If you were to rank players on the New York Yankees based on importance for this season, a few names would be vying for the top spot on your list. Of course, both halves of the team's new dynamic duo, Aaron Judge and Juan Soto, would have to be considered.

For my money, however, the easy choice for "most important Yankee" this season is Gerrit Cole, which is why this update from MLB.com's Bryan Hoch was extremely concerning to read:

Here's more from Bryan Hoch:

For the 33-year old Yankees' ace, and for fans of the team, this new could not come at a worse time.

Yankees' ace Gerrit Cole / Getty Images
Yankees' ace Gerrit Cole / Getty Images

Though front office officials would never openly admit this, it's abundantly clear that the Yankees are going for it in 2024. They traded organizational depth to acquire Alex Verdugo and Juan Soto, both of whom will be free agents after this year.

They also signed Marcus Stroman to a two-year contract, meaning that after 2025, he too will have the chance to be a free agent.

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The team has spent money, and traded assets, to improve this year's roster in multiple ways. There may be question marks for this team in future years, but in 2024, they're primed for a deep playoff run.

They may even have more moves coming, as New York has been connected to free agent left-handers Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery in recent weeks.

This entire plan, however, is centered around Gerrit Cole being the ace of their staff.

Getty Images
Getty Images

If there is one area of the roster that fans are uneasy about, it's the starting rotation. Behind Cole on the depth chart, we find Carlos Rodon, Stroman, Nestor Cortes and Clarke Schmidt.

At their best, each player has shown flashes of true brilliance in recent years. That said, at their worst, each pitcher has gone through extended stretches of injury and/or inconsistency.

Up until today, you haven't been able to say that about Gerrit Cole, but now, his future is also uncertain. From what we know, it could be days, if not weeks, until we learn the diagnosis.

So, for now, all we can do is sit and wait.

And hope.

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