Major League Baseball’s off-season finally commenced on Wednesday as Texas Rangers lifted their maiden World Series title after defeating Arizona Diamondbacks by 4-1. Now that the off-season is upon us, the New York Yankees must pick up the pieces and start preparations for the 2024 season, wherein a comeback is a must. Meanwhile, here are some six such questions the Yanks must address this winter.
What Are The Changes Incoming In The Yankees Internal Process?
Hal Steinbrenner promised a third-party audit but backtracked right after the Yankees fell out of the playoff race. So, what will the internal review process look like? So far, Steinbrenner has displayed zero interest in firing any top official. Thus, the fans can expect major changes in the roster construction, as many believe that players are the root cause of everything. Additionally, the under-fire analytical team can come under scanner as the club’s captain, Aaron Judge, earlier raised his doubts on the authenticity of numbers. Apart from these, we do not expect any major incoming changes in the Yanks’ internal structure.
How Much Value Would Aaron Judge & Gerrit Cole’s Input Hold To Hal Steinbrenner?
Hal Steinbrenner will meet Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole frequently this off-season. He feels that player representation in the decision-making is essential in any organization. However, to what extent will Judge and Cole’s suggestions will be taken into consideration remains a burning question. The duo has no experience in player scouting and acquisition. So, are they the right people to be asking for advice? That’s a thing Steinbrenner needs to figure out before he calls them to his office the next time or hands them a seat at the decision-making table.
What Message Hal Steinbrenner Has For Infuriated Yankee Fanbase?
Hal Steinbrenner is expected to hold a post-season press conference in a few days. Since the regular season wrapped up, the Yankees owner made a mere one public appearance, which contained negligible details of the team’s off-season plans. But at the official press conference, fans would expect some answers and accountability. Having said that, since the season review is still underway, Hal’s mouth will remain sealed. Still, he can offer solace to the fans by promising a comeback in 2024. And also asserting his intentions of spending big on free agency.
Will Aaron Boone Change In Approach In 2024?
The 2024 season is a make-or-break year for skipper Aaron Boone. If he delivers a repeat of 2023, the Yankees are unlikely to opt for club option in 2025. Aaron Judge earlier called for a sense of urgency in 2024. And the job to inoculate that urgency into players is that of skipper Boone. He would need to adopt a much more aggressive approach and make tough decisions. Boone has to risk his bond with players for the betterment of the franchise. But at the end of the day, Aaron Boone will have to ensure that the roster stays healthy because that’s the key to success.
What Reinforcements Yankees Need In Pitching Staff?
The starting rotation looks incomplete and unstable for the 2024 season. Only Gerrit Cole and Carlos Rodon have a fixed place, and possibly Michael King if the Yankees are still running the idea of a promotion. But they need reinforcements from outside. Yoshinobu Yamamoto is a name for doing rounds. He could fetch a steep price, but the Bombers are desperate and must take a plunge. Additionally, they need bullpen pieces as the return of Jhony Brito and Randy Vasquez is uncertain.
How To Upgrade Offense?
Offensive lacklustre was the biggest contributor to the Yankees’ 2023 season failure. Ahead of 2024, the Bombers must strengthen the offensive lineup both internally and externally. Internally, the team must make sure Anthony Rizzo comes back healthy in time for the opening day. Additionally, the coaching staff needs to help Giancarlo Stanton regain his old self. Moving on, externally, the Yanks need 2-3 strong arms. If they get Juan Soto, well and good. But if the Padres back out at the last minute, Hal Steinbrenner should bat hard for Cody Bellinger. Jeimer Candelario is also an option for the infield.