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Cardinals host Angels

Cardinals outfielder Marcell Ozuna rounds the bases after hitting a homer in the  June 22 game against the Los Angeles Angels at Busch Stadium. Photo by Christian Gooden,

QUESTION: With all this money tied up in vets, do you think it's realistic the Cardinals can sign Marcell Ozuna or any other big name free agent this offseason?

GORDO: Keeping Ozuna seems possible, since the free-agent outfield market has not been lucrative. But given the misspent money and DeWitt's aversion to the high end of free agency, I would not hold my breath.

At some point the franchise might have to take a reluctant step back and try to get younger. DeWitt wants to avoid that but he may not have a choice.

Follow-up: Cardinals are giving indications they will make no attempt to re-sign Ozuna, but instead try to replace him with an internal candidate. This would be a step backwards. Does team management realize how this would go over with fans?

GORDO: Again, management is unconcerned about wholesale fan rebellion. I agree that re-upping Ozuna is a must, especially since the market isn't likely to have giant money for him. But as I said early in the chat, this team could have upwards of $200 million in bad contracts to deal with moving forward and that could trigger lots of painful decisions.