The St. Louis Cardinals did their homework a couple of weeks in advance, and now there's nothing left to do except sit quietly and read while everybody else works on it. That's the short version of John Mozeliak talking—already briefly—about the Cardinals' plans for the Winter Meetings, the canonical big-offseason-trade study hall. They have a new outfielder, they have a new shortstop, and they traded their most obviously tradable asset; that's what was supposed to happen now, at the Winter Meetings. What's left over is a half-hearted (and admittedly interesting) attempt to find a right-handed infielder who can stand behind Kolten Wong and Matt Carpenter on the depth chart.
This isn't just the Cardinals, of course—baseball's general managers seem to have worked as hard as they could ahead of time to turn the Winter Meetings into a four-day vacation at Disney World, and the result has been a startlingly active offseason. Robinson Cano, Jacoby Ellsbury, and our own Carlos Beltran are off the board, and the Offseason Challenge Trade quota was met the instant Ian Kinsler and Prince Fielder switched jerseys.
What's even left, at that point? Daily Dish, our designated trade-rumor warehouse, is stuck talking Rajai Davis and a possible Mark Trumbo trade. When the Cardinals finally vindicate me by trading for and rehabilitating Hiroyuki Nakajima you might be a little bored—but if it's any consolation everybody else is, too.