St. Louis Cardinals: Four Ways to Cope with Loss of Jason Heyward

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Oct 27, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon (4) celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the New York Mets in the 9th inning in game one of the 2015 World Series at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

1. Pursue outfield depth

If the intention of retrieving Heyward was to build around a consistent outfielder for years to come, the Cardinals still have plenty of options to pursue. While a projected starting outfield of Matt Holliday, Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty may look strong on paper, St. Louis doesn’t have the most reliable back-up plan in the case that either of these three run into an injury or long-term struggle.

Choosing this route would provide more positional flexibility for the Cardinals, especially if the team decides to decline Holliday’s club option for 2017. But this would challenge the Cardinals to find a priceworthy outfielder with five-tool capabilities similar to Heyward, such as Alex Gordon, Justin Upton or Gerardo Parra.

As my colleague Dan Buffa mentioned, Gordon probably represents the best all around player left out there. He has power, speed, and defense, as well as a World Series ring, that he got this year with the Kansas City Royals. While Upton may represent the solid impact bat that would help the Cardinals, he has his own issues as well, as Steven McNeil mentioned earlier this offseason. Parra, while he may offer solid defense in right doesn’t have the bat of the other two, and is on the decline at this point in his career.