15 free agent (and trade) near-misses that would've changed Yankees history

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Greg Maddux, 1992

The Yankees' botched signing of Greg Maddux during the fabled 1992-93 free agency cycle only doesn't rank higher because ... well, because the Yankees owned the "Team of the '90s" Braves regardless, even after coming away from this offseason with Jimmy Key instead.

That said, the '90s Yankees almost had an absurdly different roster, as Maddux, then a Cubs star, truly believed he'd be signing with the team. Due to extenuating circumstances -- namely, a Yankees front office member suffering a heart attack -- Maddux claims he never received a formal offer, and was forced to move on to Atlanta.

Of course ... that's the version of the story he tells now. Back in 2014, Maddux claimed Yankees GM Gene Michael actually offered more money than Atlanta, but that the bespectacled ace preferred to stay in the National League.

Whatever the case, the professor would've been a pretty intimidating co-pilot with David Cone. Ironically, having Maddux in place for the sliced-off 1994 season would've felt a little like getting stuck with Gerrit Cole for the 60-gamer in 2020. The Yankees would've done all they could and still fallen short thanks to an act of God -- or Bud Selig.