According to sources familiar with the situation, the Friday before last season's trade deadline -- which ultimately saw the the Red Sox trade Manny Ramirez, Brandon Moss, and Craig Hansen to get Bay in return -- the Braves came just minutes away from securing the services of the outfielder for themselves.
The deal would have sent Concepcion Rodriguez, Brent Lillibridge, Brandon Jones, and Jeff Locke (the North Conway, NH, native who was ultimately dealt to the Pirates this season to acquire McLouth) to Pittsburgh for Bay.
It seemed like such a certainty that the Braves actually had the uniform, with Bay's name affixed to the back, made up. But, according to the sources, in the end Pirates team president Frank Coonelly stepped in, nixing the deal because there wasn't enough major-league talent coming back in return.
If only... if only. But hey, there's always this off-season, and all we'd have to give up then is money.