Troy Tulowitzki rumors offer Cardinals fans a not-scary context for reevaluating Oscar Taveras

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

If we act like we're talking about Troy Tulowitzki, we don't have to talk about Oscar Taveras.

Look guys, look. We're talking about Troy Tulowitzki here, man to man, like good, normal baseball fans who only get pissed off and nervous when the team is losing, and not when a top prospect has a disappointing season in the minor leagues. We want to see the Hometown Nine get Troy Tulowitzki, and pay a fair price for him. It's no big deal that we St. Louis Cardinals fans might talk about Oscar Taveras's value in the course of setting up a trade for Troy Tulowitzki, who we're talking about.

Because it might seem, over the course of the next month or so, that we're talking about Oscar Taveras. We'll mention his .321/.380/.572 season in Springfield, and somebody else will mention his .306/.341/.462 season in Memphis, and then we will mention his .306/.341/.462 season in Memphis quietly amongst ourselves.

We will mention the questions about his character, and we will mention the questions about basically everybody's character as a teenager, even when they are not about to be very rich and famous.

We will mention his potential as a starting center fielder as soon as next year, and someone else will mention the way he was only a potential center fielder, and before he was injured.

We'll mention all of that, because Oscar Taveras is at the edges of being a franchise player, the guy who gives a well-rounded team shape when, say, Yadier Molina is day-to-day. He's the guy we might be able to pin our hopes on when we've reached the part of the season where a great player-development philosophy and a farm system can no longer be rooted for in abstract.

... But so is Troy Tulowitzki, maybe, except that he might not cost Oscar Taveras, depending on how much we think Oscar Taveras is worth. So that's why we're going to spend all this time worrying about how much Oscar Taveras is worth. Definitely not because we're worried about prospects, and definitely not because we're worried that he won't turn into the guy who slugs .600 on account of all the vicious Matt-Holliday-shaped doubles he hits.

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