Editor's Note: The above video is from July 19, 2016.
In his time with the Boston Red Sox, David Ortiz has become one of the greatest designated hitters in the history of baseball.
But after the 2002 season, before his ascension, Ortiz was cast off by the Minnesota Twins. Released on Dec. 16, 2002, Ortiz was free to sign with any team.
But the A's weren't one of the teams to pursued the then-27-year-old.
In a recent article detailing Ortiz's free agency between the 2002 and 2003 seasons, then-GM of the A's Billy Beane admitted that he never attempted to sign the Dominican Republic-native.
"The Machiavellian answer would be to say, "Yeah, we had an idea the whole time what Ortiz would be. We tried to get him. We went after him hard, but Boston beat us to him." That would be the right answer, right? But that's not true. He wasn't in our plans. He wasn't on our radar," Beane told ESPN The Magazine's Howard Bryant.
Instead, Beane acquired first baseman Erubiel Durazo from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a four-team trade on Dec. 15, 2002.
Why did Beane not even consider signing Ortiz? He went on to explain.
"Who did we get? Durazo? Oooh, yay! We got Durazo! Seriously, we knew of Ortiz, but we knew him as a player who may have had some potential but had some injuries, had some trouble getting on the field. I think we trusted the Twins organization. Terry Ryan and his group have always been known as a smart group. They didn't do reckless things. They didn't make big mistakes. If they were letting him go for free, I mean, just for nothing, by our way of thinking, there had to be a reason," Beane said.
After six mediocre seasons in Minnesota, Ortiz transformed his career in Boston. Entering play on Tuesday, Ortiz has 527 home runs, good for 19th place in MLB history. He's a 10-time All-Star, has finished in the Top 10 in American League MVP voting five times since 2004 and was part of three World Series titles with the Red Sox.
Durazo spent three seasons in Oakland. Over that span, he hit .283/.375/.462 with 47 home runs and 181 RBI.