The Miami Marlins have not reached the postseason since 2003, but one of their former up and coming stars believes all of that was about to change before tragedy struck the organization in September of 2016.

Christian Yelich, who was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers this offseason after five years in Miami, told ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick this week that things went into a tailspin for the Marlins after Jose Fernandez tragically lost his life in a boating accident.

“From talking to the guys there — the guys who got traded and some of the guys who are still there — the consensus from our clubhouse is that everything changed after the tragedy with Jose,” Yelich said. “I think everybody figured our window to win was with him. You have a bona fide ace, a No. 1 starter, and you kind of have something there with that. It’s nobody’s fault what happened. It’s a tragedy in every sense of the word. Nobody could have seen that coming.”

The Marlins showed some signs of promise in 2016, and there’s no question Fernandez was one of the biggest reasons for that. In 29 starts, the right-hander went 16-8 with an impressive 2.86 ERA. His ERA after four MLB seasons was 2.58, and Fernandez was just 24 at the time of his death.