It’s going to take a while for us to know who will be in the New York Yankees‘ 2022 Opening Day lineup due to the expiring Collective Bargaining Agreement, which is expected to derail the offseason.
The silver lining? General manager Brian Cashman will have more time to see this article, strategize his moves, and strike when the iron’s hot to bring all the right guys to the Bronx in an effort to erase the underachieving 2020 and 2021 campaigns.
A number of familiar faces will be back, but there are muliple areas where the Yankees can make changes and upgrade, especially if they’re able to free up some money, convince stars to sign, and pull off shrewd trades.
We’re not going to get too crazy here because some players simply won’t be leaving even though some of you might want them traded or non-tendered. There’s only so much heavy lifting that can be done. It’s just a matter of making the few spot-on acquisitions that can set them apart.
The Yankees managed to disappoint in a massive way this past season, but they’re not far off. A switch-hitter, speedster, and plus defender at first base and/or in center field changes the game for the 2022 squad.
Let’s take a look at our dream lineup for Opening Day and have some fun.
Batting Leadoff: Ketel Marte (Center Field)
We’ll surely get called out for this. “How DARE you think the Yankees can trade for other team’s players?! You spoiled brats think you deserve everything!”
Nope, not really. The Diamondbacks are just one of the worst teams in the league with no sign of turning it around and the Yankees have a stacked farm system that can help Arizona expedite their rebuild. Also, this is a DREAM lineup. Let us live. Thanks.
Marte, once the Yankees figure out what to do with Aaron Hicks (he simply can no longer be a viable option), can take over in center field. He can also fill in at second base and shortstop if need be. This would be a luxury.
The switch-hitter has also had success in the leadoff spot and two-hole, so manager Aaron Boone will have options.
A trade here won’t be cheap, but Marte is only 28 years old and, if his team options are picked up, he can be had for a total of $26.4 million through 2024. The Yankees have enough top prospects to entice the D-Backs, who need just about everything. A package of one of their infield prospects and a pitching prospect could very well get the job done.