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

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Yankees-Braves Mega-Deal for Jason Heyward and Co., 2014-15

The Baby Bombers Era might not have brought the World Series titles Yankee fans envisioned back in mid-2017, or after a crushing ALCS loss that season that still felt like the "start of something."

But ... at least it happened, right? At least Aaron Judge is the Yankees Captain and will be here for life instead of being an Atlanta Braves outfielder. At least Luis Severino has a contract year to work with in the Bronx instead of the Battery. At least the Yankees didn't have to absorb the decline years of Jason Heyward and BJ Upton.

That's what almost happened back in the 2014-15 offseason, when a Yankees-Braves monster trade fell apart just before the finish line.

The proposed deal had Judge, Severino, Gary Sánchez, along with left-handers Ian Clarkin and Manny Bañuelos, heading to Atlanta in exchange for Chris Johnson, BJ Upton, Jason Heyward, Andrelton Simmons and reliever David Carpenter. A rare "Win-Extremely Lose" trade!

Hilariously enough, the Yankees eventually swapped Bañuelos for Carpenter (with Chasen Shreve tucked in there, too). That was probably for the best. Not a trade that will be remembered in the annals of history, but at least New York didn't nab Chris Johnson and mortgage their entire future to do it.