MLB has locked out all of the players and canceled a minimum of spring training and a week of games. That means all of the active MLB players are currently unemployed. Joey Gallo had fun on Twitter posting a picture of his LinkedIn page, and Bryce Harper even posted a photoshopped picture of him playing in a Japanese uniform. The players are bored and miss baseball and competition, clearly.
So, a fun hypothetical was sparked: what if each baseball player that is unemployed was a free agent in other sports? What if they just got fed up waiting on the incompetent billionaire owners that they just decided to go take their athletic prowess elsewhere? Let’s put some players on NFL teams in a worst-case-scenario for baseball to improve an NFL team if they were to ever leave the sport entirely. The only rule being they can only be added to the team in their adjacent city.
Aaron Judge- New York Giants Tight End
Aaron Judge is the face of the New York Yankees, the premiere franchise of Major League Baseball. He used to have an iconic gap-toothed, good ol’ boy grin until he got it filled, but regardless, he is one of the most iconic figures of baseball.
He’s also 6’7 282 pounds and incredibly agile, winning Gold Glove Awards in the outfield. In high school growing up, he was a three-sport athlete, also playing wide receiver and basketball.
You know who had virtually no offense at all last year? His neighboring football franchise in East Rutherford, the New York Giants. Quarterback Daniel Jones practically had no dynamic throws or creativity on offense despite signing Kenny Golladay to his massive deal in free agency. Aaron Judge could’ve easily leapt in the end zone to provide some sort of spark to that anemic scheme in yet another nightmare of a season, especially now that tight end Kyle Rudolph has been released.
Max Scherzer- New York Jets Kicker
Max Scherzer is one of the most in-his-own-head, psychotic, dominant pitchers in the history of baseball. There are clips of him talking and screaming and cursing to himself on the mound as he proceeds to throw 100 mph and strike out the side, storming off, and continuing to talk to himself.
Scherzer, now in New York, could help the Jets at quite literally any position with the way they have performed the last decade or so. However, his psychotic behavior where it is just an absolute mind game of him vs. the entire world completely mirrors the mindset of a locked-in kicker. We’ve never seen Scherzer kick a football before, but he has the mental capacity to do so, and the Jets just need bodies at this point, right?
Fernando Tatis Jr.- Los Angeles Chargers Wide Receiver
Fernando Tatis Jr. is 6’3, 23 years old, and one of the most-athletic and long shortstops that can make dynamic diving plays for the San Diego Padres. He can outstretch and make some amazing grabs despite having low defensive efficiency overall. He has the long and lanky build that would make for a perfect, Odell Beckham-esque wide receiver, and who better to pair another 23 year-old superstar with QB Justin Herbert than with another west coast star? It’s only a shame that the Chargers aren’t in San Diego too any more.
Justin Verlander- Houston Texans Quarterback
Justin Verlander is 39 and far from his prime, but the 2x Cy Young Award Winner and MVP that throws 100 mph fastballs deeper into games than anyone else could still very easily be a workhorse and one of the best pitchers in baseball on any given night. Can you imagine him throwing absolute rocket passes to receivers in Houston as pure entertainment value? The Texans’ situation is a traveling clown show right now with the ugly Deshaun Watson cases, the mismanagement at the top, their coaching carousel, and overall, just a bad roster that has won a total of 8 games in 2 years. Davis Mills at quarterback wasn’t the problem his rookie season and showed some flashes, but if this franchise is doomed for the foreseeable future, let’s just have the Astros Hall of Famer come out and sling the rock.
Lance Lynn- Chicago Bears Offensive Lineman
The Bears have long been in search of their franchise quarterback ever since Jim McMahan was the man solely off of being cool in 1985. They traded their first round draft pick to move up and get Justin Fields last year, who was, in a word, alright. He was 31st in total QBR and has a lot to learn, but much of the blame has been put on his lack of creativity from their fired coach, no viable skill players to get the ball to, and no protection. Fields needs to be mobile like he was in college at Ohio State, and that will require improving the offensive line so he has extra time in a more creative gameplan from new head coach Matt Eberflus.
There happens to be a man pitching in the south side of Chicago that is 6’5, 250, and has the strength and intensity of an actual grizzly bear that would most-likely be more than willing to take down any man with his bare hands. That man is Lance Lynn. He throws nothing but heater fastballs, living by the mantra of “mass = gas” and screams F-bombs as he barrels off the mound in celebration. He’s an honorary offensive lineman at heart that could easily step in and protect Fields.
Amir Garrett- Cincinnati Bengals Defensive Back
Defensive backs have to be the most confident, ready-to-fight at any given notice, cocky athletes in the sport that play mind games with their opposing receivers to win the mental battle. Some may call that diva behavior, but it’s this inherent motivation that creates a spark to shut down the other man one-on-one. It requires being a certain breed.
Amir Garrett, Cincinnati Reds’ reliever, is the complete embodiment of the uber-confident defensive back that could take on the entire world if he so desired. He fought an entire team of Pirates players BY HIMSELF on the Reds and afterwards just continued to yell “I’m like that!!!” to their dugout. He screamed at Anthony Rizzo after striking him out to fire himself up despite the Cubs actually winning in the 8th inning and it being completely inconsequential. He’s a former 6’6 basketball prospect from St. John’s that is incredibly athletic and exudes hostility in the best way possible to be a performing defensive back. The AFC Champion Bengals across the street from Great American Ballpark probably could have used Garrett a lot more than they did Eli Apple down the stretch in the postseason.