The Yankees Lineup and Rotation - 2024!
by Cary Greene
August 24, 2023
Since dreams of the 2023 playoffs are all squelched for Yankees fans as the stretch run is about begin, I’ve decided to entertain the faithful today with a piece to rekindle your pinstriped dreams, albeit for next season. Today’s piece begins by imagining huge changes are made in the Yankees universe this season. Hal Steinbrenner, ceding to massive pressure from fan outrage, decides to move on from Aaron Boone while creating a new hybrid role for Brian Cashman.
I’ll be as realistic as I can be with what’s on tap for you to savor below. I promise that today’s entertainment “could” actually happen – though we know Steinbrenner is unlikely to make it so. We’ll call what follows something to dream on!
With Cashman promoted to team president after Randy Levine’s forced retirement and Aaron Boone swiftly replaced with …(wait for it)...Derek Jeter! - the Yankees make an unheard of splash as Jeter surprisingly takes the job. Willie Randolph and Don Mattingly were also finalists for the position. The new Yankees GM is also…you guessed it…Derek Jeter, to be assisted by…Brian Cashman! The plan is for Cashman to transition to team president while grooming Jeter to transition to being the sole GM.
In this plan, both Omar Minaya and Brian Sabean are given greatly expanded roles and also spend time grooming Jeter to ascend. Meanwhile, Jeter hires Joe Espada as his bench coach and heir apparent.
With the Yankees leadership team revamped and their on field leadership problems all but solved, Jeter/Cashman/Minaya and Sabean attack MLB free agency, focusing on a massive overhaul to the starting rotation. Shohei Ohtani is signed to a record contract and they simultaneously add Blake Snell and Julio Urias. With a number of contracts coming off the books, including Josh Donaldson, Frankie Montas, Isia Kiner-Falefa, Luis Severino, Harrison Bader, Wandy Peralta and Kenyan Middleton, the Yankees channel the $49.8 million savings into sculpting a top-shelf starting rotation!
Joining Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, and a healthy Carlos Rodon, are the aforementioned Ohtani, Urias and Snell, which forms a 6-man rotation comprising two right-handers and four lefties, with the plan being to minimize the work loads of Uria and Cortes while also providing insurance in case of injuries. Unhappy with the Yankees 2023 ERA+ of 104, Steinbrenner doubles down on the importance of starting pitching, demonstrating a keen understanding that since 1903, past World Series champions have averaged a 113.48 ERA+ during the regular season.
Positionally, Jeter and company target Cody Bellinger to replace Harrison Bader in center field and they manage to offload Giancarlo Stanton, who agrees to waive his no trade clause, to the Padres in what amounts to a salary dump that frees up an additional $32 million. The Yankees also sign J.D. Martinez to provide some right-handed pop off the bench.
With a keen understanding of how crucially important it is for an organization to be able to translate it’s top prospects, Jeter decides to double down on the Yankees youth movement and a number of Yankees prospects are worked into the mix to open the season. Gleyber Torres is also traded in the offseason.
Jeter plans to start Dominguez in left field but also use him to back up Bellinger in centerfield, while flexing plenty of at bats for Everson Pereira in both left field and when backing Judge up in right field. Austin Wells is also promoted along with Trey Sweeney to start the season as Jeter looks to be aggressive on the bases and balance in the lineup.
1. Dominguez LF
2. Judge RF
3. Ohtani DH
4. Bellinger CF
5. Rizzo 1B
6. Sweeney 3B
7. Perazza 2B
8. Wells / Trevino C
9. Volpe SS
Bench: Pereira, Trevino, Florial, J.D. Martinez
2024 Starting Rotation
5. Cortes JR