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Goold: 10 questions that greet the Cardinals for spring training

Goold: 10 questions that greet the Cardinals for spring training

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As the Cardinals worked and waited and waited on this prolonged offseason and free agents like Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina waited along with them, there was the possibility that of all the plans the Cardinals had none of them happened.

Waiting was not without risk.

“Sure,” said John Mozeliak, president of baseball operations, when asked if they could have whiffed on all their priorities. “Anybody can have a bad run, right?”

In a frenetic 12-day marvel of fan service, Mozeliak and his staff upended the perception of their offseason. They turned the last team to make an addition to its major-league roster into the team that made the most-decorated addition of the winter. Bookended around the trade for five-time All-Star Nolan Arenado was the re-signing of franchise favorites Wainwright and Molina as well as sending Dexter Fowler to the Angels to clear playing time for rookie outfielders. The club crammed a winter of work into a few weeks before spring training.

Patience the Cardinals requested.

Patience the Cardinals tested.

Patience the Cardinals rewarded.

The Cardinals start official (small group and limited) workouts this Wednesday in Jupiter, Fla., and will host their first full-team workouts Feb. 22 at Roger Dean Stadium’s complex. COVID-19 protocols govern all. A squeezed Grapefruit League schedule begins Feb. 28 and lasts a month before the Cardinals head to opening day in Cincinnati on April 1. The Cardinals begin their 130th season in the National League with two established stars at the corners — Arenado opposite first baseman Paul Goldschmidt — and a cornerstone at the plate, in Molina. They are coming off a second consecutive postseason berth but toting familiar questions about the offense, the outfield, and their ability to turn potential into performance. Patience they have given.

Presented annually by the Post-Dispatch as spring training opens, here are 10 questions greeting the Cardinals in Jupiter and the possible answers they will need by the time they get to unveil a roster in front of something they did not have all last year — a crowd. For both the team and Cardinals faithful, now is the chance to find out if the 2021 club is worth its wait.

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