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Mariners turned down trade for Jorge Posada in 1995

Jan 25, 2012, 2:52 PM EDT

Jorge Posada

In the wake of Jorge Posada‘s retirement following an 1,829-game career spent entirely with the Yankees comes a story about how he was almost traded to the Mariners as a prospect way back in 1995.

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times has the details:

Management deemed that they couldn’t afford Tino Martinez, so he was on the trade block. GM Woody Woodward focused on the Yankees, who needed a first-base replacement for retiring Don Mattingly. Posada at the time was a 23-year-old catcher who had spent the ’95 season at Triple-A Columbus. For Columbus, he had hit .255 with eight homers and 51 RBIs, striking out 101 times in 108 games. … Posada was a well-regarded prospect, nothing more, nothing less.

According to a story by long-time Mariners beat writer Bob Finnigan in the Seattle Times on Dec. 4, 1995, the Mariners nixed a trade that would have sent pitcher Sterling Hitchcock and Posada to the Mariners for Martinez and a reliever, either Jeff Nelson, Bill Risley, or, wait for it, Bobby Ayala. The same report of a nixed trade that would have sent Posada to the Mariners was in the New York Times and New York Daily News.

Stone goes on to say that the primary reason the Mariners backed out of the trade is that the Yankees insisted on including Posada instead of Seattle’s preferred target, Russ Davis. That changed a short time later when the Yankees signed Wade Boggs to play third base, making Davis expendable, at which point they traded him to the Mariners with Sterling Hitchcock for Tino Martinez, Jeff Nelson, and Jim Mecir.

And that 23-year-old prospect named Jorge Posada stayed with the Yankees and became one of the 20 best catchers in baseball history.

It turns out Seattle had a pretty good long-term answer behind the plate in Dan Wilson, but those star-studded teams of the late 1990s and would have been even more dangerous with Posada in a lineup that also included Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez, and Jay Buhner.

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 25, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Hindsight is 20/20. But man…ouch.

    Well, they got the Yankees star catcher now at least, despite losing Pineda.

  2. brewcrewfan54 - Jan 25, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Great. I bet lots of players who turned out to be pretty good players were almost traded. Just like many players who did get traded turned out to be pretty good.

  3. mashoaf - Jan 25, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    and they almost got Andy Pettitte for Randy Johnson when they knew they could not resign him. That was the age of Mariners baseball. Hind sight is always 20-20.

    • Kevin S. - Jan 25, 2012 at 7:50 PM

      AND almost got Mariano Rivera for Felix Fermin!

      To borrow a phrase from Bill Simmons, Mariner fans will now light themselves on fire.

  4. rjostewart - Jan 25, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Maybe if the Mariners had made this deal, they would have sent him to Boston with Lowe instead of Varitek.

  5. bloodysock - Jan 25, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    So the Mariners not only did not trade for Posada but ended up trading their own catching prospect in Jason Varitek a short while later.

  6. henryd3rd - Jan 25, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    So let help me now! How many World Series Championships have the Mariners won? And recently they traded away a one of their top notch pitchers for a catcher who in most estimations can’t catch! When it rains it pours in Seattle.

  7. Old Gator - Jan 25, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    “And that 23-year-old prospect named Jorge Posada stayed with the Yankees and became one of the 20 best catchers in baseball history.”

    We’ve got five years to kill yet, Aaron. Bang the drum slowly.

  8. mashoaf - Jan 26, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    The Cleveland Indians and Jose Mesa.

  9. craigsimsrules - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:52 AM

    And thats why the mariners are the mariners.

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