GM defends Jhonny Peralta signing

Mozeliak said rookie Pete Kozma, the starter last year who could end up back in the minors next season, was a better defensive shortstop than Peralta. The Cardinals prized Peralta, an All-Star two of the last three seasons, for his bat.

Peralta batted .303 with 11 homers and 55 RBIs in 107 games this past season and four times has hit 20 or more homers. Kozma hit .217 with one homer and 35 RBIs.

Mozeliak said he'd be satisfied if the Cardinals stood pat the rest of the offseason but added the team will listen to offers. St. Louis filled its other need last week by trading third baseman David Freese to the Los Angeles Angels for center fielder Peter Bourjos.

Coming off a second World Series appearance in three seasons, the Cardinals are loaded with young pitching and the lineup is set.

Matt Carpenter is set to move from second base to third base next season to make room for rookie Kolten Wong, a first-round draft pick in 2011. Matt Adams will start at first base with Allen Craig moving to right field.

The Detroit Tigers did not extend a qualifying offer to Peralta, meaning there would be no compensation draft pick involved in his move from the AL Central champions to the NL Central winners.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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