Friday, December 16, 2016

This Day in New York Yankees History 12/16: The Day John Wetteland Would Have Broken Twitter if There Were a Twitter in 1996

On this day in 2009 the Yankees World Series MVP Hideki Matsui signed a one year deal worth $6.5 million with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Yankees were not interested in bringing back their DH due to his knee concerns.

Also on this day in 2002 the Yankees lost their relief pitcher Mike Stanton to a three year deal worth $9 million including a no trade contract with the New York Mets. The Yankees offered Stanton a two year deal worth $4.6 million on December 7, but Stanton was only allowed 15 minutes to consider the deal after a season where Mike went 7-1 with a 3.00 ERA and six saves.

Also on this day in 1996 the Yankees lost the 1996 World Series MVP John Wetteland to free agency to the Texas Rangers. Wetteland signed a four year deal worth $23 million to close games for the Rangers. Wetteland was only 29 years old when the Yankees let him walk to let Mariano Rivera close games.

Also on this day in 1983 the Yankees hired Yogi Berra for the second time to manage the team replacing Billy Martin. Martin was coming off of a season where he posted a 91-71 record which was good enough for third place, which is not good enough for George Steinbrenner. This tenure as manager would end in 1985 after 16 games and multiple assurances from Steinbrenner that he would not be fired. Yogi would not come back to Yankee Stadium for nearly 15 seasons after this.

Finally on this day in 1953 the Yankees and the Philadelphia A's completed an 11 player trade where the Yankees traded then top prospect Vic Power. Vic was a powerful first basemen who has hoped to be the first black player to play for the Yankees enjoyed three great seasons in the minor leagues including a .331 batting average and 109 RBI's the season before for the Newark Bears. The Bears were the equivalent of the AAA Scranton Wilkes Barre RailRiders today.