New York Yankees
2023 was a year to forget for the Yankees. In a season where their eyes were set on a championship, they'd end up missing the playoffs altogether. Naturally, they'd need to act fast to get back on track, and that's precisely what they did. The Yankees are one of 4 teams to spend zero dollars in free agency thus far, but have been heavily active in the trade market. The Yankees primary acquisitions for their major league roster were left-handed reliever Victor Gonzalez, left-handed outfielders in Alex Verdugo and Trent Grisham, but most importantly, Juan Soto; one of the best hitters in all of baseball.
Victor Gonzalez is a nice addition to the Yankees bullpen, giving them a left-handed arm to prioritize getting same-handed hitters out. He underperformed his xERA by almost a full run, indicating that he may be due to face some positive regression, especially for a pitcher who excels at getting groundballs at the rate he does at 54.3% last season.
Alex Verdugo is no stranger to the Yankees, having been their division rival for the past four seasons, with the Boston Red Sox. Verdugo has slowly been regressing offensively each year, but still projects to be around a league average hitter, with the ability to hit to all fields with very low K rates and O-Swing%. He is likely to mainly fare against RHP, and sit against LHP for another outfielder, Trent Grisham.
Grisham's past couple seasons have not been great offensively, but has always graded out as a plus defender in CF (7 OAA in 2023). Grisham managed to post a 125 wRC+ against lefties last year, giving him reverse splits. Him and Verdugo could work well off each other in a platoon role, where they're both put in a spot to succeed. These are all respectable acquisitions by the Yankees, but the cream of the crop is none other than Juan Soto. At just 25-years old, Soto has put up a 140 wRC+ or higher in 6 straight seasons. He has never posted an OBP under .400, and likely has not reached his prime yet. The Yankees add Soto to Judge giving them likely the best hitting duo in all of baseball for 2024.
The cost of getting Soto was most certainly noticeable, as the Yankees traded away Michael King, Drew Thorpe, Jhony Brito, Randy Vásquez, and Kyle Higashioka in return. This is a significant amount of pitching being sacrificed to bolster the offense, which leaves the Yankees biggest remaining need being some starting pitching to go with Gerrit Cole at the top of the rotation. The Yankees have done an imposing job this offseason, and if they finish it out with one of the starting pitchers remaining on the trade or free agent market, they'll be in a much better place than they were just a few short months ago.