Cardinals Name Mike Matheny Manager

8:09pm: Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets that Matheny received a two-year deal with a club option for 2014.

5:11pm: The Cardinals have named former big league catcher Mike Matheny as their new manager, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). The Cardinals will hold a press conference tomorrow morning to officially announce the move.

Matheny, 41, doesn't have managerial experience but is no stranger to the game. His Major League career spanned 13 seasons, including five with the Cardinals from 2000-2004. Several candidates interviewed for the job, with former Red Sox manager Terry Francona presenting Matheny's most notable competition. Others included Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg and Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo.

The move figures to be a popular one for many in the organization, as SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that the Cardinals players and pitching coach Dave Duncan "love Matheny" and that they view him as the "ultimate leader." That likely includes pending free agent Albert Pujols, who has "a ton of respect" for Matheny, according to this tweet from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. It will be interesting to see what kind of impact, if any, this decision has on Pujols' decision. Earlier in the month, former teammate David Eckstein told Morosi he thought Pujols would stay in St. Louis if Oquendo got the managerial nod.


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