2024 Division Outlook: AL East

Two divisions down, four to go. The 2024 MLB Season is right around the corner, and it's time to preview and highlight the five squads that make up the American League East, a division that looks to be one of the strongest divisions in the sport.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles / Rob Carr/GettyImages
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New York Yankees

Alex Verdugo, Aaron Judge, Juan Soto
New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

Key Additions
- OF Juan Soto
- OF Alex Verdugo
- OF Trent Grisham
- RHP Marcus Stroman
- LHP Caleb Ferguson

Key Loses
- RHP Luis Severino
- RHP Michael King
- LHP Wandy Peralta
- UTL Isiah Kiner-Falefa
- C Kyle Higashioka

It is now or never for the New York Yankees, as Brian Cashman made it apparent it is boom or bust for the Evil Empire. Cashman proceeded to go out and make some major splashes, adding Juan Soto in a blockbuster deal with the Padres, acquiring Alex Verdugo in a rare deal with their rival Red Sox, and signing starter Marcus Stroman. Now, the Yankees are fully in go mode in their attempt to claim a World Series title, something they haven't done since 2009.

Aaron Boone's lineup is looking to bounce back from the below average offensive attack displayed last year, and the aforementioned reinforcements will help greatly in doing so. When healthy, the Yankees now have two of the top hitters in the game in Aaron Judge and Juan Soto, a duo that will be a treat to watch. Everybody already knows about them, so I don't have much else to say about them. Anthony Rizzo has found a new best friend in the short porch, helping him rejuvenate his career, and Gleyber Torres is constantly improving as an offensive threat. DJ LeMahieu and Giancarlo Stanton are veterans hoping to remain contributors, with the former still doing so, while the latter has watched his production fall off a cliff. If Stanton can even slightly tap into the power that propelled him to an MVP award in 2017, the Yankees lineup will get a massive production boost. However, if Stanton struggles to say healthy and lacks production, New York will have to deal with that black hole in their lineup and salary. Alex Verdugo lost all aura when he fell victim to the New York policy of no facial hair, but could join Rizzo in being best pals with the short porch this year. Rounded out by the promising youngster Anthony Volpe, I fully expect the Yankees lineup to perform at a top five level in the American League.

On the pitching side, the season hasn't even started and the Yankees have already received a massive blow, as ace and 2023 AL Cy Young award winner Gerrit Cole is expected to miss the opening month or two at the least. With that news, the Yankees were briefly swirled into Blake Snell rumors, but now that pairing is considered "highly unlikely." With Cole out, the rest of the Yankees rotation will have to step up in a major way in his place. Nestor Cortes followed up a great 2022 season with an injury-filled, low performing 2023. Carlos Rodon's first year of his 6-year, $162 million contract was a disaster to say the least, as he put up -0.2 fWAR. Marcus Stroman is a contact first pitcher who had a down second half last year, and Clarke Schmidt is a fine backend of the rotation guy. This isn't me trying to be overly negative on the Yankees, as I still expect them to a competitive squad this year, but rather me expressing my doubts. If Cortes and Rodon can be healthy and perform close to their normal level, the Yankees will be more than fine.

Team Co-MVPs: Aaron Judge / Juan Soto

Team Cy Young: Gerrit Cole

Team X-Factor: Gerrit Cole / Giancarlo Stanton

The Nationals will host the Yankees for three games from August 26-28.