Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 10/25/14

Via Larry Brown Sports:

Mariano Rivera is a lifelong New York Yankee. He was signed by the team out of Panama, spent six seasons in the team’s minor league system, and made it up to the majors where he pitched 67 innings in 1995. At the time, Rivera was a starting pitcher who was just being converted into a reliever.

When the 26-year-old showed up for spring training in 1996, the team had a number of similar pitchers, so they discussed trading Rivera, former Yankees manager Joe Torre recalls.

“At spring training, there was some conversation about trading him, only because we had an abundance of those types of pitchers,” Torre said this week at a golf outing at Sleepy Hollow Country Club to support the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation, via the New York Post. “I didn’t really know where he’d fit. We didn’t think closer because we had other people, but we thought he could contribute. … We really weren’t sure. Obviously, that was the best trade that the Yankees never made.”

The Yankees actually had John Wetteland closing in 1996, and he led the league with 43 saves and made the All-Star Game. After Wetteland signed with the Texas Rangers as a free agent, Rivera took over as closer and immediately began putting together his dominant, Hall of Fame career.

I can’t even imagine how much different baseball history would have been had they dealt Rivera. Like Torre says, that was the best trade never made.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

Ricky Williams: People are let down when I turn down weed

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Randall Cobb: Contract situation played role in slow start

Notre Dame WR faces discipline if he hooked up with porn star?

PGA president calls Ian Poulter ‘lil girl’ for Nick Faldo comments

Belichick declines to address Revis' reported tardiness

Texas mayor delays Halloween for Friday night football game

C-USA hired PR firm to help Marshall’s playoff chances

WATCH: American flag rips during Game 3 national anthem

WATCH: Tony Parker draws foul by simply yelling 'hey'

Video: Tom Izzo takes the stage with KISS on Midnight Madness

Eight NFL records that won’t be broken for a long time

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

Blazers, Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100M to fight ebola

'FIFA 15' glitch turns goalie into headless giant with no arms

WATCH: HBO releases trailer of 'The Offseason: Kevin Durant'

Broncos corner snags INT, then takes pregnant wife to hospital

Gurley dressed up as a pirate for Halloween, yelled, 'Free me'

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Nick Saban pens touching letter after high school coach dies

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.