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With Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees lineup absolutely terrifying

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The deal is not done yetGiancarlo 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:

CF Brett Gardner
LF Aaron Judge
RF Giancarlo Stanton
C Gary Sanchez
1B Greg Bird
SS Didi Gregorius
DH Aaron Hicks
3B Chase Headley
2B Gleyber Torres or Ronald Torreyes

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.

MLBPA: MLB’s ‘demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected’

Rob Manfred and Tony Clark
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On Thursday evening, the Major League Baseball Players Association released a statement regarding ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. The two sides continue to hash out details concerning a 2020 season. The owners want a shorter season, around 50 games. The union recently proposed a 114-game season that also offered the possibility of salary deferrals.

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said that the union held a conference call that included the Executive Board and MLBPA player leaders. They “resoundingly rejected” the league’s “demand for additional concessions.”

The full statement:

In this time of unprecedented suffering at home and abroad, Players want nothing more than to get back to work and provide baseball fans with the game we all love. But we cannot do this alone.

Earlier this week, Major League Baseball communicated its intention to schedule a dramatically shortened 2020 season unless Players negotiate salary concessions. The concessions being sought are in addition to billions in Player salary reductions that have already been agreed upon.

This threat came in response to an Association proposal aimed at charting a path forward. Among other things, Players proposed more games, two years of expanded playoffs, salary deferrals in the event of a 2020 playoff cancellation, and the exploration of additional jewel events and broadcast enhancements aimed at creatively bringing our Players to the fans while simultaneously increasing the value of our product. Rather than engage, the league replied it will shorten the season unless Players agree to further salary reductions.

Earlier today we held a conference call of the Association’s Executive Board and several other MLBPA Player leaders. The overwhelming consensus of the Board is that Players are ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions that could affect the health and safety of not just themselves, but their families as well. The league’s demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected.

Important work remains to be done in order to safely resume the season. We stand ready to complete that work and look forward to getting back on the field.

As per the current agreement signed in March, if there is a 2020 season, players will be paid on a prorated basis. Thus, fewer games means the players get paid less and the owners save more. MLB has threatened to unilaterally set a 2020 season in motion if the two sides cannot come to terms. It should come as no surprise that the union has responded strongly on both fronts.

There have been varying reports in recent days over the confidence in a 2020 season happening. The MLBPA’s statement tonight doesn’t move the needle any; it simply affirms that the union remains steadfast in its goal to avoid a second significant cut in salaries.

As I see it, the ball is in the owners’ court. The owners can strongarm the players into a short season, saving money but significantly increasing the odds of a big fight in upcoming collective bargaining agreement negotiations. Or the owners can eat more of a financial loss, agreeing to a longer season than they feel is comfortable. The latter would have the double benefit of not damaging overall perception of the sport and would not disrupt labor peace going forward.

The MLBPA statement included a declaration that the players are “ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions.” If there is no 2020 season, we will have only the owners to blame, not the players.

Update: Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, who has been quite vocal on social media about these negotiations, chimed in: