Former Yankees GM Gene Michael told John Harper of the New York Daily News that he considered dealing Mariano Rivera to the Tigers for David Wells back in 1995. Rivera was still considered a starter then, and he was one of the players the Tigers had interest in. Michael, now a scout, says he held onto Rivera because of his control and mid-nineties fastball.
"But nobody ever could have foreseen him doing all of this – and really with just one pitch."
The Tigers dealt Wells to Cincinnati, where he pitched to an ERA of 3.59 in 11 starts. The Yankees would ultimately sign him two different times as a free agent. Danny Knobler of CBS Sports caught up with Joe Klein, who was the Tigers GM at the time. Klein assures Tigers fans that he would have made the deal if Rivera had been available. Imagine if Mariano had been closing games for the Tigers in place of Todd Jones, Troy Percival, Matt Anderson and others.