St. Louis Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak may very well have tied his own future to manager Oli Marmol's this week, when he said he thought Marmol was a good manager and would be returning for the 2024 season. Mozeliak did not comment on Marmol's future beyond that, nor was he asked. Katie Woo of The Athletic spoke to how definitive Mozeliak was in his commentary:
"As he perched atop the dugout bench at Busch Stadium on Friday afternoon, St. Louis Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak addressed what has perhaps the most pressing topic regarding his ballclub in the second half of the season," Woo said. "Manager Oli Marmol will return for 2024, the final year of his three-year contract signed in November 2021."
As Woo goes on to note, 2024 is the final year of Marmol's contract, so there is no guarantee he is brought back beyond that point. Unfortunately for Cards fans, it's unlikely that Mozeliak can be convinced otherwise as to Marmol's immediate future. But if St. Louis were to open up a managerial search right now, there are a few former foes who could slide right into the role.
Cardinals Rumors: Does Clint Hurdle make any sense?
Okay, this one is a bit of an outlier. Hurlde has had moderate success managing the Colorado Rockies and Pittsburgh Pirates, making it to the postseason in both instances. Hurdle hasn't managed a team since he was let go by Pittsburgh, and currently serves as a special assistant in Denver, where he seems quite happy. Hurdle calls his current gig "the best job that I’ve ever had.”
“I’ll try and spend six days, usually the homestand, with our affiliate and just watch,” Hurdle said. “When (Schmidt, Rockies exec) reached out to me when he got the full-time job and asked me what I wanted to do, I said, ‘Well, let me ask you a question. Where do you think I can impact most?’"
Hurdle is a veteran managerial mind and would be a wild change in approach from Marmol, who is one of the younger managers in all of baseball. Still, Hurdle's postseason success in Colorado and Pittsburgh, as well as his familiarity with the NL Central, does offer some optimism were he to take the job.
This fit is an unlikely one, though.