Aaron Hicks has been in the headlines once more this week after he publicly complained about not getting enough playtime. Now, every player in the league certainly wants to play every day, and I admire him wanting to get his reps in. However, there is no real role for Hicks, and if the Yankees choose to play him over Oswaldo Cabrera, that I cannot condone. Where does that leave Hicks? He doesn’t entirely have a spot, nor a role, but that’s not the end of the world right now.
The Yanks have gotten off to a fast start, but Hicks has been disgruntled with the fact that he’s only being used as a pinch hitter and bench player. It does make one wonder exactly what he’s expecting the Yankees to do, given his struggles last year. He’s made countless mental mistakes, and it seems the best thing for both parties would be if he were to get dealt elsewhere.
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Trading Hicks is easier said than done for the Yankees:
Hicks has his 10/5 rights, but I highly doubt he would exercise them if he is to be traded somewhere he’d get more reps. There aren’t a ton of teams out there that would willingly take on his $30 million left over the next three seasons (including this year), but I still think it’d be best if the organization looked to move him. If you take away his 2018 year, Hicks has had a lackluster time in pinstripes, and the amount of hate he gets leads me to believe he’s nearing the end of his time with the team.
Last year, Hicks played in 130 games and accumulated 453 plate appearances. He was a regular until late in the season when it seemed that he wasn’t focused on the game at hand. He had a few mistakes in the outfield, and his lack of power made it so his offensive impact wasn’t nearly what it once was. He posted a 90 wRC+, which was an improvement on his 76 the year prior and finished the year with a .642 OPS.
To be frank, Aaron Hicks has no real grounds to call for more ABs. He wasn’t as bad in the outfield as a few of the plays made him seem, and still posted a 1.4 fWAR on the season. He’s not the “worst” player in the league, but he’s also not a starting outfielder on a World Series contending team. I don’t know how the Yanks look to proceed with him, but I don’t think he should be taking reps from Oswaldo Cabrera.
He got his wish yesterday and was in the starting lineup, but only managed to work a walk and then strike out, whilst grounding out a few times as well. Hicks isn’t what he used to be, even with him still taking his pitches and working walks. He posted a 13.7% BB% last year, which is valuable, but it doesn’t help that he was barely above average on the bases.
2023 may be the year Hicks’ Yankee tenure finally comes to an end, but I’d still hold my breath. If there is a team out there that’ll have him, I’m almost positive that the Yanks would have to eat most of his contract. He still has some value, albeit not much, but the future is very murky for the former 4 fWAR player just a few years ago.