Mark Feinsand's post on New York Yankees | Latest updates on Sulia
Brian Cashman re-told the story about the time Mariano Rivera was nearly traded away:
"Yeah, it was close. The spring of '96, he'd pitched in the playoffs for us. We were going to go with a young shortstop that turned out to be Derek Jeter. Derek wasn't having a good spring training. There were some people in George's circle that raised concern about whether Jeter was going to be ready or not. Tony Fernandez got hurt. Pat Kelly got hurt. We didn't really have any alternatives if Jeter failed as a rookie, so the Mariners came knocking on our door because they had Felix Fermin they wanted to move and they wanted either Mariano Rivera or Bob Wickman, one of those two guys for Felix Fermin, and The Boss was honestly considering it.
"Forced us to have some serious conversations about it. We were having the conversations in Joe Torre's office -- Joe Torre, our coaching staff, Gene Michael, myself, Bob Watson was the GM at the time. And it was a fight to convince The Boss to stand down and not force us to do a deal that none of us were recommending. And it wasn't because we knew what we had in Mo or Wickman. It was, we had committed to go with young Jeter, and thankfully we didn't do that deal.
"The Boss listened, backed down, made us go through the fire drill, and that was as close as we ever came to trading Mariano. Gene Michael had a chance to trade Mariano for David Wells, maybe in '95. Mariano was in our minor leagues, Wells was pitching for the Tigers as a starter, and Gene Michael said no. But I don't believe that got close.
"But the one in '96, that was kind of like, I think the press were all lined up outside for what felt like an hour and a half, waiting for that door to open to Joe Torre's office and for the papal smoke to rise as white, that we've elected to stay with Jeter and we wound up keeping both Wickman and Mariano. But the life of the Yankees could've drastically if a mistake was made there."