The boobirds will have to find another target. After three-plus years of struggling, the Yankees have designated outfielder Aaron Hicks for assignment on Saturday afternoon.
The 33-year-old had over two years remaining on his seven-year, $70 million contract he signed after the 2018 season. However, the club has seen enough and has parted ways with the struggling outfielder.
“This is family,” manager Aaron Boone told reporters before Saturday’s game against the Reds. “You go through everything with these guys. Obviously with Aaron, some ups and downs. He’s had some really good seasons. … Not an easy conversation to have but one we felt was necessary.”
Hicks is slashing .188/.263/.261 with one homer in 28 games played this season.
The former first-round draft pick entered the 2023 season with a chance to secure the job as their starting left fielder despite a brutal 2022 season in which he slashed .216/.330/.313 in 130 games — including multiple defensive miscues. However, he was beaten out by Oswaldo Cabrera who “earned” the job in spring training.
The Yankees, however, still do not have a set left fielder as there has been somewhat of a rotation with Cabrera, Hicks, Jake Bauers and Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
After the ink was dry on his contract extension, the Yanks didn’t get many chances to see the version of Hicks that they paid for. In 2018, the outfielder slashed .248/.366/.467 with 27 homers and 79 RBI in what appeared to be a breakout season. However, it turned out to be more of a one-year wonder.
Hicks played just 59 games in 2019, 54 (of 60) in 2020 and 32 in 2021. He combined to hit 31 total homers in the five years after the extension. The California native experienced plenty of injuries throughout his Yankee tenure — he was acquired in a deal with the Twins prior to the 2016 season — as his played 90 or more games in just three of his eight seasons.
Oddly enough, the outfielder was in the midst of arguably the best stretch he’s had in years. Hicks was slashing .353/.450/.647 with a homer, two doubles and four RBI in his last seven games. The brief hot stretch was not enough to keep him around.
The switch-hitter was the corresponding move to outfielder Greg Allen being added to the roster after they acquired him from the Boston Red Sox. Allen returns for his second stint with the Bombers as the speedster played 15 games (.849 OPS) for the club in 2021.
Now, Hicks will try to follow in the footsteps of Joey Gallo (.892 OPS with the Twins this season) — another outfielder who was showered with boos during his time in the Bronx — in trying to resurrect his career away from the bright lights of Yankee Stadium.
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