.
LAST BALL IS AWOL: The last ball from Boston's 2007 World Series victory might not get back to the Red Sox, after all. Jason Varitek caught the final strikeout Sunday night to complete a four-game sweep of Colorado, then tucked the ball in his back pocket as he ran to the mound to celebrate. Varitek said after the game that he'd give the souvenir to the team, but on Wednesday he said he gave it to closer Jonathan Papelbon. Papelbon does not know where the ball is, his agent, Sam Levinson, said Wednesday.
REDS OPT FOR DUNN: The Reds picked up outfielder Adam Dunn's contract option for $13 million on Wednesday, answering their most expensive offseason question by keeping their top power hitter. The Reds also picked up the $1.85 million option for first baseman Scott Hatteberg and a $1.35 million option for catcher Javier Valentin, who has been their top pinch hitter the last two seasons. They declined a 2008 option for reliever Eddie Guardado, coming back from reconstructive elbow surgery. Guardado pitched in only 15 games last season and would have made $3.5 million.
CAMERON SUSPENDED: Mike Cameron, the Padres' Gold Glove center fielder, was suspended for the first 25 games of next season on Wednesday after testing positive a second time for a banned stimulant. Cameron, who plans to file for free agency, said he believes he took a tainted supplement. "The one thing I wanted to make sure was explained is, no steroids," Cameron told AM 1090, the Padres' flagship radio station. "I never took nothing like that before in my life."
ORTIZ HAS PERFECT SCORE: Big Papi got a big score in baseball's annual player rankings. Boston designated hitter David Ortiz became the seventh player to earn a perfect 100 in the annual statistical compilation issued Wednesday by the Elias Sports Bureau, which uses a formula players and owners negotiated in 1981. Ortiz, who helped the Red Sox sweep Colorado in the World Series, ranked first among American League DHs in plate appearances, batting average, on-base percentage, home runs and RBIs in 2006 and 2007 combined. Last year, Travis Hafner topped the AL DH rankings.
The only previous players to get perfect scores were New York Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly (1987), Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. (1991), Chicago White Sox first baseman Frank Thomas (1995), Houston first baseman Jeff Bagwell (1995), Red Sox designated hitter Manny Ramirez (2002) and St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols (2006).
Minnesota's Johan Santana (95.04) was top-rated AL starting pitcher for the third consecutive year, and Seattle's J.J. Putz (96.041) ended a two-year streak by Mariano Rivera as the top reliever.
Yankees first baseman Jorge Posada (90.756) was the top-rated AL catcher for the first time since 2003, taking over from Victor Martinez, who led the previous two seasons.
Minnesota's Justin Morneau (92.222) replaced Paul Konerko at first, the Yankees' Robinson Cano (85.714) displaced Brian Roberts at second, Texas' Michael Young (89.286) led at shortstop for the second consecutive year and Boston's Mike Lowell (84.857) took over from the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez at third. A-Rod, who had led at shortstop or third for eight consecutive years, dropped because he was 21st in fielding.
Ramirez (89.114) was among the top three AL outfielders for the 11th time in 12 seasons the streak was interrupted by his year as a DH. The Angels' Vladimir Guerrero (95.063) was among the top three AL outfielders for the fourth straight year and Detroit's Magglio Ordonez (94.937) joined the top three in place of the Yankees' Bobby Abreu.
Pujols (96.667) was the top NL first baseman for the fourth straight season, and the Los Angeles Dodgers' Russell Martin (86.1) replaced Michael Barrett at catcher.
Philadelphia's Chase Utley (90.476) repeated at second, and Phillies teammate Jimmy Rollins (86.264) led shortstops for the second time in three years, with Rafael Furcal leading in 2006. Atlanta's Chipper Jones (85.714) replaced Miguel Cabrera at third.
Colorado's Matt Holliday (97.079) repeated in the outfield and was joined in the top three by teammate Brad Hawpe (87.191) and Houston's Carlos Lee (90.337), who replaced Moises Alou and Jason Bay.
Arizona's Brandon Webb (96.394) took over from Chris Carpenter as the top NL starter, and the Dodgers' Takashi Saito (90.734) replaced Billy Wagner as the top-rated reliever.
The formula for the rankings was determined by players and owners as part of their 1981 strike settlement.