Before Mariano Rivera ever became the closer, Derek Jeter's potential saved him from becoming an ex-Yankee.The trade would have been Rivera for to Seattle for Felix Fermin. Fermin would hit .125/.222/.188 in 11 games for the Cubs in 1996, his final season in the big leagues.
“It was close,” Yankees GM Brian Cashman said.
Rivera had pitched well in the 1995 playoffs, but the Yankees came in with big expectations. Jeter, slated to be the rookie starting shortstop, had an uneven spring training and George Steinbrenner was losing patience.
“There were some people in George’s circle who raised some concern about whether Jeter was going to be ready or not,” Cashman said.
“Fortunately, we didn’t do that deal,” Cashman said. “The Boss backed down and made us go through the fire drill and that was as close as we ever came to trading Mariano.”And this is why that 90's didn't end up like the 80's. Luckily, wiser heads prevailed.