Ever since the Boston Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1919, deals between the teams have been few and far between. Yesterday's trade of Stephen Drew for Kelly Johnson marks the first swap between the two franchises since 1997.
For the two teams to make a trade, everything has to line up perfectly and on Thursday, it did. "The Drew stuff happened today," Yankees GM Brian Cashman told Brian Hoch of MLB.com yesterday. "I threw an idea Boston's way when they started moving and shaking as much as they were. Once they declared themselves the way they did, I floated a text Ben Cherington's way and we worked really quickly off of that."
The last trade between the teams took place on August 13, 1977 when the Yankees dealt Tony Armas Jr. and Jim Mercir to Boston for Mike Stanley and Randy Brown. Just how rare is a trade between the two teams? Since George Steinbrenner purchased the Yankees from CBS in 1973, the teams have only completed two other deals. In 1986 the Yankees traded Don Baylor to Boston for Mike Easler and in 1994, the Yankees received pitcher Scott Bankhead from the Red Sox for cash considerations.
As careful as the two teams are, the deal made sense to both teams and they were able to reach a quick agreement. "We had talked to a handful of teams about Drew — teams that we thought might be in need of a shortstop — and it just so happened that the Yankees were the team that fit and it fit for them," Cherington said.
As rare as a trade is between the two teams, Cherington hopes the deal works out for the Yankees and for Drew. "We hope it helps them, " Cherington added. "I like Stephen, we all like Stephen. He's a good player. Hope it works out for him there."
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