Mozeliak on Randy Arozarena trade: ‘That’s on me’

St. Louis Cardinals

Tampa Bay Rays’ Randy Arozarena celebrates a home run during the first inning in Game 6 of the baseball World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas.(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

ST. LOUIS – After watching a regular season spent struggling for offensive production, the St. Louis Cardinals and their fans didn’t have to look far to have lemon juice poured on the proverbial paper cut come playoff time.

Randy Arozarena, traded by the Cardinals to Tampa along with Jose Martinez for minor league left-handed pitcher Matt Liberatore last January, exploded onto the scene in the playoffs, leaving broken records in his wake.

After Joe Buck quipped during a World Series broadcast that Arozarena’s rise may prompt the Cardinals’ front office to turn away from their television sets, President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak on Wednesday praised the rookie for taking advantage of the opportunity he found in Tampa, but also acknowledged it didn’t look good for the Cardinals.

“When you look at our offensive struggles it’s a fair question to ask why him and not someone else,” Mozeliak said of the trade, which did bring a pitcher seen as a future member of the rotation. “I will own that. That’s on me,” he said. “You always have to know your own players better than players outside your organization, because if you get that wrong, that’s a problem and that’s why we will take that opportunity and revisit how we rank our own players and make sure we don’t have something like this happen again.”

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