The Yankees added one of the final pieces of their dynasty puzzle in 1995 when they traded for David Cone.
Buoyed by their abruptly-ended pennant chase in 1994, the Yankees knew they should contend in ’95, when given the chance.
By that point in MLB history, David Cone was becoming a bit of a title-garnering mercenary.
The Mets dealt Cone to the Blue Jays midway through the 1992 season at the deadline, in exchange for Jeff Kent (!), and it worked; Cone went 4-3 with a 2.55 ERA down the stretch, and posted a 3.48 mark in a World Series win over the Braves.
He parlayed that success into a free agent deal with his hometown Kansas City Royals, who tragically blindsided him with another trade to an inferior Jays squad prior to the 1995 season. Understandably upset, Cone agitated in the direction of another deadline move — and he got his wish on July 28, 1995, when he was shipped to the New York Yankees.
The righty cooked upon his arrival to the Bronx (9-2, 3.88 ERA), but was unfortunately left out to dry at the tail end of Game 5 of the Yankees-Mariners ALDS, unfairly blamed for a blown 2-0 series lead.
1996 was where the Legend of Coney truly began, however. Midway through the season, he was diagnosed with an aneurysm, which led to potentially career-ending surgery. Instead of despairing, Cone rebounded spectacularly, throwing a near-no-hitter in Oakland later in the campaign, and singlehandedly turning the ’96 World Series by throwing six one-run innings in Atlanta, setting the dynasty in motion.
Things only got better for Coney, too, who emerged from the depths to make the ’97 and ’99 All-Star Games, winning 20 games in 1998, too. He was also perfect on one steaming summer day in ’99.
The Yankees rotation in 1996 and beyond is fairy rudderless without Cone, and we have the ruthlessness of the Royals to thank, in part, for his arrival in the Bronx.