It’s been nearly 10 years since the baseball world lost one of the brightest young stars of his era.
Outfielder Oscar Taveras, who was the top prospect for the St. Louis Cardinals and had made his mark on the big-league club, tragically passed away in a car accident on October 26, 2014.
The Cardinals liked what they had already seen out of the young slugger, and planned on having him in right field for the long term.
Unfortunately, it was not to be.
But Taveras remains one of the game’s greatest “what ifs.”
On Twitter, a Cardinals fan discussed just how much the death of Taveras impacted the team.
I don't know about all of sports but for the Cardinals it's definitely Oscar Taveras. #stlcards https://t.co/GwcrkjcCs5
— Rinedog (@Rinedog1) January 26, 2023
The immediate effects were obvious.
St. Louis was forced to trade for Jason Heyward to fill the hole in right field.
Their plans of signing Heyward long-term did not pan out, as he left for the Chicago Cubs the following offseason.
This left the Cardinals especially thin in the outfield once Matt Holliday left to join the New York Yankees.
So, they signed Dexter Fowler to a five-year contract.
That deal didn’t work out the way they had envisioned, and Fowler was traded prior to the 2021 season.
But the effects of Taveras’ death can also be traced back to 2017.
The Cardinals were in need of a power bat and had landed Marcell Ozuna from the Miami Marlins.
But they had to give up Zac Gallen and Sandy Alcantara, both of whom are now Cy-Young caliber pitchers.
If not for that trade, the Cardinals could have two of the top starters in all of baseball.
But as they enter the 2023 season, they still are without a true No. 1 starter, and the ripple effects of Taveras’ passing can still be felt.NEXT: Photo Shows Paul DeJong Putting In The Work