As the Cardinals’ front office and other baseball executives swarm this week to the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, they do so with openings on their rosters and wish lists in hand, fittingly camped on the edge of “The Happiest Place on Earth,” but not yet there, in person or transaction.

There will be many times before a scheduled cocktail hour or after a golf outing or in between meetings — so, so many meetings — for two executives to steal a moment and talk in person about a deal that has been simmering over the phone for a few weeks. The market for trades and then for free agents will start to move with the answer to a question, asked privately in the hotel lobby, that goes something like this:

“Does that deal have legs?”

The first formal gathering of the offseason, the GM meetings, opens Sunday morning, and what should be the Cardinals’ most pivotal winter in years will begin gathering momentum soon after. The Cardinals have had discussions already with Miami about trading for MVP candidate Giancarlo Stanton, the biggest name and brawniest hitter available this winter. Other players on the Marlins’ roster also interest the Cardinals. Both teams expect conversations to continue this week and gain clarity, with the Cardinals described by one source as “determined” in their interest. The Cardinals also intend to hold talks about free-agent relievers who could solve their late-inning opening. Their wants aren’t secret.

With a billion-dollar TV deal about to start, ample payroll space and a farm system they believe hasn’t been this deep in years, the Cardinals are positioned as well as any team to make significant moves in the coming months.