Joe Strauss writes that this could be a tumultuous offseason for the Cardinals. For what it's worth, I don't think any of the specifics of this article are inaccurate, but its tone strikes me as overly gloomy. Maybe that's what happens when you lose a World Series. The Cardinals made a deep run, they've got a ton of controllable talent, and they only stand to lose two free agents (Carlos Beltran and Edward Mujica) who made significant contributions in 2013. Also, they only have one glaring hole, and that's at shortstop. The Cardinals could well just sign Stephen Drew or Jhonny Peralta and declare their offseason over, and they'd still be an obvious pick to make the playoffs in 2014. And as Strauss notes, they'll have a ton of payroll flexibility, now that they're off the hook for Beltran, Mujica, Chris Carpenter and Rafael Furcal.
The Cardinals are probably going to do more than just get a shortstop, but to me, the options look more like opportunities than like anything they're being forced to do. One possibility Strauss suggests is that they could deal Shelby Miller or Lance Lynn for a shortstop. I don't think the Rockies will trade Troy Tulowitzki, though, so I'm not sure who else might be out there who would be able to help right away and would be worth dealing Miller -- some kind of kamikaze trade for a package involving Jean Segura or Brad Miller, maybe? Most shortstops who might be available via trade (particularly Alexei Ramirez and Asdrubal Cabrera) aren't worth nearly that much. Lynn, obviously, is a different story. In any case, the Cardinals' offseason should be an interesting one, but most of the possibilities open to them are good ones.