1) My view is potentially not the team's view on this. World Series -- flags fly forever ... all of that. That matters. The 2016 World Series title happened for the Cubs. The dynasty did not. The sustained contention did not. The championship did, and that's real, and that's more recent than the Cardinals have a championship, and that makes the Heyward deal worth it. Championships are hard to get, and whatever it takes to get one is validated by getting one, to me.
But that's all in hindsight. Teams don't operate in hindsight.
That's why the team does not entirely share that opinion, because it's a business and does not see the chips-in as a move because it exposes them to losing revenue/traction/whatever in the other years. Cycling in and out of contention, back and forth from titles, with no guarantee of titles is not a good business model for them. And neither is it for other teams. The Red Sox (under Epstein) and sense wanted to build a sustained contender because they felt it increased their odds of getting hot twice, thrice in October and winning titles. And they did. Teams that put everything into one year to win it all tend to fall shy because it's hard to win titles so they go for the sustained model.
Think of it terms of probability. They want to increase the probability of winning a title and that takes steps:
-- Don't hope for a fluke.
-- Getting to October with a playoff berth is minimum requirement.
-- Getting to October as a division champ is the preferred berth.
And then see what happens. Hope to be healthy. Hope to get hot. Hope to have the pitching. Hope to not run into a buzzsaw like the 2004 Sox, hope to get breakout/legendary performances like Freese in 2011. And so on.
All of that is to say that flags fly forever and make all the moves worth it, but you cannot make moves counting on that being the outcome. It's impossible. Even the Dodgers lose. They have one World Series title for all their money, and it came at the end of the shortened 2020 season. The Cardinals, if anything, have shown that they're not a Keep Up with the Jones team. The Cubs in the World Series would be one more year they didn't win it, but that trip to the NLCS would be one more year they put themselves in position to win it, and that's what they and every other team that fancies itself a perennial contender are trying to do.
That may not be the answer that you want from a team as a fan, but it's the answer almost every team is going to give until it already holds the trophy and can speak in hindsight.
That said, the Dodgers should have the Cardinals attention.
It may be a few years away, but the Cardinals brand is at stake if they are no longer the NL team with the most World Series titles. That could be threatened. That is their link to history, their place in the majors, and that should not be lost without taking a stand.
But as mentioned here, that stand has to start with getting to the playoffs year after year after year so that the odds of a title grow. That's the clear and present concern for the Cardinals.