For Major League Baseball’s General Managers, the trading deadline can be one of the most stressful times of the year. St. Louis’s John Mozeliak can breathe a little easier, knowing that he’ll have a job for the next three years.

The Cardinals should breathe easier too, knowing that they’ve retained one of the key pieces in keeping Albert Pujols in a Cardinals uniform, and one of the top front office brains in all of baseball.

Mozeliak broke into baseball with the Colorado Rockies, holding a variety of posts during their inaugural 1993 season. He joined the Cardinals in 1995, and became general manager in 2007, replacing the previous GM Walt Jocketty.

Since then, he has made great strides to return the Cardinals to glory, including trading for, and subsequently signing, Matt Holliday for seven years.

“Mo has done a very good job over the past 2 1/2 seasons, and I thought that the certainty of his continuity would serve us well as we compete for the Central division championship in the second half,” Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said.

“I think he has got a good blend of what we need now, what we need in the future and getting value for value.”

DeWitt also noted that the Mozeliak will have freedom to expand the payroll by adding a few players at the July 31 deadline, without saying what kinds of players the Cardinals will be looking at.

“We have the capacity to take on payroll for the balance of the year and into next year,” DeWitt Jr. said. “We have the capacity. We will just wait and see if we match up with someone to give us a player who can help us.”

Mozeliak and DeWitt agreed that this move helps solidify some sort of leadership at the top of the Cardinals organization.

“As we start to look to 2011, 2012, having this side of the business taken care of made a lot of sense for us,” Mozeliak said. “Clearly we are going to have some personnel decisions to make, not only player personnel but also in scouting and so forth moving forward. When we looked to put our strategy together in the near future, we wanted to make sure there was no debate on leadership and the direction we were going.”

It’s also a possibility that this extension will help the Cardinals retain star first baseman and three-time MVP Albert Pujols, who is a free agent at the end of next season.

Either way, this move will help give stability to an organization looking to make some moves down the stretch.

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