ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty agreed
Wednesday to a three-year contract, less than a month after manager
Tony La Russa also accepted a new deal that runs through 2007.
Jocketty, 53, who received two awards as major league baseball's
executive of the year in 2004, had been without a contract since
Dec. 31. St. Louis is coming off its first World Series appearance
since 1987, and Jocketty said last week he had been approached by
other clubs wondering if he would leave the Cardinals.
"Walt has done an excellent job of building our baseball
organization with strong player development programs in addition to
timely and successful trades at the major league level," Cardinals
owner Bill DeWitt Jr. said.
St. Louis also confirmed the new contract for La Russa, who had
announced his deal Jan. 8. The Cardinals have been to the playoffs
five times in nine years under La Russa.
"I've been here 10 years and worked hard with the staff to
build a good team," Jocketty said. "It's tough to walk away from.
There's great ownership, people, and of course, the fans. And, it's
a perfect place to raise a family."
Jocketty was quoted last week in USA Today as saying, "If
nothing happens shortly, I'll have to look at" other offers. But
on Wednesday, he said, "I am very satisfied. The organization took
care of me."
Jocketty said contract negotiations got pushed back by the
demands of putting together a team after the World Series. He said
it was important to retain La Russa, whom he brought to St. Louis
in 1996. He described La Russa as a "quality" person and manager
who has embraced the Cardinals organization.
"Our goal is to try and win another championship," he said.