Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Tribute-george
The Yankees won the World Series in 1996, but it wasn’t before the team came close to making a move that would have significantly altered New York’s future. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman retold a story to the New York Daily News’ Mark Feinsand recently. Apparently, the Bronx Bombers came close to trading away legendary closer Mariano Rivera during spring training in 1996. “Yeah, it was close,” Cashman reportedly said. “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 [former Yankees owner] George [Steinbrenner'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.” Cashman, who was then an assistant GM, reportedly went on to say that the Yankees’ front office had “some serious conversations” in then-manager Joe Torre‘s office. Cashman insists that they ultimately recommended to Steinbrenner that they not do the deal, but it wasn’t because they knew what they had in Rivera or Wickman. Instead, it was because they were committed to Jeter. “The Boss listened, backed down, made us go through the fire drill, and that was as close as we ever came to trading Mariano,” Cashman reportedly said. “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.” Stories of star players nearly getting traded early on in their careers seem to pop up every now and then, but trading Rivera really would have had a lasting impact. He and Jeter, who have earned five World Series rings since, have been instrumental in the Yankees’ success. Fermin, on the other hand? Well, he was instead released by the Mariners that April. The shortstop would go on to play in 11 games with the Cubs in 1996 before hanging up the cleats. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Brian Hoyer praises Johnny Manziel for checking into rehab

Dockett: I would have signed with Cardinals for less money

Report: Darrelle Revis' decision to come down to Patriots, Jets

Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement from NFL

Ndamukong Suh is biggest prize, risk in free agency

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Associated Press will have 'robots' writing game stories

Jaworski on Winston: 'I would not take him at that No. 1 pick

Peyton Manning passes physical, returning to Broncos

Gregg Popovich rips notion of NBA Finals games in July

Ortiz on Schilling controversy: 'It makes you angry'

Report: Josh Hamilton facing one-year suspension

Tigers pitcher Alfredo Simon drives a chrome Mercedes

WATCH: Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs who doubts her ability

Michelle Beadle’s campaign to be cast in ‘Sharknado 3′ pays off

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

Dodgers will have a tough time dumping Andre Ethier

Brian Cashman: Derek Jeter should be final Yankees captain

Tom Brady, Rory McIlroy to play round at Augusta National

No one knows who will win the 2014-15 NBA MVP

Giants TE on plane that slid off runway in New York

TSN to stop airing tweets after trade deadline debacle

Is there a team for Rajon Rondo?

Five most likely running back targets for the Eagles

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

Mayweather waited for Pacquiao to get old, right?

Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement from NFL

Ndamukong Suh is biggest prize, risk in free agency

AP will have 'robots' writing game stories

Manning officially returning to Broncos

No one knows who will win the MVP

Pop rips notion of NBA Finals in July

Is there a team for Rajon Rondo?

Five likeliest RB targets for Eagles

Pot and MLB's Joint Drug Agreement

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.