The short answer is always yes -- ownership is setting the table for what Mozeliak can do. Ownership does that. And, yes, the Cardinals are a team that avoids risk when possible, when they can see it coming, when data tells them, "Danger, John Mozeliak! Danger!"
The long answer is the view of the organization, the philosophy, and what they're trying to achieve. This is a classic conflict between capitalizing on the talent now, the window to win now, and be damned the consequences of later, and the Cardinals steady as they go, consistency.
The Padres have a window to win now, and see it. And know to do it they've got to get over the Dodgers, and the spending now will have ramifications later.
Please don't ignore the fact that the Padres have not been competitive for awhile. They have been absent from the postseason since Ronnie Belliard stole a base hit in shallow right field and Jim Edmonds handed out a game ball. They've had a long time down to now have this peak up -- and they've spent hundreds of millions to get there, and even then their best player is arguably making the minimum. So the stars have aligned after a long long long long valley of being irrelevant.
The Cardinals have said over and over and over again that they aren't that model. They don't want it. They would rather be rollercoaster on the kids side of the amusement park with the small changes in elevation than the Tower of Terror ride where that long, laborious climb to the top is rewarded with some dizzying moments of height and then the inevitable plunge.
Now, the question becomes whether fans like the Wild Chipmunk ride with its limited drama, and constant presence as a contender without the thin air of rare competitiveness and the adrenaline jolt that comes with moments like this for the Padres ...
I don't have a good answer for that.
Fans would have to provide it.