Cards to let Martinez wear No. 18 to honor Taveras

Cards to let Martinez wear No. 18 to honor Taveras

SAN DIEGO -- General manager John Mozeliak confirmed that the Cardinals intend to allow Carlos Martinez to take a new uniform number -- 18 -- next season as a way for Martinez to honor Oscar Taveras.

Taveras was assigned No. 18 upon his Major League callup last May, while Martinez pitched with No. 44 on his back in 2014. That was a switch from Martinez's No. 62 in his rookie season. In the weeks after the single-car accident that killed Taveras, Martinez asked if he could take the new number.

After working through the request, Mozeliak said on Monday: "I think we're going to allow him to honor his friend."

This will be the second notable uniform number swap of the offseason, as manager Mike Matheny has already agreed to give up his No. 22 to new right fielder Jason Heyward, who has worn that number for years as a tribute to a high school teammate who was also killed in a car accident.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.