Will New York’s “Big 3” be enough? Plus the X-Factors who will determine the success or demise of the Yankees in 2024?

Late January feels like baseball purgatory, especially around New York City.

It’s cold. It’s gray. You desperately want spring to arrive, with the hopes it brings the beginning of a championship season with it.

The Yankees have managed to have a massive offseason yet still find themselves wondering if they’re actually much improved from last seasons 4th place finish.

The thrill of landing Juan Soto, but the devastation of missing out on Yamamoto, has Yankees fans reeling for months now. But the anticipation for what could be a great season in the Bronx has us wondering what can we truly expect from the Bombers this year?

Who are the X-factors on offense and in the rotation?

Can the Big 3 of Cole Judge and Soto cover up the many blemishes on this roster?

Let’s dive in to it.

Many things are up for debate with this current roster, but Carlos Rodon being the X-Factor is not one of them.

For the Yankees to have any real success, Rodon has to return to his Giants form, the version of himself that landed him in the Bronx on a massive deal.

If he can be that guy, the 1B to Cole’s 1A, the Yankees have a chance to be special this year and in the postseason. At their best you can argue they’re the best 1-2 in the AL. Maybe even in MLB.

If he’s a bum like last season, the Yankees goals can be flushed down the drain.

The X-Factor on offense to me is Giancarlo Stanton. It might be the winter darkness hoping for light that has me dying for a feel good story, but I think Stanton returning to 70% of the player on the back of his baseball card will be immense to the Yankees success.

It’s unclear where he will hit in the order this year but it will be behind the Judge-Soto battery in some capacity.

Pitchers are going to be super careful with that duo, so the guys behind them have to drive in runs. Whether it’s Rizzo, Gleyber or Stanton, they all have to produce. But only Stanton had the track record of being a truly feared hitter. MVP caliber type bat. If Stanton who cut tons of weight and muscle this offseason can be that run producer he has been in the past, the Yankees could have the most lethal offense in recent memory

But what if the supporting cast is average at best? Is the reigning cy young in Gerrit Cole, the AL Home Run King Aaron Judge and the modern day Ted Williams- Juan Soto enough to get the Yankees into the playoffs and make a run?

The short answer would be no. Baseball isn’t like the NBA where your stars dictate wins and losses at and optimum level. Just look at the angels who have had Mike Trout a top 20 player to ever take the field for the past 14 years. They’ve never won a playoff game in that tenure, and that was with Ohtani for half of it.

Big name players perform under the bright lights. But it’s the depth and role players that get you there. Only time will tell if the Yankees will get there, but they have the pieces in place. Now the players have to go out and perform to the numbers on the back of their baseball card.

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