On his morning flight home from the winter meetings on Thursday, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak surveyed the new landscape of his team and saw an opportunity where most will only see a vacancy.

Life without Albert Pujols is not up in the air.

It is, however, a chance to chart a new direction.

"It really is," Mozeliak said hours after the three-time MVP had informed the Cardinals he would be accepting a 10-year, $254 million deal from the Los Angeles Angels. "I was like, 'Wow, it does create some flexibility for the organization.' We knew that was a possibility, and that's what we'll try to do."