Yankees' Opening Day roster finalized

March 28th, 2024

Seated behind the desk of the visiting managers’ office at Minute Maid Park, the same surface upon which the Yankees’ first lineup card of the season will be filled out, Aaron Boone called Thursday’s Opening Day festivities “a time of tremendous hope.”

“Coming off a season where we really struggled offensively, I feel like as we sit here now, we have a chance to be a really good offensive group,” Boone said. “That’s the expectation, and that’s the hope. This is an exciting time in Major League Baseball for all the teams. Tomorrow we get to find out how good we are.”

Here is a look at the latest iteration of the Yankees’ roster, as announced by the club on Thursday:

Catchers (2): ,
Trevino will draw the Opening Day start behind the plate, though Boone has suggested that it could be a 60-40 split with Wells, whose left-handed bat showed promise during his September callup. Trevino’s presence was missed after his season-ending wrist surgery last July, especially by the pitching staff.

First baseman (1):
The fog from last year’s concussion has lifted for Rizzo, and he has appeared to return to form offensively and defensively. If his spring results translate into the season, Rizzo could be a contender for Comeback Player of the Year. Rizzo hit .389 (14-for-36) with three doubles, two homers and nine RBIs in 15 spring games.

Second baseman (1):
Torres enjoyed a terrific spring, hitting .356 (16-for-45) with four doubles, three homers and seven RBIs in 17 games. That consistency should be no surprise, considering that Torres led the Yanks last season in batting average (.273), hits (163), extra-base hits (55), doubles (28) and multihit games (46).

Shortstop (1):
Coming off a rookie season in which he exceeded 20 homers and 20 steals while winning a Gold Glove Award, Volpe has his sights set on greater things. He tweaked his swing during the offseason to fine-tune his bat path, aiming to produce more level cuts and do more damage while reducing strikeouts.

Third baseman (1):
Wednesday’s trade for the 34-year-old Berti provides a capable fill-in while the Yankees wait for to return from the injured list. Berti slashed .294/.344/.405 with seven home runs and 16 stolen bases for the Marlins in 2023, spending most of his time at shortstop and third base. In 2022, Berti led all of MLB in stolen bases with 41.

Outfielders (4): , , ,
The Judge and Soto show is coming to a town near you, with Judge looking to reprise his 2022 AL MVP form and Soto an odds-on favorite to shine as the AL’s best player in ’24. Soto’s arrival promises to add left-handed balance, patience and power to the lineup, while Verdugo is an above-average defender with some clutch hitting abilities. Grisham could see a decent amount of playing time in center field, especially with the working plan to have Judge DH twice a week.

Designated hitter (1):
Stanton is coming into the season leaner after slashing a career-worst .191/.275/.420 with 24 homers, 60 RBIs and an 87 OPS+ in 101 games last year. Slowed by numerous lower-half injuries in recent campaigns, Stanton prioritized diet and conditioning during the winter. He’s seeing the benefits, moving better on the bases and enjoying a three-homer game this spring.

Utility players (2): ,
Cabrera was in line to start at third base before Berti’s acquisition on Wednesday; now, he’ll return to the utility role that the team initially envisioned for him, considering that Cabrera appeared at every position but catcher and pitcher last season. Jones has played mostly second base as a pro, though he’s also appeared at left field and center field in the Minors.

Starting Pitchers (5): , , , ,
With set to miss at least a month due to a right elbow injury, the Yanks' depth will be tested earlier than expected. Cortes will draw his first Opening Day start on Thursday in Houston, to be followed by Rodón and Stroman in the series. Boone named Gil the No. 5 starter after the righty posted a 2.87 ERA and struck out 23 in 15 2/3 innings over five Grapefruit League outings.

Relief Pitchers (8): (CL), , , , , , ,
During the Yankees’ exhibition series in Mexico City, Boone announced that Burdi made the club as a non-roster invitee, while Beeter earned a spot in the bullpen with a variety of roles envisioned -- possibly as a distance reliever, or to be used in high-leverage situations. Loáisiga is being used as a multi-inning reliever during the first half, similar to how Michael King was used for most of the ’23 season. Though Tommy Kahnle is beginning the year on the injured list, he could return in mid-April.