The deal is not done yet — Giancarlo Stanton has to approve it — but it’s hard not to get a little bit ahead of ourselves and imagine what the Yankees lineup would look like with the game’s best slugger right in the middle of it.
At the outset, let us note that the Yankees were not hurting for power to begin with. They led all of baseball with 241 home runs. They were second in runs scored, just behind the World Series champion Astros, and fourth in slugging percentage. The Bombers hit bombs even without Stanton.
And that was the case even though they didn’t have Gary Sanchez for a month of the season. And with Chris Carter wasting around 200 plate appearances at first base for the first couple months of the season. And with the promising Greg Bird missing almost all of the year. And Aaron Hicks missing a lot of time due to oblique injuries. Indeed, the Yankees lineup could’ve, with a couple of breaks, been even more impressive than it already was.
Now look at it:
There could obviously be some variations on all of this. Hicks could play center and Gardner could play left with Judge or Stanton DHing. Jacoby Ellsbury is knocking around the roster too, though he’d be even more marginalized with Stanton on the team than he already was at the end of 2017, when he was basically a fourth outfielder. Upshot: Aaron Boone will have the option of rotating Stanton, Judge, Hicks and Gardner through the outfield and DH as he sees fit.
While it’s hard to assume that Stanton and Judge will duplicate their astounding 2017 numbers, they’re certainly the two most potent power bats in the game. You can assume that Sanchez will improve his overall production if he avoids injury. And Greg Bird at first base all year presents an upgrade as well. If Torres is what he’s cracked up to be, the loss of Starlin Castro will not hurt all that much.
The optimal OF/DH rotation and forecasting the production of young players are all interesting to think about. But I prefer to look at the big picture here. The picture in which Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez go back-to-back-to-back in the Yankees lineup all season long. Last year the three of them combined for 144 home runs. to put that in perspective, the San Francisco Giants had 128 home runs in 2017. The entire San Francisco Giants team.
Yeah, I think the Yankees are gonna hit a little next year.