Discuss as:

The Yankees considered trading Mariano Rivera to the Tigers once. Once.

Coulda been a Tiger


After watching Mariano Rivera make people look foolish for fifteen years it's impossible to picture him in another uniform, but that almost came to pass once upon a time:

In 1995 [Gene Michael] considered trading Rivera to the Tigers for David Wells. At the time Rivera was still trying to make it as a starter, still throwing in the low 90s, and when Michael asked the Tigers what they would want in a deal for Wells, Rivera was one of the names they put on a list.

The thing about it is that, in 1995 anyway, everyone on the planet would have considered that a steal for the Yankees. Wells was 10-3 with a 3.04 ERA in half a season for the Tigers that year. Rivera was a project of a starting pitcher who really only had one pitch in his repertoire. Still does, of course, but no one knew how good a pitch it was then.

For the record, the Tigers ended up getting C.J. Nitkowski, Mark Lewis and something called "David Tuttle" for Wells. When Wells eventually did come to the Yankees, they only had to give up $12 million or so for him the first time and $5.5 million the second time. In salary, anyway. I can only assume he doubled that expense in per diems, antacids, plumbing expenses, Gold Bond powder and stuff like that.

Still, a much better deal than having to part with Mo.