Aaron Judge Yankees

The New York Yankees will begin another quest for title No. 28 this season. The Yankees haven’t celebrated a World Series championship since 2009, and a 15-year drought for Yankee fans might as well feel like 30.

While the team has had issues over the years trying to remain who it is amid resetting financial priorities, the team made a huge splash this offseason. As a result, combined with many other talented players, big things will be expected out of the Bronx Bombers again in 2024.

With that in mind, here are the five most important Yankees for the 2024 MLB season.

Aaron Judge

There’s nobody more fitting to start this list off than with the best player on the team. Aaron Judge has been an offensive powerhouse over the last two seasons. After hitting 62 home runs in a historic 2022 season, Judge followed that up with 37 home runs in just 106 games. Injuries nagged Judge for a good chunk of the season, and he still came three away from hitting 40 a year after hitting over 60. Judge’s power knows no bounds, and he’s poised to have another brilliant season. Everything goes through Aaron Judge, so he comes first and foremost.

Alex Verdugo

Historically, left-handed hitters have succeeded at Yankee Stadium. Some of the best players to wear pinstripes have batted from the left side of the plate. Enter Alex Verdugo, who made his way over to the Yankees this offseason. A former Red Sock, he might find himself needing to impress the home fans before they overwhelmingly like him. His bat took a dip last season, but his defense did not, which could be noteworthy, as Verdugo’s defense has been slow to arrive at the party over his career. If he brings the bat he had a few seasons ago in Boston, his arrival in New York could prove pivotal.

Gerrit Cole

You’re as good as your ace will allow you to be. The New York Yankees hope they’re really freaking good because of Gerrit Cole. He became the first pitcher in Yankees history since Roger Clemens to win the American League Cy Young Award after a brilliant 2023. He’s been worth the massive contract that the team gave him a few years ago. Every fifth day, Cole will get out there and put the Yankees in position to win. That’s why his value to this team is unmistakable. If the Yankees are great in 2024, it’s certainly because of Gerrit Cole.

Granted, Cole may miss time to due to an apparent injury that’s surfaced. Manager Aaron Boone isn’t saying how long he’ll be gone, but the team is reportedly rummaging through options for Opening Day. Not the greatest of signs, but it heightens that Cole’s presence will be vital for this club.

Juan Soto

The Yankees made a big splash this offseason when they acquired multi-time All-Star Juan Soto in a trade with the San Diego Padres. Soto is one of MLB’s brightest and best young stars in the game. He’s shown an impressive amount of discipline, sharpness, and power at the plate. He gets on base at an incredible rate and is simply one of the best in the game. Soto has already shown his bat off in Spring Training and has Yankees fans excited. It might only be for the short-term, as Soto will become a free agent at the end of this season. If Soto leads the Yankees to No. 28, most fans might not even mind the aftermath.

Marcus Stroman

The Yankees signed Marcus Stroman in the hopes of bolstering their rotation. The team has fallen a bit short in pitching over the past few seasons, and now, with Stroman aboard, they certainly feel they’re more complete. Their rotation now features Cole, Stroman, Nestor Cortes, Clarke Schmidt, and Carlos Rodon, who’ll hopefully contribute more after an injury-riddled year. But, this is about Stroman, a veteran who’s pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, and Chicago Cubs. He’s seen it all and has pitched in big spots before. The Yankees are the biggest spot, so Stroman will feel right at home for their sake.

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022