6. Mike Lowell traded for Todd Noel, Mark Johnson and Ed Yarnall, 1999
Scott Brosius was a free agent signing in 1998. That same year, little-known prospect Mike Lowell appeared in eight games with 15 plate appearances for the Yankees. Lowell’s path to the major leagues was blocked by Brosius, so he was traded to the Florida Marlins.
With the Marlins, Lowell put up solid hitting numbers that were better than Brosius. He even went on to help the Marlins defeat the Yankees in the 2003 World Series.
To make matters worse, he was then traded the Boston Red Sox where he was a staple in their lineup for five seasons.
Fred McGriff being traded due to Don Mattingly is understandable. But the Mike Lowell trade is not. The Yankees signed an aging third baseman, then traded away any insurance against Brosius’ regression.
The Yankees are a win now organization. But sometimes winning now means developing and using the talent when it is ready. Trading Lowell instead of holding him for 2001-02 was shortsighted.
Of the three players acquired in the deal, only Ed Yarnall played for the Yankees. That was only for 20 innings. The next player traded played for 13 seasons.