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Greg Maddux Says He Planned on Signing with Yankees in 1992

However, the Hall of Famer claimed he never received an offer after one of New York’s higher-ups suffered a heart attack.

Greg Maddux traveled to New York with the intent of putting pen to paper after the 1992 season.

That’s according to the pitcher himself. The Hall of Famer told David Cone's “Toeing the Slab” podcast that he planned on signing with the Yankees that offseason. The only issue? Maddux claimed he never received an offer.

"I went there to sign with the Yankees," Maddux told Cone, Justin Shackil and James Smyth. "I was shocked I didn't get offered a contract. It's not college. I didn't go there just for a recruiting trip. You kind of go there to sign a contract and everything."

Maddux said he enjoyed a show and dinner with New York’s brass and was told the team would be in touch. So why didn’t the Yankees offer the righty a contract with him fresh off the first of his four consecutive Cy Young seasons?

According to Maddux, one of New York’s higher-ups suffered a medical emergency, thus delaying any potential deal.

“I don’t know who it was,” Maddux said, “but one of the guys had a heart attack, and that’s why I wasn’t made an offer.”

It didn’t take long for the Braves to come swooping in. Maddux’s agent, Scott Boras, secured an offer from Atlanta by the time the righty got home. Maddux ultimately singed a five-year, $28 million pact and went on to spend the next 11 years of his career with the Braves. He won the Cy Young Award each of the next three seasons and helped deliver a championship in 1995.

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Maddux’s free agent visit to New York came while George Steinbrenner was suspended. Joe Molloy, Steinbrenner’s son-in-law, was the managing general partner at the time, while Gene “Stick” Michael was the general manager.

Per a 2014 Daily News story, the Yankees made Maddux a five-year, $37.5 million offer. Maddux said he told Michael in 1992 that “money won't necessarily decide this. The fact was, I wanted to stay in the National League and I wanted to go with a team that had a chance to win.”

Meanwhile, longtime Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay wasn’t buying Maddux’s heart attack story.

As Kay noted, the Yankees turned to Jimmy Key in free agency, signing the lefty to a four-year, $17 million deal. Key was no Maddux, but he won 35 games over his first two seasons in the Bronx and was part of New York’s World Series-winning squad in 1996. Key was outdueled by Maddux in Game 2 of that Fall Classic, but he got the win over The Professor in the Yankees’ Game 6 clincher. It was his final game in pinstripes.

Key pitched two more seasons with the Orioles after that, while Maddux left the Braves after the 2003 season. He returned to the Cubs, where he spent the first seven years of his career, and also pitched for the Dodgers and Padres before calling it quits at age 42.


Follow Gary Phillips on Twitter (@GaryHPhillips). Be sure to bookmark Inside The Pinstripes and check back daily for news, analysis and more.