Yankees dream lineup after Juan Soto trade already looks so much more dangerous

It's kind of wild what 24 hours can do.

San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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So, now that Juan Soto has joined the Yankees (!!!) ... and Alex Verdugo ... and Trent Grisham ... can Aaron Boone just ... run a balanced lineup out there most nights? As a treat?

Last summer's Yankees lineup was almost comically lopsided, featuring righty after righty by design, occasionally interrupted by a wild card addition like Jake Bauers, Willie Calhoun or Billy McKinney. It was like the Yankees realized their lefty-signing homework was due on Opening Day and they turned in a taped-together poster board labeled "Lefties I Found Around the Sink: Do They Work?".

Now, all of a sudden, the Yankees have casually added a projected 170 wRC+ lefty bat in Soto, a generational talent. The only questions surrounding Soto are when he'll enter the Hall of Fame and which team's hat he'll wear (the Yankees have a year to get their ducks in a row for that conversation). Verdugo can start in left or right, sending Aaron Judge to center. He could also split time with Grisham in center; Verdugo punishes righties (.279 with a .793 OPS last season), while Grisham has fun reverse splits (.256 with a .792 OPS against left-handers).

In our dream lineup -- one where Soto is regularly pouncing on tanks to the porch -- we're going to give the edge to the platoon, keeping Judge off his feet in Year 2 of a massive extension.

We can't wait, either.

Yankees Dream Lineup After Juan Soto Trade

1. Gleyber Torres, 2B
2. Juan Soto, LF
3. Aaron Judge, RF
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
5. Giancarlo Stanton, DH
6. Alex Verdugo/Trent Grisham, CF
7. DJ LeMahieu, 3B
8. Austin Wells/Jose Trevino, C
9. Anthony Volpe, SS

For those keeping score at home, that's R-L-R-L-R-L-R-L When Wells Starts-R. The Yankees, just a few months removed from having near-zero capability of being daunting to hard-throwing righty relievers, have now changed the game. There are no more easy "lanes". There is only prowess.

Torres trade rumors abounded early in the offseason (and last offseason, and last deadline...), but those should cease now that Steinbrenner and Cashman have acquired Soto. That makes 2024 -- the only season Soto's guaranteed to be under control -- an all-in season. Need pitching depth and want to explore some trades? Do so by dangling Everson Pereira and Oswald Peraza; Torres should be a non-starter. If he's shopped again, we'll unleash our anger accordingly, but at this moment, it doesn't seem reasonable.

Oh, right. Want to really kick this "dream" lineup up a notch? Then flash forward to August's version, when switch-hitting Jasson Dominguez can slide nicely into that No. 6 hole. Do you see the vision? Torres gives the team all he can in his walk year. If things go according to plan, Volpe ascends to the leadoff spot in 2025 and beyond, with The Martian further solidifying center field after Verdugo departs. In a flash, the Yankees are built for both today and tomorrow, a few weeks after it looked like they'd be in for a long winter that could last for all of 2024.

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