Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

November 26, 2013

GM on Peralta: Cardinals not 'morality police'

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Cardinals factored in Jhonny Peralta's drug suspension when they negotiated a $53 million, four-year contract with the free agent shortstop.

General manager John Mozeliak said Monday that Peralta had admitted wrongdoing and served his penalty, and that the Cardinals weren't about to appoint themselves ''morality police.''

''Character and makeup are something we weigh into our decision-making,'' Mozeliak said. ''In his case, he admitted what he did, he took responsibility for it. I feel like he has paid for his mistakes, and obviously if he were to make another one, then it would be a huge disappointment.''

Mozeliak agreed with critics that penalties aren't strict enough.

''You do need a deterrent, and right now 50 games does not seem to be necessarily stopping it,'' Mozeliak said.

But he also believed attitudes have changed.

''I think Major League Baseball has done a great job trying to clean up this game, and I feel like they've taken great steps,'' the GM said.

While he used the phrase ''morale police'' during his availability earlier in the day, Mozeliak said he meant to say ''morality.'' He also said the club was confident this was an isolated circumstance.

The 31-year-old Peralta was suspended for 50 games last summer following MLB's investigation of the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic, which was accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs. He underwent a physical on Sunday in St. Louis but did not attend the introductory news conference.

Peralta gets $15.5 million next year, $15 million in 2015, $12.5 million in 2016 and $10 million in 2017. He had a $6 million salary season, when he lost $1,639,344 in withheld salary during the suspension.

St. Louis also explored a trade but wasn't willing to part with several prospects. Mozeliak said negotiations went quickly after groundwork was laid at the GM meetings.

Peralta and Stephen Drew were the best two shortstops in free agency. Peralta was a plus for the Cardinals because they've got a lot of left-handed hitters and he bats right-handed.

Mozeliak said rookie Pete Kozma, the starter last year who could end up back in the minors next season, was a better defensive shortstop than Peralta. The Cardinals prized Peralta, an All-Star two of the last three seasons, for his bat.

Peralta batted .303 with 11 homers and 55 RBIs in 107 games last year and four times has hit 20 or more homers. Kozma hit .217 with one homer and 35 RBIs.

Mozeliak said he'd be satisfied if the Cardinals stood pat the rest of the offseason but added the team will still be listening to offers. St. Louis filled its other need last week by trading third baseman David Freese to the Angels for center fielder Peter Bourgos.

Coming off a second World Series in three seasons, the Cardinals are loaded with young pitching and the lineup is set.

Matt Carpenter is set to move from second base to third base next season to make room for rookie Kolten Wong, a first-round draft pick in 2011. Matt Adams will start at first base with Allen Craig moving to right field.

The Cardinals don't anticipate Carlos Beltran, the right fielder last year, will take a one-year qualifying offer.

''There's still some things we can look at, there's still opportunities over the next 6-7 weeks as we progress into the winter meetings, but if the clock stopped today we'd be pretty happy with our club.''

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0111web.jpg ‘Team behind the Team’

    For the second-straight year, the Claremore Zebra student training staff will be represented in the Oklahoma Coaches All-State games held in Tulsa.
    Meranda Golbek and Sarah Szcinski, a pair of 2014 Claremore High School graduates, earned All-State honors for their athletic training careers and will join two other student trainers from Jenks and Stillwater High School on the East squad.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • FISHFRYweb.jpg Claremore QB Club holds Fish Fry Aug. 2

    The Claremore Zebra Quarterback Club will hold its annual Fish Fry fundraiser on Aug. 2 at the Claremore High School cafeteria.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAIA WBB: Oklahoma City to face Texas in exhibition

    Defending national champion Oklahoma City University will meet Texas for the first time in women's basketball in an exhibition Nov. 9 at the Erwin Center.

    July 23, 2014

  • OCU softball coaches earn regional honors

    Oklahoma City University softball coach Phil McSpadden and his assistant coaches have garnered NAIA Southwest Region coaching staff of the year for the third consecutive year from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

    July 23, 2014

  • Coshow earns first pro baseball win for Yankees' Class A team

    Former Oklahoma Christian standout Cale Coshow recorded his first professional baseball win on Sunday during a relief appearance for the Charleston RiverDogs of the South Atlantic League.

    July 23, 2014

  • JUCO pitcher Walker signs to play baseball for Oklahoma Christian

    Brennan Walker, a standout pitcher the past two years at Butler (Kan.) Community College, has signed a letter of intent to play college baseball at Oklahoma Christian, OC coach Lonny Cobble said Monday.

    July 23, 2014

  • FOOTBALL: UCO adds Smelser to coaching staff

    Central Oklahoma football coach Nick Bobeck announced Wednesday that Jason Smelser had joined the staff as special teams coordinator and linebackers coach.

    July 23, 2014

  • Oologah's Cantwell among UCO baseball signees

    Central Oklahoma baseball coach Dax Leone has followed up a highly-successful 2014 campaign with a banner recruiting haul, adding 14 players to the roster.

    July 23, 2014

  • BIG 12 MEDIA DAYS: Wickline making immediate impact on Texas

    It was quite possibly the biggest coaching coup of the offseason and Oklahoma State was at the wrong end of it – former Cowboy offensive line coach Joe Wickline joining the staff for Charlie Strong's Texas Longhorns.

    July 23, 2014

  • MLB: Rays rough up Wainwright, roll past Cardinals, 7-2

    For a brief second, Tampa Bay right-hander Jake Odorizzi could swear he was at Tropicana Field.

    Odorizzi, pitching 33 miles from his hometown of Highland, Illinois, allowed two runs over 5 2-3 innings and Yunel Escobar highlighted a five-run fifth inning with a two-run double to lead the Rays to a 7-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

    July 23, 2014