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Thoughts On The 2024 Yankees: Future Champions?

Brandon Horne

New signing Juan Soto points to the crowd following a home run. 

As of May 25, 2024, the New York Yankees sit firmly atop the American League East division, with their 36-17 record, holding a 2.5 game advantage over the Baltimore Orioles. Furthermore, they hold the best record in the entire American League, one game over the Cleveland Guardians. One year ago, things were very different. The Yankees were in third place in the AL East, languishing behind the Rays and the Orioles. Their season would collapse when their biggest star, and 2022 MVP, Aaron Judge, would miss many months with a big toe injury. Towards the end of the year, the Yankees would flirt with a losing record, something they haven’t done since 1992, over 30 years ago. Fans became irritated; ownership was angry, and nothing was improving. This was until December 6th, 2023, when the Yankees acquired superstar slugger Juan Soto in a massive trade with the San Diego Padres. This wound up being the bulk of their offseason, besides the signing of pitcher Marcus Stroman. Although the trade was clearly a major win for the Yankees, with Soto being a league leading hitter in a plethora of categories, the general belief was for the Yankees to repeat what they’ve done for the past 14 seasons: lose in the playoffs, or look promising in the regular season only to fall off and miss the playoffs altogether. However, as of May 25th, things seem different.

Despite the lack of reigning AL Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole due to injury, the Yankees are rolling atop the American League. The combination of Juan Soto, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton, representing the very best of the so-called “Bronx Bombers,” have combined for 43 total HRs, more than the Rays, Tigers, and White Sox have on their entire rosters. The pitching has been solid, with the young Luis Gil stepping into the ace role and performing admirably. Closing games have been strong as well, with the ever-reliable Clay Holmes delivering 14/16 saves. Overall, the Yankees look to be a strong team, equipped with the firepower and depth needed to potentially make the push for a 28th World Series victory. 

Do I think they will achieve this? Well, the short answer is no. The longer answer would be a maybe. If the Yankees can keep up their current pace and strength, it’s very possible for them to challenge for a title. If they are unable to maintain the pace, it’s also very possible for them to pose no threat. The real question is, will the Yankees be able to re-sign Juan Soto? His contract expires at the end of this season, after all. If they can lock Soto up, and everyone remains healthy, I think there is a very strong chance for #28 to be theirs in the very near future. But as is so often quoted, “it ain’t over till it’s over,” (Former Yankees catcher Yogi Berra), so we’ll just have to wait and see what they can do.


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