Batting second, Aaron Judge - CF
In this dream, the Yankees also sign Kevin Kiermaier, but he ... uh, he doesn't get the Opening Day start. You need a bench, though. "Bench," in recent years for the Yankees, has simply translated to "Bad Players Who Can't Start, LOL, Are You Kidding Me?" That needs to change, and Kiermaier would be a step in the right direction.
Aaron Judge, the Yankees' Captain, hopefully shook off the toe-related cobwebs in the second half of 2023, posting a 1.066 OPS in September and October, registering 37 homers in 367 at-bats (mind blown). He'll play center and right to start the season, but we'll give him the Mickey Mantle legacy spot on Opening Day because ...
Batting third, Billy McKinn -- JK, it's Juan Soto - RF
It's the only way.
The Yankees, according to Jeff Passan's latest offseason rumblings, have the pitching at their upper tiers of the minors to satisfy the Padres' demands, which is what we've been waiting to hear all along. The Cubs and Mariners do, too, but Passan claims they won't be willing to part with it.
San Diego might not want to trade Soto yet, but it seems like they're eventually going to have to reckon with the fact that cutting payroll as much as they want to and keeping Soto are two incompatible ideas. Scott Boras will send his prize pupil to free agency regardless, but taking advantage of the desperate Padres by dangling two or three prospects from an area of strength is what good teams do. Don't overthink it.