With the 2015 St. Louis Cardinals reporting to spring training, the subject of Oscar Taveras’ tragic death is again front and center. While memorializing the late outfielder is on the minds of some, the club is also reinforcing with Taveras’ teammates the importance of sound decision-making when drinking is involved.
The entire subject of how to properly remember Taveras remains touchy with fans, with strong opinions on both poles and of course, most residing somewhere in the middle.
Like every issue, there are many points of view, primarily focused on the potential on-field impact in 2015 and beyond. However, one poster took it in a slightly different direction.
He/she brought up the x-factor of how the emotion surrounding the loss of Taveras might impact his very close friend Martinez on the field during the 2015 season, potentially the right-hander’s first as a regular member of the rotation. Will it fuel Martinez, distract him or be a non-factor?
That is when it came home to me why Martinez cannot be traded right now. He is the symbol of the Cardinals mourning for their fallen teammate, down to wearing Taveras’ number 18 on his uniform this season.
What signal would it send to the Cardinals team and its fan base for the front office to ship Martinez away in trade before the club plays a single post-Taveras game – before they once take the Busch Stadium turf wearing “OT” memorial patches on their uniforms?
I believe the wounds are still too fresh to consider it, even if a prospective deal might make sense to the Cardinals from a business perspective.
Those who have read my writing over the years know I usually scoff at the idea of these kinds of factors impacting business decisions that have the potential for a multi-million dollar impact, but this case is different, very different.
At this point, I simply do not believe the Cardinals can trade Carlos Martinez.
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