New York Giants worried about “structural damage” in Daniel Jones’ neck

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

In the latest negative saga for the New York Giants, there’s no clear date when Daniel Jones will be able to play again. Jones was dealt a strained neck in the victory against the Eagles, and after one game of Mike Glennon at quarterback, we know that the injury is maybe worse than initially thought. According to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, Jones had his neck further examined on Monday and there is now a concern about structural damage.

Jones had his neck checked out in Los Angeles on Monday, traveling with Ronnie Barnes, the Giants’ senior vice president of medical services, to see neck specialist Dr. Robert Watkins. The concern is that if Jones plays, he could do further damage to the neck, which suffered some structural damage in the win over the Eagles in Week 12.

While head coach Joe Judge hasn’t indicated that Jones will be out for the season, this does leave the Giants in a bad position for the foreseeable future. Whether you like Daniel Jones or not, it’s simply facts that the team doesn’t have another capable starter right now. And Mike Glennon, who took over last week, picked up a concussion against Miami and isn’t a lock to play against the Chargers on Sunday.

Even if Jones isn’t ruled out for the season, it’s hard to project him coming back soon. At this point in the year, the team is already out of the running for the division and much of the focus has already shifted to the draft. It seems unlikely that the staff will risk Jones by placing him back on the field too soon given the current circumstances and the injury.

A longer-term view of the situation

This season, the narrative was that the Giants would make a decision on Daniel Jones in one way or the other. But it’s been hard to make a verdict like that based on what we’ve seen so far. Much of that has to do with injuries, as the Giants have a very different O-line than expected and have frequently had injuries take skill position players off the field.

If Jones himself ends the season on the note of an injury, he will have finished the year with 10 touchdowns compared to 7 interceptions. His performance this season has been inconsistent and isn’t enough as it stands to solidify his position as the franchise QB going forward. With that being said, the injury situation complicates things more if it does result in Jones missing a large amount or all of the remaining season.

Just like the injuries to the offensive line and skill positions, it’s another outcome that throws a wrench into the plan to make a decision this year. But as the Giants likely head into the offseason looking for a new GM, it’s uncertain how much more time Jones will get to prove himself even if the results are inconclusive from this season.

All in all, it’s not a good spot for the team to be in if this neck injury keeps Jones out for more than a few weeks.

UFC 269 Preview: Cody Garbrandt – Kai Kara-France

On the main card of UFC 269 we will see the highly anticipated flyweight debut of Cody Garbrandt (12-4). The former bantamweight champion drops down to 125 pounds to take on Kai Kara-France (22-9).

Originally, the former UFC champion was planning on making the drop to flyweight last year. However, after coming down with Covid and having a bicep injury, he decided to stay at bantamweight for one more fight.

That fight came against Rob Font earlier this year. Garbrandt lost that fight and afterwards he decided it was time for him to finally make the switch to 125.

He jumps right in there with one of the more exciting flyweights in the UFC in Kai Kara-France. Overall, Kara-France is 5-2 since making his debut with the UFC.

His two losses came against the current champion Brandon Moreno and top contender Brandon Royval. The last time we saw Kara-France was against Rogerio Bontorin where he won by decision.

UFC 269 Prediction

This is such a fun fight and one where you truly will not want to look away. Conventional wisdom would say that Cody Garbrandt should have a big advantage when it comes to the power in this fight.

While he definitely will hold an advantage there, he will lose one of his key advantages. In the past, Garbrandt has thrived when he showed off his tremendous hand speed. That speed and power combination made him elite.

It will be interesting to see how that speed translates down at 125. I expect Kara-France to have the speed advantage at UFC 269 which could be a big problem for ‘No Love’.

I’ve gone back and forth with my prediction, and honestly, I wouldn’t be shocked by anything in this fight. Well, I would be shocked if we see the judges.

I expect someone to get finished in this one. I worry about Garbrandt’s chin at UFC 269. He struggled with his chin at 135 and usually cutting extra weight hinders your chin.

All that being said, I really like Garbrandt in this matchup. I see him landing a massive counter and getting the second round finish here.

Prediction: Cody Garbrandt by TKO – Round 2

UFC 269 Preview: Sean O’Malley – Raulian Paiva

Sean O'Malley

Kicking off the PPV main card at UFC 269 is a battle between two dynamic strikers in the bantamweight division. The Suga Show is back as Sean O’Malley (14-1) takes on Brazilian standout Raulian Paiva (21-3).

This is a massive opportunity for Raulian Paiva to really put himself on the map at 135 pounds. Paiva made his UFC debut at 17-1 and he did it in the flyweight division. However, he got off to a rough start.

Paiva lost his first two fights and ultimately moved up in weight. He’s now on a three-fight winning streak which includes a win over O’Malley’s teammate in Kyler Phillips.

That said, Paiva has a tall mountain to climb at UFC 269. Sean O’Malley is one of the more dynamic fighters in all the UFC. He’s incredibly talented wherever the fight takes place, but he shines in the stand up.

O’Malley is huge for the weight class and he’s going to have a big size advantage on Saturday night. After suffering his first loss to Chito Vera last year, O’Malley has bounced back with two solid wins this year.

UFC 269 Preview

This is such a great fight to kick off the PPV main card because you have two guys who will stand in there and strike. These two will put on a show at UFC 269.

For Paiva, it’s going to be key to try and use his speed to his advantage. As mentioned, he’s going to be the smaller man in the cage so he’s going to need to be scappy.

On the flip side, O’Malley needs to keep the fight at range where he will have a big advantage. I’m expecting a kick-heavy attack from The Suga Show on Saturday night.

Ultimately, I’m finding a hard time seeing Paiva winning this fight. While I think he will put up a good fight, I think O’Malley catches him clean and puts him away in the second round.

Prediction: Sean O’Malley by TKO – Round 2

New York Giants: Russell Wilson puts NYG on his shortlist

Will the New York Giants pursue a potential trade for Russell Wilson?

The New York Giants have been brought up in one of the NFL’s most exciting trade rumors of the year this week. Future Hall of Fame quarterback Russell Wilson could be on his way out of Seattle. The Seahawks legend is mulling a trade request and has put together a shortlist of teams for which he would waive his no-trade clause. The New York Giants happen to be on that short-list.

According to NBC Sports, Russell Wilson would consider waiving his no-trade clause for three teams: the Denver Broncos, the New Orleans Saints, and the New York Giants. ESPN insider Adam Schefter also stated that he believes Wilson would waive his no-trade clause for the Philadelphia Eagles.

This is a different list than the one Adam Schefter reported on Russell Wilson’s behalf back in February. At the beginning of this year, Russell Wilson’s shortlist included the Cowboys, Saints, Raiders, and Bears. The Cowboys and Bears can be removed from this list with Dak Prescott back under center for Dallas and Justin Fields taking the reigns in Chicago.

With this new trade rumor development, a question begs to be answered: should the Giants entertain a trade for Russell Wilson?

Should the Giants try to trade for Russell Wilson?

The New York Giants are at a new, giant crossroads. At 4-8, the Giants’ season is practically over. Fans are now looking ahead to the offseason, which should be an exciting one for New York. The Giants hold two first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft and are likely to bring in a new general manager. But could these draft picks be shipped away in exchange for Russell Wilson?

Daniel Jones has failed to win the fans over and prove to the coaches that he is a franchise quarterback. With this in mind, New York could be a landing spot for Russell Wilson. However, the possibility becomes far less likely once the Giants’ salary cap situation is evaluated.

Simply put, the Giants have a horrible salary cap situation ahead of them in 2022. As bad as some fans might want them to trade for Russell Wilson, they need to realize that it will be nearly impossible for the Giants to make that happen.

Russell Wilson is 33-years old and probably has another half-decade of football left in him. Before his thumb injury this season, Russell Wilson was playing at an All-Pro level completing 90-125 (72%) passes for 1,196 yds, 10 touchdowns 1 interception, with a 125.3 rating. Trading for the seven-time Pro Bowl signal-caller would transform the Giants overnight and make them playoff contenders. But their lack of money would cause the Giants to fail to build a decent offensive line and competent roster around Russell Wilson, likely wasting the last years of his career.

One of Russell Wilson’s chief complaints about the Seattle Seahawks is their offensive line. The Giants have arguably the worst offensive line in football. It is unlikely that issue would be resolved if the Giants had to give up one or both of their first-round draft picks to acquire Russell Wilson. Even though fans would love to see this dream come true, it is unlikely, pipe dream that the New York Giants simply cannot afford to make.

Knicks: One interesting excuse for RJ Barrett’s inconsistencies this season

rj barrett, knicks

After shooting 40% from 3-PT range last season, Knicks‘ 3rd-year guard RJ Barrett has taken a step in the wrong direction with his efficiency. Barrett is contributing 15 points per game, 2.6 less than his 2020-21 averages, indicating a downturn in production, which could be for a variety of reasons.

Barrett has been dealing with a stomach bug as of late, finally feeling his best against the San Antonio Spurs earlier this week when he posted 32 points on 7 of 8 shooting from deep. He added 19 points on 60% shooting from 3-PT range against Indiana in the Knicks’ blowout loss on Wednesday.

Unfortunately, Barrett has experienced inconsistencies, primarily linked to his shooting efficiency and defensive effort. However, he may have one legitimate excuse to fall back on, the change in basketball, which has impacted a number of players around the league.

Sports Illustrated‘s Chris Mannix noted on the Crossover Podcast that Barrett is “one of those guys that right now is having a little bit of trouble adjusting to the new ball.”

The new Wilson-brand ball has a different composition, which has throws off some players.

Mannix explained some of the issues plaguing players thus far:

“There’s a lot of those guys out there that are having some issues with the grip on that new basketball. What I was told by one coach was that because the ball hits the rim differently and bounces differently, guys are adding a little bit more arc to their shots. They’re literally changing their shots because of the composition of the basketball and that’s been screwing around with some guys.”

Changing from Spalding to Wilson has had an impact, and the Players Association stated that some players may have a tough time with the transition. After seeing a massive uptick in 3-PT efficiency last year, a natural regression was expected for RJ, but he recorded just a 29.2% hit rate in the month of November.

Nonetheless, Barrett’s success is integral to the Knicks winning games. When he’s struggling, the entire team falters on both sides of the ball. Hopefully, he continues to adapt to the new ball and begins seeing an uptick in production.

Mets reportedly “very impressed” with Buck Showalter interview

New York Mets

The New York Mets are interviewing a “mystery” candidate for their managerial opening on Thursday, as they look to fill one of the most important positions a team can have. They have already talked to several interested contenders, including Brad Ausmus, Matt Quatraro, and others.

Buck Showalter, was interviewed on Wednesday and things reportedly went very well. “(The) Mets first round of interviews is almost over. One interview tomorrow with a mystery candidate (not a mystery to the team, who have this person on the schedule, but to me). Buck Showalter did well today,” was the report of SNY writer Andy Martino.

Showalter is the favorite for the job, and has by far the most experience in the group of candidates, that also includes Joe Espada and Bob Geren.

Showalter managed the New York Yankees between 1992 and 1995; the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1998 to 2000; the Texas Rangers from 2003 to 2006); and the Baltimore Orioles manager from 2010 to 2018. Showalter is also the preferred manager candidate of new Mets’ signing Max Scherzer.

The favorite for the Mets’ manager job could embrace analytics

Former Mets’ manager Terry Collins did say Showalter would be open to embracing analytics.

“I just know [Showalter] is so organized and with all the stuff available today, he is one of the guys who would use it all, sort it out and then make his decisions,” former Mets manager Terry Collins told The New York Post. “I know that he’s got great leadership in the clubhouse, he’s a no-nonsense guy — ‘The game is meant to be played a certain way and we’re going to go play it that way.’ And it might be time for that kind of attitude here.”

Per Joel Sherman, “the plan is to take what is currently six publicly known candidates who will all do the Zoom and whittle it down to 2-3 for face-to-face next week and potentially a decision.”

Yankees already have their long-term shortstop, catcher, and relief ace in the system

anthony volpe, yankees

The New York Yankees have big plans for the future, most of which revolve around their youth prospects rather than lucrative free agent signings and trade acquisitions. It’s unlikely GM Brian Cashman spends big money on a player like Carlos Correa, and trading for a new catcher already seems to be off the table as the Yankees tendered Gary Sanchez for $8 million.

However, if their elite prospects develop into starting talent, they will be in great shape for the future with the flexibility to spend big money with important positions locked up for cheap.

The Yankees have three premium prospects climbing the ranks:

SS: Anthony Volpe

The Yankees’ No. 1 prospect is none other than Anthony Volpe, who hit .294 with 27 homers this past season with Hudson Valley and Tampa. Volpe has sparked interest from around the league for his incredible bat and efficient defense at shortstop.

“He had a very impressive year,” Cashman said recently. “He certainly caught the attention of the entire industry. It really reinforces and justifies everything we heard from our amateur department when we drafted him, and so we’re excited about his future.”

Volpe isn’t only a fantastic player, he’s also humble, indicating his desire to be the best player he can be but understanding he has a long way to go.

“I don’t really pay too much attention to the stuff outside of my control,” Volpe said on YES Network. “It’s definitely an honor and one I don’t take lightly, but at the same time, I just want to be the best player I can possibly be. Whether that’s an unranked bottom-of-the-order prospect or where I am now, the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect, I think I still have a long way to go to reach my potential.”

At this rate, Volpe is about two years out from making an on-schedule MLB debut. His performance in Low-A ball was encouraging, but the Yankees want to see consistency across the farm system, brewing optimism he can perform at the MLB level.

C: Austin Wells

Another premium-level prospect for the Bombers is catcher Austin Wells, taken in the 2018 June Amateur Draft. Wells was phenomenal, posting a .264 average, 16 homers, 76 RBIs, and 16 stolen bases. With incredible athleticism Wells has the ability to be the Yankees’ next big thing at catcher, surpassing Sanchez and his inability to progress at the top level.

“Those two guys continue to reinforce — one, as expected (Wells), and the other, that he’s the real deal (Dunham),” general manager Brian Cashman said on Sunday, via

While Wells has plenty of development left to do, he’s expected to make the jump to AA ball at some point in the near future; that much closer to a debut with the Yankees’ MLB squad. Wells and Volpe seem to be on a similar timetable.

RP: Luis Medina

Whenever you have a prospect hitting 100 MPH out of the bullpen, you know you’ve got something special. Luis Medina is one of the Yankees’ most valuable prospects in the pitching department, and he could earn an opportunity to feature in the MLB this upcoming season.

Medina recorded a 3.39 ERA this past season with Somerset and Hudson Valley over 109 innings. As a strong-armed relief pitcher, the Yankees are extremely high on him and his velocity.

UFC 269 Main Card Predictions: Part 1

Sean O'Malley

It. Is. TIME! UFC 269 is finally taking place this Saturday and has a main card that’s stacked to the brim with bright talent, unreal explosiveness, and plenty of championship ambition.

Though title legacies are at stake for some, others are merely looking to secure a much-needed victory to put them one step closer to being within reach of that dream.

To kick off the main card, UFC starlet Sean O’Malley will be taking on debatably his toughest opponent to date in the much-improved Raulian Paiva. With each bantamweight still on the outside looking in, both will do everything they can to come away victorious.

Following this battle, the fans will get to witness the flyweight debut of Cody Garbrandt as he takes on one of the most dangerous Top 10 contenders in the division in Kai Kara-France.

From excitement to exhilaration to thrill, these first two fights alone have the means to ignite the event with a roar and send this crowd into a frenzy. On that note, here are the predictions for the first two main card bouts of UFC 269.

5. Sean O’Malley vs Raulian Paiva

“Sugar” Sean O’Malley:

Sean O’Malley is the real deal. At only age 27, O’Malley has transformed into one elite striker and has decorated his young UFC career with already four vicious knockouts.

After logging in three fights in 2020 that consisted of a nasty walk-off knockout on Eddie Wineland, O’Malley has made the most of 2021 as well, brutally knocking out both Thomas Almeida and Kris Moutinho prior to setting up his third matchup of the year against Paiva on Saturday.

What makes O’Malley so challenging to go up against is the vision, agility, and creativity he implements with his striking. Bringing a pristine sense of awareness and bouncy touch with his feet that allows him to evade punches and counters with ease, O’Malley frequently incorporates clever feints and movements to throw off his opponents and expose openings he can take advantage of.

Coming off of two ruthless KO/TKO victories this year, O’Malley will aim to get his third on Saturday night and place himself within the Top 15 rankings of one stacked bantamweight division.

Raulian Paiva:

Though Raulian Paiva began his UFC career just about three and a half years ago, the 26-year-old Brazilian has been professionally active in mixed martial arts for well over eight years and has transformed into a bright talent.

Since O’Malley’s sole loss to Marlon Vera last year, Paiva could very well be the most challenging opponent he’s faced so far. From his nasty leg kicks to his lulling hand motions to his persistent pressure, Paiva matches up a lot better with O’Malley than people might give him credit for and could cause a handful of problems.

Initially starting his UFC career as a Flyweight where he logged in four fights, Paiva just recently moved up to 135 and took down Kyler Phillips in a very close majority decision ruling in his bantamweight debut this past July.

Although O’Malley is easily one of the toughest opponents he’s ever faced, Paiva has everything he needs to deal a lot of damage on Saturday and is well-equipped with a wide range of skills that can lead him to victory.

Winner: Sean O’Malley

In all fairness to Paiva’s skillset (which includes a black belt in BJJ), he will need to execute a near-flawless performance if he has any hopes of walking out of the octagon with a win. Even in his last showdown against Phillips, Paiva left himself exposed all too often, getting knocked down and beaten up throughout the course of the fight.

O’Malley, on the other hand, has proven to be extremely difficult to defeat, with three out of his last four opponents suffering crushing knockouts. From the time he set foot into the UFC, none of O’Malley’s opponents have been able to deal much damage against him. In fact, if it wasn’t for the drop foot injury he suffered against Vera, O’Malley could very well be still undefeated.

Though this fight has everything to last all three rounds, expect O’Malley to leave UFC 269 victorious.

4. Kai Kara-France vs Cody Garbrandt

Kai “Don’t Blink” Kara-France:

At the age of 28, Kai Kara-France has developed into one exceptional talent in this men’s flyweight division. Logging in his first UFC fight just over three years ago, Kara-France came in with a bang, defeating his first three opponents by decision, which included the likes of Raulian Paiva and Mark De La Rosa.

That said, Kara-France has come across his share of shortcomings these last two years. In his third fight of 2019, Kara-France suffered his first UFC loss by unanimous decision against the current Flyweight Champion Brandon Moreno before enduring his second loss at the hands of Brandon Royval via submission nearly a year later.

However, Kara-France has bounced back since his second loss and delivered an incredible comeback knockout against Rogerio Bontorin earlier this year. Despite grappling for his life as Bontorin was gradually closing in on a submission hold, Kara-France was able to break out, get back onto his feet, and deliver three mighty blows that sent Bontorin stumbling down to the mat for the KO/TKO win.

Whether he’s coming off a win or a loss, the New Zealand native is a constant threat and brings a calculated approach to his striking game. Even on the mat, Kara-France is as slithery as can be and is very difficult to contain. Though Garbrandt is the favorite coming into this fight, Kara-France has everything he needs to secure a victory in this much-anticipated showdown.

Cody “No Love” Garbrandt:

Cody Garbrandt is a seasoned UFC veteran with a whole lot left to show for. Coming onto the scene in 2015, Garbrandt won his first five fights, four of which consisted of knockout finishes.

This incredible winning streak landed him a title shot against Dominick Cruz, who was the bantamweight champion at the time. In his first five-round bout of his mixed martial arts career, Garbrandt managed to pull off a unanimous decision upset to become the new Bantamweight champion of the world.

However, since his sole title victory against Cruz in December of 2016, Garbrandt’s career took a stark turn for the worse. After losing the belt via knockout to his arch-rival T.J. Dillashaw a year later in 2017, Garbrandt lost the immediate title rematch in 2018 by knockout once again. Just when things couldn’t get any worse, Garbrandt suffered yet another KO/TKO in March of 2019, this time at the hands of Pedro Munhoz.

Although Garbrandt was able to collect one epic highlight-worthy knockout against Raphael Assuncao in 2020, he lost again earlier this year to Rob Font. Despite mustering three takedowns in under two rounds, Garbrandt struggled to keep Font on the ground and was thoroughly picked apart with nasty jabs and pounding strikes over the course of the fight.

After losing four of his last five matchups at 135, Garbrandt decided to switch over to the flyweight division and will start his journey there with a tough clash against Kara-France. But even at 125, Garbrandt possesses mighty power. And if he finds even the smallest opening, Garbrandt can end this showdown in a blink of an eye.

Winner: Kai Kara-France

What makes this clash so exciting is that it has the makings of a real slugfest. From Garbrandt’s volume and power to Kara-France’s precision and combos, both of these mixed martial artists have grown into elite strikers over time and have demonstrated just how dangerous they can be.

However, whether it goes the distance or not, expect Kara-France to come away with the victory, and for good reason. With his deceptive touch to set up nasty strikes and his astute sense awareness that allows him to niftily avoid hefty shots, Kara-France counterbalances Garbrandt’s striking tenacity quite well and just so happens to be one of the best kickboxers in the division.

On the other hand, Garbrandt does bring undeniable power but has struggled with connecting the knockout blows he’s been notorious for over his career. To add to it, Garbrandt has a tendency to be overly aggressive with his attacking sprees that, at times, not only lands him in hot water but also eats at his energy in the long run. Despite looking sharp against Font this past spring, Garbrandt had no answer to the striking volume and ferocity Font put forth and could face a similar result with Kara-France.

With all due respect to Garbrandt, he does have a chance at landing a knockout punch and is listed as the favorite after all. But considering how smart and tough Kara-France really is, he has the better chance of winning this matchup and will seek to take Garbrandt into deep waters come Saturday.

Stay Tuned for Part 2 Tomorrow!

Yankees Analysis: Revenues rise, spending drops, the Yankees need to spend more

hal steinbrenner, brian cashman

The New York Yankees have gone without a World Series Championship since 2009. But at the same time, they have come oh so close. The Yankees have gone 419-289 in the “Baby Bomber Era” (last five years), reaching the Wild Card three times while losing once. They have reached the ALDS four times and reached the ALCS twice, losing both times. Yankee fans are among the most demanding baseball fans in the game, and they are tired of not winning while the team makes more and more money.

The message to owner Hal Steinbrenner is that he must reinvest more into the team to get them over the hump; they have done it before. In the past twenty years, they have reinvested as much as 75% of revenue back into the team, but that figure in 2021 dropped to just 33%, 2020 was even worse at 29.5%. What infuriates Yankee fans is that during the period, the Yankee revenues have risen from $215 million to $689 million in 2019.

There is always the argument that you don’t have to spend the most to win, as evidenced by the Tampa Bay Rays and this year’s World Series-winning Atlanta Braves, but that is a subject for another article. This article is focused on the revenue to payroll issue. The Yankees have the money but fail to use it to gain that 28th World Championship. The common complaint is that if deceased owner George M. Steinbrenner was still running the team, they would be spending with all the money available and winning more Championships.

Throughout the last two decades, the decision-makers for the Yankees have made a conscious effort to keep payroll relatively constant even as they have tripled their revenue from 2001 to 2019. If you fast forward to 2019, when the Yankees won 103 games, they slashed their reinvestment to just 33%. One must understand that revenue is not profit, but there indeed is plenty of money to improve the team. At this point, the fans are saying the hell with the luxury tax, give GM Brian Cashman the money to build a team that can win.

Looking at the same numbers for baseball as a whole, the Yankees are reinvesting less back into the team than all of its rivals. Those self-imposed limitations have made them miss out big time in the postseason. When the Yankees last won the World Series in 2009 they reinvested 50% of revenues back into the team.

Going into the 2022 season, the New York Yankees have glaring needs. They desperately need a shortstop; they also need a valid number two starting pitcher, help at first base, and center field. With what you have read here, all facts, it is hard to imagine why the Yankees don’t spend big to solve these needs, while they still have a fan base to continue to raise those revenues and win Championships.

New York Yankees Player Profiles: Aaron Hicks, can he fill the bill in center?

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks

The New York Yankees’ third Aaron is Aaron Michael Hicks, the Yankees’ center fielder. Hick was born on October 2, 1989, in San Padro, California. Hicks played baseball as a child and for Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California. He ranked No. 72 among Top 100 Prospects by entering the 2012 season.

Ranked as the fourth-best prospect, best defensive outfielder, and best outfield arm in the Minnesota Twins’ system by Baseball America following the 2011 season. He was selected by the Twins in the first round (14th overall) of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

Hicks stayed in the Twins’ system for five years until he made his major league debut on April Fools Day, 2013. He was the starting center fielder for the Twins. Unfortunately, he did not impress and was sent down to AAA on August first. But despite his underwhelming 2013 performance at the plate, he was back up in the majors in 2014 due to his excellent outfield defense. However, his battles at the plate continued, and he was again sent down, this time to AA. 2015 would show a dramatic improvement hitting .256 with eleven home runs and 33 RBIs in 97 games.

After the 2015 season, Hicks was traded to the New York Yankees for catcher John Ryan Murphy. The Yankees citing an aging Brett Gardner wanted Hicks due to his excellent defense and better than average throwing arm and his switch-hitting ability, something the Yankees were sorely lacking.

In Aaron Hicks, six years with the Yankees, they have not been able to consistently enjoy his abilities in center field or at the plate. However, during his time back and forth between the Stadium, Trenton, and Scranton Wilkes/Barre, he has shown signs of power behind the plate and excellence in a cannon of an arm in the outfield. The main obstacle to Hicks showing his stuff is his injury history. 

After an injury-plagued 2017 season when he hit .266, he started the 2018 season on the IL with a right Intercostal Muscle Strain. In 2018 he played in 133 games after being reinstated from the DL on April 12 and hit an inside-the-park home run against the Detroit Tigers on the next day. Hicks would hit another inside-the-park-home run against the Kansas City Royals on May 19, becoming the first Yankee since Mickey Mantle in 1958 to hit two inside-the-park home runs in a single season. On July 1, Hicks hit three home runs in one game against the Boston Red Sox, which endeared him to Yankee fans. Hicks ended the season with 27 home runs, 79 RBIs, and 119 hits, all career highs.

2019 would be another season marked by three injuries, both back and elbow problems. Those injuries caused him to play in only 59 games. The elbow became the main issue that caused him to have Tommy John Surgery immediately after the season concluded. The Yankees’ decision to keep Brett Gardner on the team reaped its rewards as Gardner had a career year. The absence of Hicks did not hurt the team as a whole, Although his switch-hitting was missed in the lineup.

Hicks was initially expected to be out rehabbing for as long as 10 months following the surgery. However, his better than expected rehab, and with the season delayed, he missed little or no time.

During the offseason of 2018/2019, the Yankees signed Hicks to a seven-year $70MM contract extension. Even in that shortened season, the Yankees needed Hicks to recover well and perform well. They did have Brett Gardner for another season as he signed a one-year deal with a 2021 option. They did this as they needed a backup if things didn’t go well for Hicks upon his return. 

2021 was his worst injury season. First, in April, he had an undisclosed injury, followed two weeks later with back problems, followed by the wrist injury that required season-ending surgery. He ended playing in only 32 games. Hicks, during the last three years, has never played in more than 59 games. That record has caused the Yankees to look for help in center field. Before the MLB imposed lockout, the Yankees were pursuing Japanese outfield star  Seiya Suzuki, who was posted by the Hiroshima Carp last month. 

With the Yankees having Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo, and Giancarlo Stanton already in the outfield, Suzuki is not the perfect fit as he has little time in center field. If the Yankees land Suzuki, they could move Aaron Judge to center as he played adequately there last season in Hicks’s absence. That would allow them to play Suzuki in his natural position in right field. Suzuki is praised for his speed and base stealing. He stole 25 bases two seasons ago — but what they like most about him is his power (38 homers and a 1.072 OPS with Hiroshima last season. After the lockout, they still have three weeks to secure Suzuki if they decide to do so.

Hicks has had a slow start in Dominican Winter Ball. Hicks, in 44 plate appearances, is hitting .250 with only one home run. The fact that he is playing winter ball is encouraging, but at the same time, it says he is not as good as new. The Yankees will hope that Hicks will shake the rust off in winter ball, but they also want to be prepared if Hicks can’t stay healthy. With the loss of Starling Marte to the Mets, the Yankees don’t have many options left in center field. 

Like many New York Yankee players, Hicks is pretty tight-lipped about his personal life. Hicks is an accomplished golfer. We do know that Aaron Hicks’ fiance is an American golfer called Cheyenne Woods, the niece of the American professional golfer Tiger Woods. To date, they are not yet married.