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D-backs trade of Martin Prado to Yankees nearly didn’t happen

The New York Yankees are pleased with their season-altering trade of minor league catcher Peter O’Brien for former Arizona Diamondback Martin Prado.

However, according to, the deadline-day deal almost never happened.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman worked with Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers for days before the July 31 trade deadline in an attempt to acquire Prado. But despite the numerous offers, Towers was unwilling to agree to the Yankees’ terms.

But Towers was looking for a bigger haul in return than simply Pete O’Brien, the slugging minor league catcher. In the days leading up to the deadline, and for much of that Thursday, he proposed multi-player deals asking for various Yankee prospects Cashman wasn’t willing to trade.

Trade talks for Prado were going nowhere and Cashman was running out of time for a move to change his team’s season.

It was only when the Yankee GM felt he reached a dead end, about an hour before the deadline, that he took a stab at something different, texting Red Sox GM Ben Cherington to ask if he’d be willing to trade Stephen Drew.

Quickly after the deal for Drew, Towers agreed to a now financially impossible Prado-O’Brien trade that would require Cashman to make a pitch for money to the Yankees’ owner.

Cashman called Hal Steinbrenner and explained how important Prado’s versatility could be both this season and beyond. He also told him he thought Prado’s intangibles make a difference as well.

Steinbrenner bought Cashman’s pitch, green-lighting the deal for Prado and earning the Yankees a utility man who could be their key to making the playoffs.

So far Prado has been well-worth the hard work put in to acquire him, succeeding as a utility man and providing a massive offensive boost. Prado has hit .276 for his new team with four home runs and 12 RBI in 24 games.

O’Brien, on the other hand, has appeared in four games for Arizona’s Double-A affiliate, Mobile, and hit .385 with one home run and four RBI.

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