Biggest deals that never happened

Published On March 28, 2013 | By Tyler Scionti

In sports trades are a part of the game; teams try to snag as many great players as they can but sometimes something can go wrong. It’s always the same story, the deal seems all but set but somehow another team manages to sneak in behind the scenes and snatch up the prized player before anything can be done.

Jarome Iginla to the Bruins

Early Thursday morning the Pittsburgh Penguins snatched up Jarome Iginla, who seemed all but destined to be headed for Boston. Iginla had been the face of the Calgary Flames for years, but trade rumors began to swirl after reports leaked that he listed a handful of teams for which he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause. The initial reports showed him inking a deal with the Boston Bruins, yet somehow the Pittsburgh Penguins snatched him out of nowhere right before the clock struck midnight on the deal. With the addition of Iginla the Penguins are odds on favorites to win the Stanley Cup, but with sports anything can happen.

Alex Rodriguez to the Red Sox

Many may remember the circumstance surrounding Alex Rodriguez’s arrival to the Yankees and how the all-star third baseman nearly went to the Red Sox. The deal is easily the “best never made” for the Sox, but imagine their stacked lineup at the time with the addition of A-Rod, they could have been an even greater force in the AL East through the decade. The Yankees swept in though through a myriad of front office trickery and inked a deal with A-Rod. They have not looked back since. Still it worked out for the Sox, who went on to win the World Series that year in 2004 and again in 2007.

Kobe Bryant to the Bulls

Try to imagine if this trade had gone through: Kobe Bryant almost went to the Chicago Bulls in 2007. The plan was for the Lakers to trade Bryant to the Bulls for pretty much their whole team. Kobe was unhappy and wanted to win, so he asked out of LA, but once he got wind that the deal would obliterate the Bulls’ ability to win a championship in the foreseeable future, he eased up a bit and stayed with the Lakers. The rest was history as the Lakers and Kobe have won two titles since then.

Michael Jordan to the Clippers

Yep at one time Michael Jordan was going to be traded to the LA Clippers who hoped to keep pace with their local rival, the LA Lakers. Though Jordan had long been the face of the Bulls, things were not all entirely well in Chicago. Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf wanted a title and felt that Chicago would go in a better direction should Jordan leave town. At the last second, though, he stopped the deal and kept Jordan who ended up playing all but two years of his career in Chicago. Jordan will be forever remembered as one of the best basketball players to step on the court, and since the majority of his career was spent in Chicago, his name is forever synonymous with the city.

Jose Contreras to the Sox

In 2002 the Red Sox showed interest in star pitcher Jose Contreras, but the pitcher caught the eye of the Yankees too. The Yankees engaged the Sox in a massive bidding war, eventually coming out on top.  It wasn’t the first time the Yankees snuck in on a deal that Red Sox had all but clinched, and it certainly wasn’t the last. This incident prompted owner Larry Lucchino’s famous statement labeling the Yankees as an “evil empire.”

”The evil empire extends its tentacles even into Latin America,” Lucchino said.

This deal did not end up becoming a major one for either side, but it did light the spark that fueled the Sox-Yankees rivalry through the decade.

Those are our biggest deals that never happened, what comes to mind for you?

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About The Author

Hi I'm Tyler Scionti, I'm a member of the class of 2015 at the College of the Holy Cross where I study English and Economics. At school I cover a variety of sports while also writing a beat column on the Boston Red Sox.