The New York Yankees spent a lot of money during the offseason, and there is no way to deny that. The team is better than what they fielded in the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros, as they were able to retain lineup stalwarts Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo and add pitchers Carlos Rodon and Tommy Kahnle to the mix.
While upgrades at third base and left field would have been nice, the Yankees do have some internal options to occupy those positions. To really have a chance against the elite, however, they ought to understand that they are better off not giving Josh Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa regular playing time.
Knowing the current MLB and high minors depth and the fact that manager Aaron Boone rarely showed any kind of consistency, we will do our best and try to preview the Yankees’ opening day lineup.
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Yankees’ potential opening day lineup
3B DJ LeMahieu
RF Aaron Judge
1B Anthony Rizzo
DH Giancarlo Stanton
2B Gleyber Torres
LF Oswaldo Cabrera
CF Harrison Bader
C Jose Trevino
SS Oswald Peraza
Bench: C Kyle Higashioka, IF Isiah Kiner-Falefa, 3B Josh Donaldson, OF Aaron Hicks
This exercise assumes two things that could easily end up being wrong: that Anthony Volpe does not make the team out of camp and that Josh Donaldson and Aaron Hicks aren’t traded.
The Yankees could be actively looking for a way to unload Hicks and Donaldson as we speak – particularly the latter – but if they haven’t done it yet, it’s because it’s clearly not easy.
That lineup has some contact, power, and on-bae ability. It’s the best the Yankees can field at this point, given that there are no substantial upgrades left in free agency and that a Bryan Reynolds trade is looking unlikely at this point.