20 Years Ago – A Trade That Changed Today’s New York Yankees
As general managers across Major League Baseball prepare for the final minutes of the official 2023 trading season, New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman knows, better than most, that one of these deals could effect a franchise for decades to come. On July 31, 2003, Cashman made one of those trades.
The '03 Yankees had a 3.5 game lead on the Boston Red Sox, at the deadline. The Yankees, deciding that 35-year old Robin Ventura was on the downside of his career, sent the veteran third baseman to the Los Angelas Dodgers for prospects Bubba Crosby and Scott Proctor. Hours later, Cashman sent star pitching prospect Brandon Claussen to the Cincinnati Reds for Aaron Boone. The rest is history.
The Yankees went 42-16 over the final two months after acquiring Boone, winning the division by six games over Boston. The Red Sox won the A.L. Wild Card, setting up a historic moment in Yankees vs. Red Sox lore. The Bronx nearly exploded when Boone crushed Red Sox hurler Tim Wakefield and his knuckleball in the 11th inning of Game 7 of the ALCS, sending the Pinstripes to the 2003 World Series.
Friend of The Drive with Charlie & Dan, Rustin Dodd of theathletic.com, wrote on article Monday on the top prospect that Brian Cashman sent to the Cincinnati Reds in return for Aaron Boone, who by no means was a superstar. Brandon Claussen pitched a total of 58 MLB games. One for the New York Yankees in 2003 and the rest for Cincinnati until 2006. These days, Claussen owns a wheel repair shop in Lubbock, Texas and told Rustin Dodd his reaction to being shipped out in the trade that put Aaron Boone in pinstripes, the first time. “All I knew was the Yankees, and you may not like what they’re gonna say, but they were clear,” Claussen said. “They let you know where you stood. There was no indecisiveness.” Cashman was certainly decisive in sending Claussen packing for his future manager.
All was not a fairytale for Boone and his new teammates following the trade to New York on the last day of July in 2003. The Yankees lost the World Series to the Marlins. During the offseason, Aaron Boone tore his ACL playing pickup basketball. Brian Cashman made his next decisive move. The Yankees traded for Alex Rodriguez to replace Boone, and so it goes, the rest is history. Rustin Dodd was on The Drive with Charlie & Dan on Monday and wondered, if Aaron Boone would be the New York Yankees' skipper today, if not for the trade...a very interesting question. Check out the conversation here.