On April 22, 1997 — After four months of on-and-off negotiations, the New York Yankees acquire the rights to Japanese pitcher Hideki Irabu from the San Diego Padres for $3 million. Irabu’s team, the Chiba Lotte Marines, gave the Padres exclusive rights to the 27-year-old righthander, but Irabu refused to sign with them, saying he would only go to the Yankees.

Baseball Reference April 22