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Throwback Thursday - Yankees Nearly Traded Robinson Cano for Alex Rodriguez

Back in 2003, Alex Rodriguez was nearly traded to the Boston Red Sox for another right handed slugger, Manny Ramirez. At this time in baseball, A-Rod and Manny were the only two players making $20 million a year. Negotiations between the two teams went south, when the MLBPA got involved and declined a proposal by the Red Sox to cut roughly $30 million off of A-Rod's $252M contract.

Prior to the A-Rod to Boston talks falling apart, Aaron Boone hit a walk-off home run for the New York Yankees in game 7 of the ALCS against the Red Sox. The home run sent the Yankees to the World Series, which they lost in 6 games to the Florida Marlins.

In the off season Boone tore a knee ligament while playing in a pick up basketball game, thus violating his contract with the Yankees. New York was now in need of a third baseman.

Two months later Rodriguez was traded to the Yankees. A slap in the face to the Red Sox.

According to ESPN:
Texas will pay $67 million of the $179 million left on Rodriguez's $252 million, 10-year contract, the most cash included in a trade in major league history. The Rangers get All-Star second baseman Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named -- but they also will pay Rodriguez through 2025.
Texas had four players to pick from to complete the trade - pitcher Ramon Ramirez, outfielder Rudy Guillen, shortstop Joaquin Arias and second baseman Robinson Cano.

Texas picked Joaquin Arias. Looking back they clearly made a mistake. Arias is two years younger than Cano and is known for his glove, so that might have been the reason.

Lets pretend they choose Cano, in 2010 they could have put out a lineup looking like this:

1. Elvis Andrus - SS
2. Michael Young - 3B
3. Robinson Cano - 2B
4. Vladimir Guerrero - DH
5. Josh Hamilton - CF
6. Nelson Cruz - RF
7. Mitch Moreland - 1B
8. Jeff Francoeur - LF
9. Bengie Molina - C

The team still had Ian Kinsler, but had they acquired Cano they could have traded Kinsler for pitching to go along with this staff:

1. Cliff Lee
2. C.J. Wilson
3. Colby Lewis
4. Tommy Hunter
5. Scott Feldman

Regardless, the Rangers beat the Yankees in the ALCS 4-2 that year to reach the World Series. They lost to the San Francisco Giants in 5 games.