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Jonathan Holder has a realistic shot of making the All-Star team

Middle relievers have only recently started receiving universal recognition for their individual performance in Major League Baseball, due to the new age of numbers in the sport. Saves are no longer the all-telling, ultimate stat about a reliever’s success and WAR, ERA+, and other metrics have opened the eyes of fans on just how valuable it is for a team to have dominant relievers outside of the ninth inning role. Their widely agreed on importance has led to a lot of non-closer relievers making the All-Star team in recent seasons. The American League squad had two of them in 2017 and 2015, and a whopping four in 2016. If this trend continues, the AL should feature at least one or two non-closer relievers, and possibly more, with the scarcity of lockdown closers in the AL in 2018. The Yankees feature a lot of highly talented middle relievers and the pitcher who has surprised everyone the most, Jonathan Holder, has a very realistic shot of cracking the AL All-Star squad.

Envisioning Murderer's Row 2.0

Last night reports were coming out that the Yankees were close to acquiring the reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton, which happened to set Twitter on fire like nothing I have ever seen.  Yankee fans including myself refused to go to sleep for fear of missing the story break. By the time I woke up this morning the trade was at the finish line.
Photo Credit: SI.com

Per Mark Feinsand MLB.com these are the parameters pending physicals.

This lineup is going to be scary.

The Yankees led the majors in home runs last season and now they have added the NL Home Run leader. I can see the Yankees rotating Judge and Stanton between RF and DH with Stanton playing LF the days Gardner is DHing and Hicks and Gardner sharing the CF job barring another trade. 

Speaking of trades, it would not surprise me if Clint Frazier is packaged with Ellsbury and another prospect to free up some outfield depth and bring in another starting pitcher but that's just speculation. However, something tells me Cashman isn't done dealing. 

Now here's my projected lineup for Opening Day:

Gardner LF
Judge RF
Bird 1B
Stanton DH
Sanchez C
Didi SS
Headley 3B
Torreyes 2B (unless Gleyber Torres or Tyler Wade have another spring training like last year)
Hicks CF

Now don't get me wrong you can pretty much write this lineup a few ways but it would make sense to throw a lefty swinging Bird in between Judge and Stanton. In all barring any major injuries this lineup is going to score a lot of runs and baseballs will be flying out of Yankee Stadium.

The pure strength and poise of hitters like Sanchez, Bird, Judge, and Stanton will truly be a sight to see.

Article by: Matthew Donovan