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Trades That Never Happened

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Tyler Kepner gives Robinson Cano's rising star a good long look.

I'd love to know what information some GMs had when they chose to accept or refuse certain deals. As we saw with the potential Santana deal (the Twins refused Phil Hughes and Melky then settled for a lesser package from the Mets), most GMs are shooting in the dark when it comes to player evaluation.

Some refused deals:

In 1997, the Yankees wanted Pedro Martínez, who had priced himself out of Montreal. They offered a young catcher, Jorge Posada, and a third baseman, Mike Lowell. The Expos opted for Boston's offer of pitchers Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr.
Before the 2004 season, [Cano] was offered in the trade that sent Alfonso Soriano to Texas for Alex Rodriguez. The Rangers passed on Canó for a different infielder, Joaquín Árias, who has played only briefly in the majors.
They offered Canó and catcher Dioner Navarro, but the Royals sent Beltrán to Houston in a three-team deal that got them third baseman Mark Teahen, catcher John Buck and pitcher Mike Wood.
the Yankees were prepared to trade any prospect the Arizona Diamondbacks wanted for Randy Johnson. A Diamondbacks scout recommended Canó, but the front office held on to Johnson until the winter.
You know, I like to think I follow the Yanks' minor league system pretty closely, but Cano's success was a surprise to me. He was coming to the majors in the midst of a slump and (as Kepner points out) he'd never been among Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects. As often as a 'sure thing' like Eric Duncan or Jose Tabata fails, someone comes from no where to become a great player. And as often as we regret trading a Mike Lowell or a Jay Buhner there's a GM out there kicking himself for not getting a Cano or a Hughes while he had the chance.

Projecting players is equal parts scouting and luck. Thank goodness luck was with the Yankees.