mike matheny cardinals face

Yesterday, we received the squeal-worthy news that all three of Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Jason McLeod have had their contracts extended through the end of the 2021 season.

Although we tentatively expected extensions for one (or maybe even all) of them at some point, it was still a franchise-altering announcement (just like it was five years ago).

But the Cubs aren’t the only team in the NL Central securing the non-player personnel future of their organization; the Cardinals are too! Indeed, according to Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (SLPD), Mike Matheny will be back in the dugout managing the Cardinals in 2017.

In case you were wondering.

According to Cot’s Contracts at Baseball Prospectus, Mike Matheny’s current 3-year deal is set to expire at the end of the 2017 season. What happens after that is anyone’s guess, but there is not likely to be a change before then. In an interview with the SLPD (No, not the police department, the St. Louis Post Dispatch (I just used “SLPD” to save time and space. (You’re welcome))), Cardinals’ owner Bill DeWitt Jr. suggested that Matheny has done a really nice job for the Cardinals and that there is “no thought that we’re going to go in any different direction.”

You can read many more quotes from DeWitt and General Manager John Mozeliak here at the SLPD.

But if you’re wondering why the question was brought up in the first place, if both the owner and General Manager are happy with Matheny’s performance, you’re not alone.

Ortiz seems to suggest the underwhelming 2016 season (in which they still have a chance to reach the postseason) is what instigated the line of questioning. What’s more odd, however, is that he suggests the 2016 season has been apparently disappointing/underwhelming vis a vis their 100-win 2015 season … but that’s not really how any of this works. This (2016) Cardinals team isn’t the same team as last year plus or minus their offseason transactions. It’s an entirely different entity in an entirely different environment and season. And again … the Cardinals still might make the postseason.

Either way, the story’s the story, and the story is that Matheny is returning for at least one more year. What’s your reaction to the news?

[Brett: I’d add that the Cardinals’ underlying performance this year indicates they should probably have four to five more wins, depending on your BP or FanGraphs preference. Most of that is just random variance, and not thought to be attributable to manager performance (the Cubs are down by as many as 10 wins!). I’m not sure Matheny has been a huge problem for the Cardinals, even as his in-game management leads to some head-scratching from time to time.]

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