Yankees: Revisiting NYY Trading for World Series Hero Scott Brosius
By Adam Weinrib
Before 1998, the New York Yankees acquired Scott Brosius, not knowing what he would become.
When the Yankees added Scott Brosius to their roster prior to the 1998 season, following a disappointing 1997 ALDS exit at the hands of Sandy Alomar Jr., they did not anticipate they’d be importing the man who’d raise his arms victoriously at the tail end of the greatest single season in MLB history.
They simply liked what they saw out west, and decided they’d take a chance on a dependable bat who seemed like he had an extra gear to reach.
And so, on Nov. 18, 1997, Oakland sent Brosius as the Player to Be Named Later to complete the Kenny Rogers trade from a few weeks earlier, essentially signaling a one-for-one swap. That turned out to be…a landslide win.
In ’97, Brosius had hit a not-so-ferocious .203 with 11 homers in 129 games, an unassailable flop following his 1996 season, which featured 15 fewer games, double the homers, and a .304 batting average at the age of 29.
Of course, anything would’ve been enough if it meant getting the stench of Rogers off the roster. After signing as a free agent in the Bronx prior to the 1996 season, the crafty lefty was on the losing end of every battle he picked.
After the team won the World Series despite Rogers’ presence, he backslid even further in 1997, posting an abhorrent 6-7 record and 5.65 ERA. Getting Brosius’ gym bag for Rogers would’ve been a win. Instead, the Yankees got an All-Star (a first-timer in ’98).
Brosius hit .300 with 19 homers and an appropriate 98 RBI over the course of the regular season, and could do absolutely no wrong throughout the entire month of October, hitting .400, .300, and .471 across three postseason series and winning the World Series MVP.
He stayed with the Yankees through 2001, when you may or may not remember him doing this.
Like Paul O’Neill, Brosius’ career ended after that moment, and he rode off into the sunset following New York’s dispiriting World Series loss at the age of 34.
Largely reclusive when he’s not on a baseball diamond, Brosius has quietly coached at Linfield College, and with the Seattle Mariners and Team USA. He’s now the National Team’s manager, replacing…Joe Girardi in the role.
Brosius didn’t have a long Yankee career, but it was incredibly impactful. In case you’re looking to contextualize it, Baseball Reference’s No. 1 comparable for his services? Why, that would be Aaron Boone, our current manager.
Sometimes things just…work out.