As the MLB trade deadline approaches every year, rumors swirl about what big names will be on the move.
I barely even remembered Alex Rodriguez almost ended up with the Boston Red Sox back in 2003 before the MLBPA shot it down. Can you imagine how differently things could have turned out around the league?
It's fun to look back on trades and think about "what could have been" after seeing how some of the prospects turned out a few years down the road. So many teams make trades that look horrible in the long run (see: Pittsburgh Pirates), but there are just as many cases where trades fall through that would have been great for those teams.
The following 10 trades were all at one point in time in the works before being declined or falling apart—and they all could have reshaped MLB as we know it.
Here are 10 trades that almost happened (but never did).
The Braves were set to acquire outfielder Tim Raines from the Montreal Expos for a young pitcher named Tom Glavine at the 1990 winter meetings.
This could have shaken up one of the most dominant stretches by a single team in MLB history, where Glavine and the Braves won consecutive division titles for well over a decade.
The story goes something like this:
The two teams had a deal in place that would have sent Barry Bonds to Atlanta for Keith Mitchell, Alejandro Peña and a player to be named later.
When manager Jim Leyland caught word of this and flipped out, the Pirates GM backed out of the deal.
The Pirates have apparently been trying to make bad deals for longer than initially believed.
Mariano Rivera was still considered a starter at that point. With really only one pitch, no one would have expected Rivera to become the pitcher he has been the last 15 years.
Former Yanks' GM Gene Michaels held onto Rivera, while Wells ended up being shipped to Cincinnati. The Yanks ended up signing Wells a few years later anyway.
"According to Cardinals' manager Tony LaRussa, the organization was faced with the dilemma of trading either Tatis or the fast-rising Pujols at some point. Tatis' lack of desire and personal discipline after inking his multi-year contract this past spring apparently made the decision easier for them to make. When the Expos presented them with the opportunity to gain a starting pitcher and a left-handed reliever, he was shipped to the Great White North." (Courtesy of Stlsports.com)
One thing is for sure: the Expos would still be in Montreal if this deal had gone through.
The Mets apparently saw something in Jose Cruz, Jr. in the early part of the last decade. Luckily for New Yorkers, he was regarded highly enough by J.P. Ricciardi to decline a Mets' offer of a young David Wright.
Cruz hit just over 200 home runs and batted .247 in 12 seasons while David Wright is a perennial All-Star and the current face of the New York Mets.
This deal would have sent Alex Rodriguez to the Red Sox for a slugger named Manny Ramirez.
It was held up by the MLBPA because A-Rod was going to restructure his contract to take less money in order to go somewhere with a chance to win.
It didn't matter for the Red Sox, as they won the World Series in 2004. But would A-Rod be in New York right now or would the Red Sox have locked him up in a long-term deal?
We'll never know.
Can anyone imagine the Blue Jays having Ryan Howard and David Wright as their corner infielders?
Sure, hindsight is 20/20, but it continues to seem the Blue Jays made the right decision by letting Ricciardi go two years ago.
Lilly is definitely a serviceable pitcher, but Ryan Howard is one of the best sluggers in MLB, and he led the Phillies to a World Series title.
This wouldn't have been too bad a trade in hindsight, although I'm sure Red Sox fans are more than happy to have a 32-year-old Kevin Youkilis at this point instead of the 34-year-old, oft-injured Carlos Beltran.
Beltran ended up being shipped to the Houston Astros in a three-team deal, receiving pitcher Mike Wood, catcher John Buck and third baseman Mark Teahan.
I bet the Royals are wishing they went another way with Beltran.
Fresh off a second-place finish in the 2005 NL Cy Young voting, Dontrelle Willis was a wanted man, so much so the Tigers were willing to part with Verlander and Granderson to get him.
Unfortunately for the Marlins, they chose to decline the offer. Without a doubt, that would have gone down as one of the worst trades in MLB history, or at least close.
In hindsight, this would be one of the more even trades you'd ever see. It's still hard to imagine Miggy in a Cardinals' jersey, though.
Jaime Garcia has been stellar the past couple seasons for the Red Birds, and Rasmus seems to be coming into his own. The only possible downside of this trade would have been the fact that Cabrera would have been stuck at third base or maybe the outfield.
Matt Holliday probably wouldn't be in St. Louis if they had gotten Miggy in 2007.