Yankees likely Opening Day lineup with final roster cuts upon us

Projecting the Yankees Opening Day lineup with final roster cuts taking place.

Feb 25, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA;  New York Yankees left fielder Juan Soto (22) and right fielder
Feb 25, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Juan Soto (22) and right fielder / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees enter the 2024 season as one of the more interesting teams to watch in all of MLB. Coming off of a lackluster 82-80 season, New York made the biggest trade of the offseason, landing Juan Soto from the Padres to fortify what was an atrocious offense in 2023.

The addition of Soto helps, but New York has been absolutely ravaged by injuries. Not only did they lose their ace, Gerrit Cole, but they are without both D.J. LeMahieu, Oswald Peraza, and several relievers as well as Opening Day nears.

The Yankees will hope to stay in AL East contention, but with Cole set to miss the first month or two of the season at least, the task is daunting. They should, at the very least, be in Wild Card contention thanks to this improved lineup.

With Opening Day just one day away, here's how the Yankees lineup will likely look on Opening Day when they face off against the Houston Astros.

Projecting the Yankees Opening Day lineup after final roster cuts

1. Gleyber Torres - 2B
2. Juan Soto - RF
3. Aaron Judge - CF
4. Anthony Rizzo - 1B
5. Giancarlo Stanton - DH
6. Alex Verdugo - LF
7. Anthony Volpe - SS
8. Jon Berti - 3B
9. Jose Trevino - C

When healthy, LeMahieu would slot in at the hot corner and at the top of the lineup. Without him, it's unknown who will get the pleasure of hitting in front of the dynamic duo of Soto and Judge. Gleyber Torres led off 33 times last season and led off consistently to wrap up the spring, so he'll presumably get that first crack.

Torres followed by Soto and Judge is an elite trio to start games. Torres, easily the worst of the three, is an All-Star caliber player when right. Soto and Judge are, of course, MVP-caliber players when they're healthy. After that top three is where this lineup has some question marks.

The Yankees season might hinge on players like Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton. We've seen both Rizzo and Stanton perform at star if not superstar levels over the course of their careers. We also saw both of them deal with injuries and struggle mightily last season. If they're healthy and productive, this lineup can be among the league's elite. If they miss substantial time and/or struggle, this lineup suddenly becomes the Soto and Judge show.

Anthony Volpe is another X-Factor of sorts. Parts of his rookie season were impressive, like the 21 home runs he hit, 24 bases he stole, and Gold Glove defense he played, but he also hit just .209 with an 81 OPS+. An improved Volpe would go a long way, and he could wind up being their leadoff hitter before we know it.

The lineup rounds out with Jon Berti, a player New York just acquired from the Marlins. He's the LeMahieu replacement for now, but when the Yankees are healthy he should be a valuable utility man and a pest off the bench with his elite speed and base-stealing ability.

The catcher reps will likely be split between defensive-minded Jose Trevino and offensive-minded Austin Wells. Right-handed hitting Trevino will likely start on Opening Day with the Yankees set to face left-handed Framber Valdez, but Wells should see plenty of action as well.

This Yankees lineup has the potential to be incredibly deep, but it also can be very top-heavy if things go wrong. We know Soto and Judge will be superstars if they can stay healthy. Can everyone else do their jobs? That will play a huge role in determining where New York ends up this season.