Cards close in on new general manager
DeWitt says club could make choice by end of World Series
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals front office gathered at Busch Stadium on Monday to discuss the re-hiring of manager Tony La Russa, but inevitably La Russa wasn't the only topic people wanted to talk about. The club's vacant general manager post also came up.
Principal owner Bill DeWitt Jr. said that the Cardinals have narrowed down their list of candidates, and the team hopes to have a new GM in place by the end of the World Series. He also said that, pending approval from Major League Baseball, the club would not wait to announce a hire if a decision is made before the end of the Fall Classic.
"The sooner, the better," DeWitt said when asked about a time frame for a hire. "By the end of the World Series would be ideal."
DeWitt declined to say exactly how many candidates are in the running for the job, but said it is a small group.
"It's hard for me to say, because until we get through it, I don't know who the finalists are, frankly," DeWitt said. "I haven't spoken to all of them. I've spoken to some of them. But not a large number."
Interim general manager John Mozeliak is one candidate. Others believed to be in the mix are Indians assistant GM Chris Antonetti, Diamondbacks assistant GM Peter Woodfork and White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn.
According to DeWitt, the new GM will have some leeway with the Cardinals' payroll, though he declined to say exactly how much money is still available to be spent on the 2008 roster.
"He'll have flexibility," DeWitt said. "We've got availability in, I don't know if you'd call it a budget, but the guidelines of our situation. The payroll will be competitive."
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.