Almost everyone has heard the news: the New York Yankees made the first splash in the offseason, acquiring newly-named MVP Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins. While not having been rumored to Stanton up until a few days ago, the Bronx bombers wasted no time getting involved quickly, and making the trade for him less than 24 hours after engaging with Miami.
Stanton, who slashed a video-game type line of 59 home runs (HR), 132 runs batted in (RBI) and a 281. batting average (AVG). His HR and RBI totals were both good for best in the league.
This Stanton trade makes the AL East even more of an exciting division to follow. Stanton joins a Yankees lineup that consists of Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Didi Gregorius. I mention these players because the four of them combined to hit more home runs than four other baseball clubs hit the entire season- the Boston Red Sox, being one of them. Aaron Judge stood out the most, hitting 52 HRs. Judge also had 114 RBIs and a 284. AVG, which earned him Rookie of the Year honors.
As a Red Sox fan, I love and hate this trade. I knew Stanton wasn’t coming to Beantown, but seeing him donning pinstripes come early April will not be a pretty sight. At the same time, if you are an avid follower of baseball and specifically a Boston fan, this should excite you as well. The best seasons I’ve ever watched growing up were when the Red Sox and Yankees were at the peak of their rivalry. It was Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz going against Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. With Stanton now in the Big Apple, this rivalry is only further being revived. The Red Sox already have a lineup stacked with young talent and if they can go out and lure in an Eric Hosmer or J.D. Martinez type bat, I can’t even imagine the type of fireworks we’ll witness in the 2018 season.
Of course other pieces have to fall into place as well. Both teams experienced managerial replacements recently, and there are areas both teams need to sure up before spring training comes. Pitching comes to mind for both teams. The Red Sox need to find a way to balance out a rotation heavy with left-handed pitchers. On New York’s side, Luis Severino showed many signs of becoming an ace. But after that, there are some questions. Can they expect another solid campaign out of an aging pitcher in Sabathia, who will turn 38 in July? Masahiro Tanaka will also look to rebound from a subpar 2017, which saw his ERA skyrocket from 3.07 (2016) to 4.74 (2017).