If the Yankees were smart — and if they’ve shown us anything over the past eight years or so, it’s that they’re both smart and not smart at the same time — they’d play Rodriguez at short, Jeter at second and the almost-newest Yankee, Mike Lamb, at third. Not gonna happen, though. I would like to make this wild prediction, however: Lamb will be the PTBNL in the Rodriguez-Soriano deal and the Rangers will play him at 2B with Michael Young moving to SS.
For all the talk of Giambi’s health, he did manage to lead the Yankees in OPS (.939) last season while ranking 7th in the AL. Then you’ve got Jeter, who despite not being as good as advertised, still manages to get on base at nearly a .400 clip for his career. Moving on, you’re looking at Gary Sheffield, Jorge Posada and of course Rodriguez. Bernie Williams should see a jump in his offensive production assuming he’s moved to DH, and Hideki Matsui isn’t exactly a slouch.
What’s scary is that despite all this, the Red Sox might still score more runs than the Yankees. As for a new 2B? Here’s a scary thought — Montreal’s Jose Vidro. OK, forget I said that.
What should really worry M’s fans about the super-arming of the Yankees (esp if/when they pick up a top 2B one way or another) is that if there are two 100+ win teams in the AL East, the M’s might as well book their travel plans now (or, even better, book their luxury vacations), because today it looks like there’s no way they’re going to wrangle a wild card this coming season, and the A’s and Angels look like the teams that are going to dog-fight for the division pennant.
That said, this talk about the Yankees scoring some historic number of runs seems… early, at the least. They’re an old, old team, with Giambi’s health an open question, and CF a potential black hole of offense (and defense) if Lofton plays regularly there. If they replaced their 2B hole with, uh… Bret Boone (who has been an astonishingly productive player, defying almost everyone, including me, who didn’t see this coming), or… Marcus Giles? Then they might be looking at getting over 1,000 runs. Who’s out there and good for someone looking to cut salary. Jeff Kent, maybe? Ray Durham?