QUESTION: Let's say Stanton is gone — who should the Cardinals pursue to make the team better?

GOOLD: I've been pretty consistent that Marlins OF Christian Yelich (above) would be the play. Reliever Alex Colome would also be an addition that would change the look of the Cardinals for the better. Or Brandon Morrow, or Addison Reed. And then make a play for a starting pitcher on a short-term deal.

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QUESTIONS: What are the chances the Cardinals could get Juan Nicasio AND Alex Colome for the bullpen? If they don’t get Stanton, how about moving DeJong to third and getting Zack Cozart for SS and Yelich or Ozuna for right field?

GOOLD: The Cardinals and Nicasio had talks about an extension before he became a free agent; when he became a free agent they both decided to see what else was out there and the Cardinals have made advances on other options. There was a perception headed into Thanksgiving that the Cardinals had momentum with Addison Reed.

As for Yelich or Ozuna -- of course! That's part of this whole thing. Any conversation with the Marlins is a conversation that could yield the bat for the Cardinals. That's it. That's been true all along. That's why you've read here and elsewhere why the Cardinals want to stay involved with the Marlins when it comes to trades. If it's not Stanton, it could be Yelich. And that still is a possibility. Heck, they would already have a good feel for what would be involved in that deal.

As for Zack Cozart: The Cardinals believe they already have a Zack Cozart. His name is DeJong.

If the Cardinals pivot away from the bat and go after a shortstop it will be a defensive whiz, one that would really put an emphasis on run prevention, and you would see DeJong move to third at that point.

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