That's according to Peter Abraham.
During the spring of 1996, when the Yankees weren't sure if young shortstop Derek Jeter was ready for the full-time gig, the team wanted to acquire Felix Fermin from the Seattle Mariners. They had no use for him now that Alex Rodriguez was ready for the big leagues.
The Mariners wanted either Bob Wickman or Mariano Rivera. The Yankees didn't pull the trigger and the rest, as they say, is history.
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