August 13, 1997: Red Sox acquire Tony Armas and Jim Mecir for New York Yankees for Mike Stanley and Randy Brown.
A rare trade between fierce division rivals would come back to haunt the Bronx Bombers. No, not because Armas developed into a star. In fact, the pitching prospect never actually played for the Red Sox. However, Armas turned out to be the player to be named later in a November deal that also sent Carl Pavano to the Montreal Expos for… Pedro Martinez!
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So yes, this August waiver deal didn’t move the needle on its own but it did give the Red Sox a trade chip used to acquire the greatest pitcher in franchise history. The deal for Pedro was arguably the greatest trade in franchise history and it may never have happened if the Red Sox didn’t have Armas to make the package a bit more enticing.
As for Stanley, the former Yankee returned to New York after spending parts of two seasons in Boston. He helped push the Yankees to the postseason where they were ultimately eliminated by the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS. Stanley spent the first half of the 1998 season in Toronto until the Blue Jays traded him back to the Red Sox at the July deadline.