Maddux: I almost signed with Yankees in 1992
The trajectory of Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux's career, as well as those of two marquee franchises, might have been very different if not for an unforeseen circumstance during his 1992 free agency.
The right-hander was coming off his first Cy Young season with the Chicago Cubs and was one of the offseason's most sought-after free agents.
His free-agent tour took him to New York City, where he had every intention of joining the New York Yankees.
"I went there to sign with the Yankees," Maddux told Jomboy Media's "Toeing the Slab" podcast. "I mean, I was shocked I didn't get offered a contract. It's not college – I didn't go there just for a recruiting trip. You kinda go there to sign the contract and everything. I had the nice day, went around, went to a show, went to dinner - and they said, 'we'll be in touch with a contract offer.'"
However, the Yankees never offered him a contract because of a medical incident involving a member of their front office, according to Maddux.
"I don't know who it was, but … one of the guys had a heart attack," he said. "And that's why I wasn't made an offer."
The Atlanta Braves then swooped in and made their intentions known to Maddux on his return trip from New York.
"I got on the plane, went home. We had a layover in Chicago … and I remember landing in Chicago and calling (agent) Scott (Boras), and he said 'the Braves were able to make you an offer,' which originally was the team I wanted to go to before I went to New York."
The decision to sign with Atlanta worked out well for both sides as Maddux won three consecutive Cy Young Awards and helped the Braves capture the 1995 World Series.
The Yankees were able to get a dose of revenge as they defeated the Braves in six games in the 1996 World Series en route to their first of four championships in a five-year span.