Every year, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of trade rumors that are spoken of for a few hours and then quietly put aside and never heard of again. There are always going to be players that many expect to be trade, but it never happens.
I have found eight rumored trades that didn't go down over the last 10 years that would have changed the game of baseball that we know of now. The blockbuster status may have been from the star power of the players in the trade at the current time, or because of the star factor that some of the players had after the rumors ended up not coming through. Some will be from right before the trading deadline, while others will be during the offseason.
Editor's Note: If you have some more to add, please let me know if the comments. I did a lot of research, but I'm sure I missed more than a handful (probably a good many). I'll add some of your suggestions, thanks!
"It was the summer of 2004", as told by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The Philadelphia Phillies were desperately trying to get some pitching and were looking to the Pirates for a little bit of help.
The offered Ryan Howard, who was at the time in Class-AA Reading, for Kris Benson.
Benson was at the time nothing more than a slightly above-average guy, and Ryan Howard would go on to become one of the game's best power hitters and win an MVP.
The trade would have created some buzz at the time, but nothing like the aftermath as people looked back at it would have been if had gone down. The Pirates may have actually had a winning season before now.
The Pirated rejected though and the rest is history.
The rumors started during the 2007-2008 offseason, but would end sometime in the middle of the 2008 season, that the Toronto Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants were talking about swapping two of their young superstars.
At the time, the Giants had a 23-year-old right-hander that already was considered a future Cy Young pitcher while Rios was a 26-year-old who had already been to a couple All-Star games.
The trade never happened and it is safe to assume that the Giants have to be happy. Lincecum has won two Cy Youngs and the Giants have won a World Series. Rios hasn't been to another All-Star game and is having a rough 2011 season.
It's not that Rios has been bad, because he hasn't. The thought of the Giants without Lincecum is just so hard to imagine.
This is just the first time that Johan Santana will make this list, but looking back at it I think most Boston fans are happy that it never happened.
Like the Lincecum-Rios trade, it started in the offseason of 2007 but lasted a little into the 2008 season. The Minnesota Twins were at one time asking for left-handed pitcher Jon Lester and young centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury for Santana.
The Red Sox were adamant that they were not going to trade both of them, so a trade never happened. Santana would later become a New York Met but hasn't quite been the same pitcher he was because of injury.
Lester and Ellsbury are among the brightest young stars in the game and are the leaders of the next great Red Sox run for the next dozen years or so.
It's easy to look back and think that there would be no way this rumored trade would ever go down, but apparently it almost did.
The Dodgers would have definitely been winners in this situation and may have become big-time World Series favorites for at least the rest of 2009 and then 2010, but it never happened. Loney, who was highly-thought of at the time, would have almost been a joke offensively in Petco Park as his power would look even worse.
At the time though, the Padres did heavily consider it.
It wouldn't be the last time that Cliff Lee was rumored to join the New York Yankees, but there were some rumors that Lee would be traded from Seattle to the Yanks during midsummer last year.
The trade never happened though, and instead Lee would go on pitch the Texas Rangers into the World Series and would haunt the Yanks in the playoffs.
Lee is now a Phillie and one of the game's best pitchers.
Yes, this was the other slide I told you about. Along with perhaps being traded to the Red Sox, the boys New York were after him as well.
The Twins and Yankees had talks of trading away Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera, along with a few other players, for Santana.
The trade never ended up happening though, and instead the other team from New York would get Santana.
In the summer of 2009 (and the following offseason), the Angels did their best to try and acquire Roy Halladay, the best pitcher in baseball.
Among the rumors at the time was that Brandon Wood would be one of the key parts that the Toronto Blue Jays would get for Halladay.
Oh how different things would be in baseball.
Assuming Jered Weaver would have survived the trade and Dan Haren would still have become an Angel, they would have as good a rotation as anyone in baseball.
Instead, Halladay would eventually end up in Philadelphia and Wood is still trying to put together any kind of major league production.
Despite all the controversy surrounding his longevity, no one can deny that for a stretch of time (along stretch of time at that), Roger Clemens was as good, if not better, than any other pitcher in baseball.
In 2006, the Red Sox tried their best to pry Clemens away from a struggling Houston Astro's team, but Astros' owner Drayton McLane wouldn't go through with it.
The Red Sox were tied for first place with the Yankees at the beginning of August, but would end up not making the playoffs. Had they gotten Clemens, I believe things just might have been different for the Red Sox.
Instead, Clemens pitched the rest of the year for the Astros and would be a Yankee the next season.
The Red Sox would get the last laugh though, as they won the 2007 World Series.