As the trade deadline approaches, there have obviously been countless rumors about who the Yankees and Brian Cashman could possibly bring in to help this team win a World Series. With constant speculation flooding the Yankees universe right now, let’s take a look back at some of the rumored trades from past years that never came to fruition, and whether or not they would have been beneficial to the team.
To begin, let’s look at some rumors from the last few seasons. This team has been in contention since 2017, when the Baby Bombers prematurely took the big stage and made a run to the ALCS. So what are some of the moves that could have changed those teams’ fortunes?
Lucas Duda 1B - 2017
As previously mentioned, the 2017 season is New York took the baseball world by surprise for once. All of a sudden, the Yankees were in contention for a World Series and were looking to fill in the rest of their team to try and strike gold. Their lack-luster first base situation consisted of an injured Greg Bird and Chris Carter. The power-hitting Carter was added at the beginning of the year and had a truly horrible season, batting .208 with only eight homers, an OPS of .653 and 76 strikeouts in 184 at-bats.
The Yankees were looking for another first baseman, and the left-handed, power-hitting Lucas Duda was thought of as a potential solution. His ability to pull the ball could have made a nice match with the short porch of Yankee Stadium in right field. Yet, as it turns out, Duda ended up with a horrific second half, batting .198 with a .293 OBP. It was probably best that the Yankees avoided Duda, who is now batting .158 on a bad Royals team.
Cliff Lee SP - 2010
Coming fresh off a championship season, the Yankees were looking to repeat. They had a great first half at 56-32 but fell off in the second half, playing only four games above .500 at 39-35. Rumors were that Cliff Lee was coming to the Yankees and it was as good as done.
Well, long story short, it never got done. Lee was an All-Star and finished seventh in the Cy Young voting that year, and he would have certainly been a huge upgrade from someone like Javier Vazquez, who had a 5.32 ERA in 31 games. What really killed the Yankees about this missed opportunity was that he got away to the Rangers, who the Yankees eventually met in the postseason. Lee would dominate the Yankees in that series as a member of the Rangers.
Mariano Rivera - 1996
We all know what Mariano Rivera became in his career, as he was just the first player to be unanimously inducted into the Hall of Fame. However, before Mo became Mo, George Steinbrenner was more than willing to trade the young pitcher to help replace another soon to be Hall of Famer in Derek Jeter. Yankees management helped convince the Boss to keep Mo, and Jeter for that matter, who would both help them to go on to win five World Series. Imagining Mo in another uniform just makes me cringe and shiver. It’s crazy to look back and wonder how the careers of certain Hall of Famers would have played out if they were on a different team.
Are there any significant trades that almost happened that come to your mind? Let us know in the comments.