The blockbuster trade that would deliver Giancarlo Stanton to The Bronx was still a few days away from being official, with the superstar slugger summoned to Tampa, Fla., for his official Yankees physical. But new manager Aaron Boone was already scribbling down potential batting orders for the upcoming season."You add
The blockbuster trade that would deliver Giancarlo Stanton to The Bronx was still a few days away from being official, with the superstar slugger summoned to Tampa, Fla., for his official Yankees physical. But new manager Aaron Boone was already scribbling down potential batting orders for the upcoming season.
"You add the National League MVP to what we feel like is already a very strong lineup, the possibilities start to run through your head of what that could look like," Boone said.
Once Stanton passed that examination and was officially issued his first set of pinstripes, he memorably quipped that he would "feel sorry for the baseballs" this season. Boone will spend the spring tinkering with how to best deploy Stanton, American League Rookie of the Year Award winner Aaron Judge and catcher Gary Sanchez in the heart of his lineup.
No matter how Boone aligns his sluggers, the Yankees figure to put up plenty of ridiculously strong numbers in 2018. Good luck, opposing pitchers.
MLB.com is taking a look at the projected lineup of all 30 teams ahead of Spring Training. Here's how the Yankees might stack up:
LINEUP IF SEASON STARTED TODAY
Brett Gardner, LF
Aaron Judge, RF
Giancarlo Stanton, DH
Greg Bird, 1B
Gary Sanchez, C
Didi Gregorius, SS
Aaron Hicks, CF
Miguel Andujar, 3B
Ronald Torreyes, 2B
This Yankees lineup will have the power to outslug opponents on a regular basis. New York led the Majors with 241 home runs last season, 85 of which were hit by Judge (52) and Sanchez (33, despite missing most of April due to injury). They tacked on another 46 between Gregorius (25) and Gardner (21), and of course Stanton led the Majors with 59 blasts for the Marlins. Boone would love to get a full season out of Bird, whose left-handed stroke can break up the right-handed bats of Judge, Stanton and Sanchez.
Top prospect Gleyber Torres, rated as the No. 2 prospect in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline, is knocking on the door for a promotion. Torres is expected to be fully recovered from Tommy John surgery on his left (non-throwing) elbow by Spring Training and will be in competition to start at either second or third base. The 21-year-old is likely to contribute in the Majors at some point this season, but would the Yankees be so bold to place him on the Opening Day roster? If not, Andujar, Thairo Estrada, Jace Peterson, Torreyes and Tyler Wade will all be in the mix.
WHAT MIGHT CHANGE
While Jacoby Ellsbury is being challenged to reclaim his starting center-field job from Hicks, second and third bases appear to be the most probable areas where the lineup could change before the March 29 season opener. General manager Brian Cashman has said that he is comfortable going forward with what he has in house, but New York is still trying to upgrade if it makes sense. In addition to the long shot of convincing the Orioles to trade Manny Machado within the division, the Yankees have spoken with the D-backs about infielder Brandon Drury and the Pirates about infielder Josh Harrison. They have also been in contact with the representative for free-agent third baseman Todd Frazier.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.