News Report: Seven factors fueling Yankees’ blistering start after 2023 ‘disaster’…

The Yankees’ 10-3 start is impressive, and even better, they did it without Gerrit Cole, baseball’s best pitcher.

Sure, it’s not even tax day. But the Yankees’ terrific winter work is already showing. Here are seven reasons the Yankees quickly rose from a 2023 “disaster” to American League favorite.

1. Juan Soto

Trying to regain their status as the Bronx Bombers after a moribund season at bat, the Yankees targeted Soto once the previously big-spending Padres went into sell mode. The Padres named about 17 different young Yankees of interest — including speedy slugger Spencer Jones (also held out during Corbin Burnes and Dylan Cease talks), top shortstops Roderick Arias and first-round draftee George Lombard Jr. And the month-long negotiation that began with Yankees exec Omar Minaya talking to Padres GM A.J. Preller at the GM meetings culminated with the winter meetings deal — with pitchers Michael King, Drew Thorpe, Jhony Brito, Randy Vasquez and catcher Kyle Higashioka going for Soto and Trent Grisham.

One key was the Yankees relenting on the coveted Thorpe after originally discussing higher-ranked, harder-throwing Chase Hampton. Thorpe, who features a big-time changeup, eventually went from San Diego to Chicago for Cease.

2. Marcus Stroman

The Yankees turned to Stroman after a gap couldn’t be closed with first choice Blake Snell. The Long Islander, who always wanted to be a Yankee, took $37M over two years after weighing two- and three-year offers from the Giants, and a longer one for a lower salary from the Padres. The Yankees were a surprise since word got out they apparently didn’t see him as a playoff starter back when they were outbid by the Mets in trade talks with Toronto.

3. Anthony Volpe

The talk all spring was how he “flattened” his swing and was ready for a rise, and it’s been nothing short of amazing. Volpe, who hit .209 last year, is at .372. Volpe gets the bulk of the credit, since he’s ultra-focused, but personal hitting coach Jason Lefkowitz and new Yankees hitting coach James Rowson helped him ditch the uppercut.

4. Giancarlo Stanton

If anyone thought it was impossible for Stanton (1.450 OPS over his past five games) to get in any better shape, he somehow did it. He’s now thin and cut. Stanton dumbed it down for me and told me the key is just eating less, but in greater detail he laid out a diet program to someone else that couldn’t be copied by many, including no eating food after 3 p.m.

5. Carlos Rodon

Rodon (1.72 ERA) rededicated himself after his abysmal initial year in The Bronx, arriving weeks early in Tampa to prove 2023 was a fluke. He took off many pounds, improved his body composition and added three pitches, with the cutter and changeup aiding the slider-fastball combo.

6. Alex Verdugo

The Yankees tried for a while to obtain him, almost as hard as the Red Sox were trying to unload the main piece in the most-criticized Red Sox trade since Babe Ruth. Captain Aaron Judge’s seal of approval helped clinch the deal.

7. Bullpen

Brian Cashman and Co. have been very good at finding bullpen pieces, and the trade for lefty Caleb Ferguson — one of three deals with the Dodgers — looks like a winner.

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