Since the beginning of the offseason, the Yankees have had three main priorities. The first priority was re-signing Aaron Judge. While it took many turns throughout the process, ultimately Aaron Judge signed a nine-year deal and was named captain of the Yankees.
From there, New York wanted to upgrade their rotation. They did that in a big way when the signed lefty ace Carlos Rodon. With Judge and Rodon in the fold, there was one other big area for the Yankees to tackle. That area was the gaping hole in left field.
Sure, Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Cabrera were on the roster, but anyone with eyes knows that they aren’t the solution in left field. Perhaps you could give Cabrera the opportunity, but Aaron Hicks shouldn’t be an option. Aaron Hicks has been atrocious for some time.
Hicks was removed from a game last year due to terrible and pathetic defense. He was embarrassing when hitting with runners in scoring position and the fans have turned against him to the point where it seems impossible to trot him out there to start in left field.
Yankees playing games?
All that being said, Brian Cashman came out last week and said that he believes Aaron Hicks is the guy that will start in left field for New York. Cashman told MLB Radio, “I suspect he will be the guy that emerges, because he’s still really talented and everything’s there.”
That made the blood boil for all fans who have eyes including myself. However, once I calmed down, I started thinking about Cashman’s logic. One of two things are going on here. On one hand, Cashman might just be an idiot who can’t see beyond his own mistakes.
Or, Cashman is playing chess behind the scenes trying to fill the gaping hole that still exists. He has hinted that more moves could be coming. Long ago, the Yankees publicly said that Bubba Crosby was going to be their starting center fielder. Both Cashman and Joe Torre were firm in their confidence in Crosby.
Shortly after, the Yankees signed Johnny Damon and it was revealed that the plan was to never have Crosby start in centerfield. However, Cashman had to show that he was comfortable with what he has in order to not lose leverage in any type of negotiation.
Perhaps he’s doing the same thing with Hicks. Time will tell, but I’m not completely giving up on the idea of the Yankees moving on from Hicks before their quest for 28 begins in a few months.