The Cardinals and manager Mike Matheny have agreed to a three-year contract extension that runs through the 2020 season, the team announced.
Matheny was previously in danger of entering the 2017 campaign as a lame duck, though owner Bill DeWitt Jr. gave the 46-year-old a vote of confidence in late September.
“Mike’s done a really good job for us,” said DeWitt. “There’s no thought that we’re going to go in any different direction.”
In terms of wins and losses, the five-year Matheny era has been a productive one for the Cardinals, who have finished with no fewer than 86 victories in any individual season and have made the playoffs four times. Overall, the club has gone 461-349 in the regular season under Matheny, whose crowning playoff achievement is a National League pennant in 2013. St. Louis missed the postseason this year, but general manager John Mozeliak doesn’t blame Matheny for that.
“Mike takes a lot of heat, and I’ve defended him and I will continue to,” Mozeliak said late in the regular season. “I really feel like some of the things that we’re dealing with aren’t fair to put on the manager.”
While Matheny has indeed taken heat from outside the Cardinals organization, it’s clear the team’s front office values the job he has done as the manager. If Matheny sees his extension through, it’ll give him 14 combined years with the franchise as a player and manager. The longtime major league catcher was the Cardinals’ primary backstop from 2000-2004.