BOSTON - Imagine if all of our jobs had trade deadlines right in the middle of the year.
One day you're at your cubicle and the manager asks to see you in his or her office. Next thing you know, you're on a plane to a far-off city. You start work the next day -- or maybe even later that day -- and you may or may not know anyone at the new place. And you are expected to perform at your best from Day One.
Major League Baseball players face this reality every year, with the anxiety peaking in late July. This year, the Yankees added three players at the July 31 non-waiver deadline: infielder Stephen Drew, infielder/outfielder Martin Prado and pitcher Esmil Rogers.
In fact, nearly half of the members of the Yankees' current roster -- 12 of 25 -- have changed teams during the season in their careers, some more than once.
This list includes a future Hall of Famer in Ichiro Suzuki, who was traded from the Mariners to the Yankees in 2011. It includes two players who someday could be Hall of Fame candidates in Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira, both of whom have been traded during two different seasons.
It includes journeymen such as Rogers, Chris Capuano and David Huff, who weren't acquired for players but for money. It includes other 2014 Yankees pickups such as Chase Headley and Brandon McCarthy.
Brendan Ryan joined the Yankees in September of last season, meaning he wouldn't have been eligible for postseason play if they had made it.
Lefty reliever Matt Thornton changed his Sox from White to Red last July and got the ultimate benefit: a World Series ring with Boston.
Injured Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia was one of the all-time midseason pickups. He went 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA and pitched Milwaukee into the playoffs after being acquired from Cleveland in 2008.
Whether they have success or failure with their new teams, the players agree on one thing: It's not easy going from one team to another during a season.
"Everything about it is tough," said Beltran, who was traded from Kansas City to Houston in June 2004 and from the Mets to the Giants in July 2011. "You come from an environment where you feel comfortable to a place where you've got to get to know people, the system. You've got family. Packing. Everything. It's tough. It takes time to get used to it."
Drew and Prado had the double whammy of going to a new team and having to move to new positions.
Drew, a shortstop, was acquired on Thursday to play second base, a position he hasn't manned since high school. But because the Yankees were playing Boston the day after the trade, Drew merely had to switch clubhouses from home to visitor at Fenway Park.
Prado arrived in Boston from Phoenix just hours before Friday night's game. He was told to get ready to become a rightfielder after having played two innings at the position in his big-league career.
"It's been a while since I've played rightfield," he said, "but I told [Joe Girardi] that I'm open for it to help my teammates, help my team win games."
That's another common thread among the recently acquired: checking your ego at the door. Whatever your age, you're the new kid in town. "There definitely is -- when you walk into a new room and see a lot of new faces -- a first-day-of-school thing," Capuano said.
Capuano, who came to the Yankees from the Colorado organization after opening the season with Boston, started a game the day after joining the Yankees and pitched well. Headley got the winning hit in extra innings after arriving in the Bronx during the game on July 22.
On Sunday night, Drew drove in four runs and Rogers earned the win with three scoreless innings of relief in the Yankees' 8-7 victory over the Red Sox.
Said Teixeira: "That's the easy side, actually. Baseball is baseball. It doesn't matter what team you're on, who your teammates are. It's the exact same game."