According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cardinals are out of the Jason Heywards sweepstakes. Jon Heyman believes the Nationals have offered around $200M, but are not optimistic. It would look like the Cubs may have a new outfielder; we don’t know financial terms yet but it’s official.
This decision will allow the Cardinals to move forward with their off-season plans. With Heyward out, they could took at Justin Upton, Yoenis Cespedes, or Alex Gordon. Upton provides some power that the team is lacking, but questionable defense. Cespedes has some pop as well, and is more of an average fielder. Gordon is more like Heyward; gets on base and has plus defense.
They could also go the trade route, as Carlos Gonzalez is one of a few Rockies outfielders available. While CarGo is a solid option, he can’t stay healthy and the Rockies might be looking for a package close to what Troy Tulowitzki netted at the deadline.
If I had to pick, I’d lean towards Upton or Gordon; you’ll have Holliday off the books in the next year or 2 and one of these 2 should be able to pick up the offense going forward.
If they can go cheaper on an outfielder, that gives them more to spend on a top of the rotation pitcher.