Cardinals open for business at annual Winter Meetings

Club continues search for impact bat, starting pitcher and utility player

Cardinals open for business at annual Winter Meetings

NASHVILLE -- With a detailed to-do list and the financial resources to be aggressive in the free-agent market, the Cardinals have arrived at the Opryland Hotel ready to continue to their work.

The Winter Meetings begin in earnest on Monday and will run through the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday. With representatives from all 30 Major League clubs in attendance, along with agents and media members, the annual December gathering is always ripe for Hot Stove rumors and activity.

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And members of the Cardinals' front office traveled to Nashville ready to act.

The club's lone Major League signing so far this offseason was that of Brayan Pena, acquired to serve as the team's backup catcher. The club continues to court Jason Heyward as it seeks to add an impact bat in right field or at first base. Augmenting the roster with another starting pitcher and a super-utility bench player also remains on the front burner.

• Cardinals have financial flexibility

The Cardinals will continue to explore both the free-agent and trade markets as they look to exhaust those searches. Their options are virtually unlimited, too, as the organization has the payroll flexibility to be bold in its actions.

The last four Winter Meetings have come and gone with relatively little noise from the Cardinals. That's unlikely to be the case this year, with the Cardinals poised for their first return to the Winter Meetings spotlight since 2011, when the club was trying to negotiate Albert Pujols' return.

Each day during the team's Nashville stay, general manager John Mozeliak will meet with members of the local media to provide updates and insight on the club's work. Manager Mike Matheny is scheduled to meet with reporters at 4 p.m. CT on Wednesday.

• Cardinals ready to make noise at Winter Meetings

Other highlights of the Winter Meetings include the announcement of the Hall of Fame pre-integration committee inductees on Monday, as well as Thursday morning's Rule 5 Draft. The Cardinals, by virtue of having baseball's best record in 2015, will have the last pick.

Stay plugged in to Cardinals.com for regular updates and breaking news alerts. Also feel free to use the article comment sections to offer your thoughts on what the Cardinals' priorities and targets should be this week.

MLB.com and MLB Network will have wall-to-wall coverage of the 2015 Winter Meetings from the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, with the Network launching 35 hours of live Winter Meetings coverage. Fans can also catch live streaming of all news conferences and manager availability on MLB.com, as well as the announcement of the Hall of Fame Pre-Integration Era Committee inductees on Monday at 10 a.m. CT and the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday at 9 a.m.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.