With spring training creeping up on us in a few weeks, the New York Yankees are still looking to improve the roster. The team has been connected to a few free agents, notably Jurickson Profar and, recently, Josh Harrison.
General manager Brian Cashman has been looking to add more competition to the left field position, but he’s taken a more conservative approach and begun promoting his available options in Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Cabrera.
- Yankees still have a big starting pitching decision to figure out
- Yankees can still land top remaining free-agent left-fielder if asking price comes down
- Yankees settle with Gleyber Torres on one-year deal, avoiding arbitration
Hicks continues to get optimistic reviews from Cashman, despite having a down year in 2022. The 33-year-old hit .216 with a .330 OBP, eight homers, and 40 RBIs with a 90 wRC+. Just as his offense struggled, defensively, he also showed a lack of effort and consistency. This isn’t the same Hicks we saw back in 2018.
Despite his statistics falling off a cliff, Cashman believes he will win the starting job and return to his usual self.
“I suspect he will be the guy that emerges because he is still really talented and everything is there,” Cashman said. “Hopefully we can get the Aaron Hicks we know is in there back as a consistent player for us.”
In the same breath, Cashman also stated that they have certain lines out and are still scouring the market for opportunities to improve the roster.
“We have lines out on certain opportunities. If it happens in February or March, so be it. Or we go with what we have.”Cashman said Sunday on Sirius XM MLB Network Radio.
The Yankees are looking to add a left field while also believing in Aaron Hicks:
The team’s apparent interest in outfielders contradicts what Cashman saying about Hicks, who could just be looking to boost his stock in a prospective trade. Hicks is owed $10.5 million for the 2023 season, a number the Yankees have been trying to move for weeks, if not months.
Nonetheless, giving Cabrera the first crack at the starting left field job might be ideal, given the Yankees don’t necessarily know what his ceiling is just yet, and more experience will help him realize it.