Later this year, Mariano Rivera will play his final game for the New York Yankees before hanging up his cleats for good. But did you know that the relief pitcher was thisclose to getting shipped out of New York back in 1996? According to former Yankees manager Joe Torre, the team was considering letting Rivera loose in '96 because they had "an abundance" of pitchers just like him.

"At spring training, there was some conversation about trading him," Torre said yesterday, "only because we had an abundance of those types of pitchers. I didn't really know where he'd fit. We didn't think closer because we had other people, but we thought he could contribute…We really weren't sure. Obviously, that was the best trade that the Yankees never made."

Obviously. The Yankees storied history—and MLB history as a whole—might be much different if they had traded Rivera away.

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[via New York Post]