15 free agent and trade near-misses that would've changed Cardinals history

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Fernando Tatis Jr., 2015

Former Cardinal Fernando Tatis Sr. opened the can of worms back in 2020 when he said in an interview that the Cardinals had scouted his son, Fernando Tatis Jr., and were close to signing him.

The Cardinals offered him a contract in international free agency, but the Chicago White Sox had outbid them for his services. Here's the real kicker though. They outbid the Cardinals by $100,000. Yeah, that's right, just $100,000.

Tatis Jr. was later traded to the San Diego Padres by the White Sox in the James Shields trade, and made his MLB debut in 2019 at age 20, finishing 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting while playing just 84 games. Tatis Jr. finished fourth in MVP voting in 2020 and 3rd in 2021 and has emerged as one of the best young players in the sport.

Obviously, his PED suspension is a huge black mark on his career, but I'm not sure many Cardinals fans would be against the idea of him as their shortstop or a corner outfielder right now. He has a career .955 OPS and is just 24 years old. Inserting him into the Cardinals lineup would take it to a whole other level.