Yankees bet big on Juan Soto, Verdugo: Is this enough to rule the AL? 

Juan Soto during an spring training game, in 2024.
New York Yankees
Esteban Quiñones
Monday March 4, 2024

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As the New York Yankees take the field for spring training, manager Aaron Boone has high hopes that a revamped offense will propel the team back to elite status. Recent acquisitions Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo, combined with expected bounce-back years from DJ LeMahieu, Anthony Rizzo, and Giancarlo Stanton, have created a buzz of excitement around the Bronx Bombers’ potential firepower.

“We’ve added some big bats this offseason,” Boone said after Saturday’s workout. “Getting Juan Soto was huge for us, and we think Verdugo is going to be a really nice complement in the outfield and lineup. But the key will be our guys who struggled a bit last year getting back on track – DJ, Rizzo, Stanton. If they produce like we know they can, we’re going to score a ton of runs.”

Projected lineup and rotation take shape

The early lineup projections have LeMahieu leading off, followed by Soto, Aaron Judge, Stanton, Rizzo, Gleyber Torres, Verdugo, Jose Trevino, and rookie Anthony Volpe. Soto may shift to left field for some games to optimize the outfield defense.

In addition to the offensive upgrades, the Yankees rotation looks formidable with additions like Carlos Rodon joining aces Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes. Clarke Schmidt appears to have won the fifth starter job in camp.

Bullpen and Bench Compositions

As stated by the Athletic, the bullpen still has one or two spots to be decided, but figures to be anchored by Clay Holmes, Jonathan Loaisiga and Tommy Kahnle. Nick Burdi has opened eyes and could claim a high-leverage role despite his injury history.

While star prospect Oswald Peraza may begin the year in Triple-A, the Yankees bench is experienced with Austin Wells, Trent Grisham, Oswaldo Cabrera and Donovan Solano providing depth.

Of course, questions remain as Opening Day approaches on March 30th. But one thing is clear – the 2024 Yankees have reloaded their lineup with sluggers, creating high expectations to return to the top of the American League.

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