Somehow, a retired Derek Jeter running the Miami Marlins has found a way infuriate Sox Nation, once again. But, let’s take a collective deep breath, and remember that trades and signings are a part of the game, and they guarantee nothing.
When the Red Sox traded for Adrian Gonzalez and signed Carl Crawford, the Yankees didn’t panic, and they won the division. A few years prior when A-Rod was manufacturing a deal behind the scenes to get himself into a pair of red Boston stockings, Theo and the boys didn’t panic, and they won the World Series.
Granted, we won’t see a player with Giancarlo’s professionalism running down the line, purse in hand, slapping the seams off a baseball intended to tag him out at first, but let’s agree that he will in fact be an upgrade to their lineup. Now, instead of a reactionary signing or trading, Dave Dombrowski must keep his wits and steer the course. We haven’t even reached the 2018 calendar year, let alone baseball season, and there’s three swell reasons to remain optimistic.
1. Can they repeat success?
Neither Judge nor Stanton can expect to replicate their 2017 journeys. Seriously, who expects Judge to repeat with 52 homers, after watching him whiff in nearly forty consecutive games? And Stanton…let’s just assume that no player in the last 50 years has raked 55+ round trippers in back to back campaigns without the help of Victor Conte. Yes, they’re a devastating duo, and will have dirty Sanchez to protect the both of them as well, but let’s see how this plays out over the course of 162.
2. Who plays second base?
New York lost a damn good middle infielder. Now I know that Starlin for Stanton is about as one sided as a Viking raid on a fishing village, but New York now has a glaring hole at second base, a position that isn’t exactly teeming with options this off season. The Yanks will either have to get creative and part with prospects, or pick through a scrap heap headlined by Johnny Giavotella, Neil Walker, Brandon Phillips, and the immortal Stephen Drew. Let’s not forget, when they traded for A-Rod, they lost Alfonso Soriano in the process, gave Miguel Cairo a bulk of the playing time at second base, and ended up winning the exact total of games they won the year prior. Don’t overlook the loss of a .300 hitter.
Could we see Yankees top prospect, Gleybar Torres at second base? We will see.
Injuries are a part of the game. I’m not insinuating that I want a player to suffer, whether they’re a hated Yankee superstar or an N.L. West fringe starter, but guys get hurt. Every day.
Aaron Boone essentially ended his career blowing out his knee in an offseason pick-up basketball game, and Mike Trout’s disabled list stint undoubtedly cost him an MVP and the Angels a wild card berth this past season. Of course it’s foolhardy to pin your hopes on an unforeseeable affliction, but we can’t assume Judge and Stanton will be dressing for all 162.
Is this bad news for the American League East? Oh, it’s absolutely is. But keep your paw off that panic button, because it’s a long offseason, and despite a dramatic rumble in the division’s tectonic plates, there’s a load of baseball to be played, and any educated baseball fan knows one thing:
Games are never won on paper.