Yankees

Akshita Patel

CHECKOUT: New York Yankees Off-Season Moves Graded Ahead Of 2024 Season

The New York Yankees front office pulled every string they could to bolster the roster ahead of the key 2024 MLB season. Needless to say, the front office remained under intense pressure to turn things around. And to be fair, Brian Cashman pulled off some bold moves. But there were a lot of misses, too. Regardless, let’s grade the Bronx Bombers off-season moves to evaluate how the team performed this off-season.

Juan Soto Trade – A+

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NY Post

The New York Yankees shot two targets with one bullet by trading superstar outfielder Juan Soto. In a blockbuster seven-player exchange, Soto landed in the Bronx, thus putting an end to the Yank’s outfield and offensive struggles. It’s understood that the exchange price was steep. However, owing to the Bombers’ desperation, the risk was the need of the hour. Thus, the trade deserves the highest order of grade, which is A+.

   

Marcus Stroman Signing – B+

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Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman has put together seven quality starts in eight outings this season. File photo.Getty

After losing out on Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Blake Snell, the New York Yankees pivoted to Marcus Stroman in a two-year $37 million deal. Stroman will fill the gap in the Yanks rotation for the upcoming season. In his past stint with the Chicago Cubs, Stroman went 10-9 and posted a 3.95 ERA across 27 games, which included 25 starts. In 2023, his ground ball rate stood at 57.4, which was of significant value to the Bombers. Thus, Stroman’s signing also makes a lot of sense and deserves a B+ grade.

Bullpen Signings – C

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Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY SPORTS

The Yankees front office failed to make a significant move in the bullpen this off-season. Luke Weaver, Cody Morris, and Cody Poteet were some key signings. But besides that, it seems this season, the farm system depth will have to step up. Chase Hampton, Will Warren, and Luis Gill could likely debut in case of injuries to the regular starting rotation.

Alex Verdugo Trade – C

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Alex Verdugo #99 of the Boston Red Sox hits a three-run home run off Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Guardians during the sixth inning at Progressive Field on June 25, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. SOURCE: Nick Cammett/Getty Images

In another splash move to bolster the outfield and hitting depth, the Yankees traded Alex Verdugo from arch-rivals Boston Red Sox. They gave away Richard Fitts, Greg Weissert, and Nicholas Judic in exchange for the blockbuster deal. Verdugo is efficient, but his final stint with the Red Sox was tumultuous. He experienced friction with manager Alex Cora, which eventually led to his imminent exit. Regardless, the Yanks have embraced Verdugo’s addition. He will play left field, thus putting an end to the never-ending revolving door at left field. Therefore, the trade deserves a C grade.

Estevan Florial’s Exit – C

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Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Owing to overflowing outfield depth following Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo’s trade, the Yankees trade former prospect Estevan Florial to Cleveland Guardians in exchange for pitching piece Cody Morris. Florial, a former top prospect, missed out on key chances due to non-availability on the 40-man roster. In pinstripes, Florial played in 48 games over four different seasons. But barely managed over 71 plate appearances in any season whatsoever. In 2023, though, he had a .944 OPS and 28 homers in 101 Triple-A games. It would be interesting to see how a change of scenery works for Florial in Cleveland.

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