The Bronx Bombers, after enjoying success throughout the Derek Jeter Era, have found themselves in a bit of a tough situation on whether or not to rebuild or reinforce at the 2016 MLB Trade Deadline. An underperforming roster headlined by a few standouts and a few overpaid veterans had the Yankees sliding down a slippery slope trying to compete in the continuously competitive American League East. With a farm system that made fans yawn at the thought of the future, the decision seemed clear. And in case you missed it, the New York Yankees became sellers at the trade deadline for the first time in recent memory. By doing so, the Yankees bulked up their prospect pool into elite contention, giving them one of the best farm systems in the league. A promising prospect core, coupled with their ability to spend in the offseason, could propel New York back into being the perennial powerhouse they once were.
The Yanks made three major deals, before the clock struck 4:00, ending the Trade Deadline. The first of which occurred on July 25th, the Yankees sent fireball closer Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs for a prospect haul including #24 prospect in baseball Gleyber Torres (SS), Billy McKinney (OF), Adam Warren (RHP) and Rashad Crawford (OF). Next, on July 31st, the Bombers sent elite closer Andrew Miller to the Cleveland Indians for another haul of prospects headlined by #22 prospect in baseball Clint Frazier (OF) and #93 prospect Justus Sheffield (LHP). Lastly, on August 1st, New York traded 39 year old Carlos Beltran to Texas for yet another prospect haul, led by 4th overall pick and the first pitcher taken at the 2015 MLB Draft, right-hander Dillon Tate. These three savvy yet subtle moves won the Yankees the Trade Deadline put New York in a prime position to recreate that Bronx Bomber powerhouse that the George Steinbrenner regime normalized us to.
Many people think that the storied Yankees-Red Sox Rivalry is dormant, or worse, dead. We’ve all heard the rallying cry from Bryce Harper and others throughout the game to ‘Make Baseball Fun Again.’ Batflips, emotion, along with all the pomp and circumstance seem to be about as polarizing a subject as they come between baseball folk. But I can 100% assure you this, the Red Sox vs Yankees rivalry is not dead and I believe that we are in for one of the most heated chapters in the rivalry we’ve seen since George Herman ‘Babe’ Ruth Jr was sold from Boston to the Bronx. From Ted Williams versus Joe DiMaggio, to Thurman Munson against Carlton Fisk, and even the Alex Rodriguez-Jason Varitek feud, this rivalry has pitted two stars of their respective times against one another under the umbrella that is the rivalry between Beantown and the Bronx.
I present to you, the next episode of the Red Sox-Yankees Rivalry, Bryce Harper versus Yoan Moncada. I think it is no secret that the Yankees are the favorites to sign Bryce Harper when his contract is up after the 2018 season. In fact, a Las Vegas oddsmaker listed the Yankees as favorites with 10/3 odds to land the generational talent. Harper’s swing seems almost molded to fit the short porch in right field that Yankee Stadium boasts, the only question is whether or not Bryce will be willing to cut his hair in order to conform to New York’s strict grooming standards……..
The following is my best guess as to what the Red Sox and Yankees respective lineups will look like come Opening Day of the 2020 season.
Boston Red Sox
C- Blake Swihart (26th overall pick in 2011 Draft)
1B- Travis Shaw (9th round pick in 2011 MLB Draft)
2B- Yoan Moncada (#2 Prospect in MLB, IFA signed 2015)
SS- Xander Bogaerts (IFA signed 2009)
3B- Rafael Devers (#23 Prospect in MLB, IFA signed 2013)
LF- Andrew Benintendi (#7 Prospect in MLB, 7th overall pick in 2015 MLB Draft)
CF- Jackie Bradley Jr (40th overall pick in 2011 MLB Draft)
RF- Mookie Betts (5th round pick in 2011 MLB Draft)
DH- Sam Travis (67th overall pick in 2014)
SP- Matt Harvey (2018 Free Agency Purchase)
SP- Jason Groome (#40 Prospect in MLB, 12th overall pick at 2016 MLB Draft)
SP- Dallas Keuchel (2018 Free Agency Purchase)
SP- Michael Kopech (#81 Prospect in MLB, 33rd overall pick at 2016 MLB Draft)
SP- Drew Pomeranz/David Price (trade with San Diego/2016 free agency, if he doesn’t opt out or chooses to extend)
New York Yankees
C- Gary Sanchez (#37 Prospect in MLB, IFA signed in 2009)
1B- Greg Bird (5th round pick in 2011)
2B- Jorge Mateo (#25 Prospect in MLB, IFA signed 2012)
SS- Gleyber Torres (#24 Prospect in MLB, IFA signed in 2013, trade with Chicago)
3B- Miguel Andujar (#8 Prospect for NYY, IFA signed in 2011)
LF- Blake Rutherford (#62 Prospect in MLB, 18th overall pick at 2016 MLB Draft)
CF- Clint Frazier (#22 Prospect in MLB, trade with Cleveland, 2013 5th overall pick)
RF- Bryce Harper (2018 Free Agency Purchase)
DH- Aaron Judge (#30 Prospect in MLB, 32nd overall pick at 2013 MLB Draft)
SP- Jose Fernandez (2018 Free Agency Purchase)
SP- Masahiro Tanaka (IFA signed 2013)
SP- Luis Severino (IFA signed 2012)
SP- Dillon Tate (trade with Texas, 2015 4th overall pick)
SP- James Kaprielian/Justus Sheffield (2015 16th overall pick/trade with Cleveland, 2014 31st overall pick)
I didn’t preview relievers because team’s bullpens are dynamic and change extremely often, almost to the point where it is impossible to guess them. Either way, the prospect of the lineups above should excite you because it’ll just be good baseball, a better MLB and maybe the greatest chapter this historic rivalry has seen to date.
Pictures via Chat Sports, Whole Hog Sports, NY Daily News