QUESTION: The Cardinals could use upgrades at half their regular positions — all three outfielders and third base. They need at least one pitcher, probably two, to replace Wacha and Wainwright — possibly two starters, possibly one starter and one reliever. How many of these key positions is it realistic to expect them to upgrade through internal promotions?
COMMISH: Carlos Martinez will take up one of the slots — either starter or closer at the start of the season. Wacha wasn't going to be in the mix anyway.
Edman will fill one role. That leaves either all three outfield spots or two and possibly third base. Internally, Lane Thomas (above) will get a chance to unseat Harrison Bader in center and Dylan Carlson will be somewhere in the outfield at some time during the season. What's left to fill offensively will have to come from outside the organization, preferably a lefthanded hitter.