This was wrote before the Fowler signing
Why the Cardinals need to take some notes from the White Sox. During the course of these meetings you have seen the White Sox pull off to big trades. Chris Sale is now a Boston Red Sox and Adam Eaton is now a Washington National. These players were seen as untouchables just a few years ago. Rick Hahn has seem to come to the realization that his club needs more than just those two players to compete in the American League Central with the Indians potentially having all their players healthy this year. Hahn managed to get a huge haul in both deals, The Sox added five arms and two bats. That included the Red Sox and the Nationals top prospects.
Let me bring this back to my point about the Cardinals. The Cardinals were unable to make a trade for Adam Eaton because of their lack of top prospects in their system. While many fans want to see the Cardinals sign a few free agents and be better than the Cubs that simply wont happen. The Cubs have a deeper system and a much better Major League roster. That's why I feel the Cardinals should move some of the big league talent they have. You saw this to a degree with the Garcia trade to the Braves earlier this off-season. The Cardinals could shop some of the talent they have and start a rebuild by replenishing their minor league system. Like the White Sox are doing now and like the defending World Series Champion Cubs did a few years ago.
The Cardinals do have a few players with some value. Not anyone like the White Sox had but some pieces they could move. They would need to identify their core guys and look to build around them with young talent. A player like Jedd Gyorko would have some value coming off a career year. Then they have a few others that contending teams could use as good role players such as Adams and Peralta. When you look at the pitching staff that's a little tougher as only pieces they have they would be able to move would be Wacha and Rosenthal but both are coming off of bad seasons and their value couldn't be any lower. The name I have heard a lot of teams asking about this off-season is Kolten Wong but the Cardinals have no desire to move him. That decision is fine with Wong being a young player with a team friendly contract as long as the team commits to him playing everyday. Then you have the big names that people would never think of the Cardinals trading and that is Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright, and Matt Carpenter. These would be players they would never trade unless they did decide to go into a rebuild mode because all of these players are older and most likely wouldn't be able to help by the time young prospects were ready to help. They would also be able to add pieces via free agency like the Cubs did to help the young players whenever the team is ready to compete. Harper, Trout, Kershaw, Machado are just a few players that could hit the market in a few years.
Anyway I don't believe you will ever see the Cardinals do a massive rebuild like this. So hopefully they can add a bat this off-season and compete for the division but most likely the Wild Card.