The old adage goes, sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make. Mariano Rivera to the Seattle Mariners for shortstop Felix Fermin. Andy Pettitte to the Philadelphia Phillies pitching prospects Adam Eaton, Anthony Schumaker and outfield prospect Reggie Taylor. Those two immediately come to mind.
Another name in trade rumors was Bernie Williams. Former general manager Gene “Stick” Michael did his best to protect Bernie Baseball, even going to far as to lie to owner George Steinbrenner about a lack of interest in the budding center fielder. The most famously rumored deal involving Williams was a swap for the Montreal Expos outfielder Larry Walker.
Drumright never made it out of the minors and was out of baseball by 2003. Duran pitched to a 6.58 ERA in parts of two seasons with the Tigers in 1997 and 1998 and was out of baseball by 2001.
It seems outrageous that this got to the level of there being an actual press release announcing the deal. Ultimately Yankees general manager Bob Watson backed out and the rest, as they say, is history.
Unfortunately, Bernie’s career came to an end in the 2006 ALDS in Detroit but thankfully for fans with the Yankees.