Yankees officially release veteran outfielder, eating $30.5 million

aaron hicks, yankees
Apr 4, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Aaron Hicks (31) reacts after grounding into an out during the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

After years of erratic performance, the New York Yankees finally took the tough call of designating outfielder Aaron Hicks for assignment.

At the age of 33, Hicks had just come off the 2022 season where he posted a .216 batting average with a .330 on-base percentage over 130 games.

In the past five years, Hicks has only managed to play over 59 games once, exhibiting a notable increase in strikeout rate and failing to replicate the power he demonstrated back in 2018.

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The Yankees had no choice but to cut Aaron Hicks:

This season, he participated in 28 games for the Yankees, scoring a batting average of .188 with a .263 on-base percentage. Even though he began to show signs of improvement, the Yankees thought it best to release him, making room for other players to step up.

Boasting a weighted runs created plus (wRC+) of 49, the Yankees sought a trade partner willing to take on a part of his salary. However, they couldn’t negotiate a deal, choosing instead to absorb the remaining $30.5 million of his contract over the next two seasons.

With the Yanks covering his paycheck, this is just another instance of general manager Brian Cashman’s inability to secure quality players who can live up to their contracts.

Recently, the team signed Carlos Rodon to a six-year, $162 million contract. However, he has yet to throw a pitch for the Yankees, indicating the deal might turn out to be a colossal failure.

Cashman’s reckless expenditure of Hal Steinbrenner’s money has led to several regrettable contracts. Yet, he keeps persuading the owners that he can assemble a World Series-worthy team, even though the Yankees haven’t reached that stage of the postseason in over ten years.

With one of the highest payrolls in baseball, the Bombers must demonstrate better performance and efficiency, particularly when it comes to significant free-agent acquisitions and trades.