Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Just for future reference, the Yankees' club record for home runs in a season is 245, set in 2012. With what the Yanks have just done, that mark - and perhaps multiple other longball standards - is in serious jeopardy.
Reports have the Yankees acquiring slugger Giancarlo Stanton from Derek Jeter's Marlins, which could launch a homerfest never before seen in the Bronx. That's saying something considering Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle all swatted homers there.
Putting Stanton in the same lineup with rookie sensation Aaron Judge might be the most exciting slugger pairing since the M&M Boys of the 1960s -- Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. The two hit a combined 111 home runs (Stanton had 59) last season.
This should make the Yankees the favorites in the American League East in 2018 and a threat to push their October run much deeper than Game 7 of the ALCS. It also eases the sting of missing out on two-way Japanese star Shohei Ohtani, who is heading to the Angels.
Sure, new manager Aaron Boone has to prove himself in the Bronx pressure-cooker, but having Stanton around likely makes Boone's rookie year easier.
Did we mention that Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Didi Gregorius are in that same lineup? That offense might be too absurd for a video game, much less the American League.
While it's great to think about the home runs Stanton will hit - pity the poor closer who's got to go through the Stanton, Judge, Bird, Sanchez hellride in the ninth inning, in whatever order the Yankees put them - there are two potential points of risk in the Bronx, too.
Stanton can opt out of his contract after the 2020 season, meaning the Yankees are only guaranteed to have him for 2018, 2019 and 2020. Opt-out clauses equal power, of course, just like no-trade clauses, and Stanton and his reps wielded the no-trade clause he had with the Marlins expertly.
The 28-year-old controlled his destination. He wouldn't approve deals to the Giants or Cardinals and only went where he wanted to be, reducing the market for Jeter as the former Yankee captain tries to start a beach rebuild in Miami.
Stanton would leave $218 million on the table if he were to use his opt-out, so maybe that's not realistic for a slugger who would be 31 by then. Especially because of risk point No. 2 -- his injury history.
Stanton played in only 74 games in 2015 and 119 games in 2016 because of injuries. He's only played more than 123 games in a season three times in an eight-year career. Does that catch up to him, and, by extension, the Yankees?
For now, this is a hot stove bonanza that prompts dreams of spring. Stanton, the defending National League MVP, is one of the most exciting players in the game. The sheer size of Stanton (6-6, 245 pounds) and Judge (6-7, 282 pounds) will make the Yankee outfield a remarkable spectacle. Maybe Stanton offers a cushion if Judge regresses in his second full season.
Both Stanton and Judge are right fielders, but the Yankees will figure out where to move one of them. That player will do fine in left field, getting at-bats at designated hitter, whatever.
The only real question about the move is this - we've been waiting to see what the Yankees would do with next winter's monster free agent class. Is there room for a Bryce Harper or a Manny Machado, too?
Oh, and just for more future reference -- the Yanks' single-season home run record is 61 by Maris in 1961, the year he topped Ruth's 60. Will we hear those names a lot next season?