Aaron Hicks has had a couple of injury-filled seasons but is still a good player, but should the Yankees consider moving him?
In recent years, the Yankees have had some question marks about their outfield. Right field belongs to Aaron Judge, and it will be that way for a long time as long as he can stay on the field. Left field belonged to both Clint Frazier and current free agent Brett Gardner. That leaves center field to Aaron Hicks, but should it stay like that?
How Hicks Became a Yankee
Before we talk about trading him, let’s take a moment to remind everyone how Hicks became a Yankee. Back in 2015, Brian Cashman traded catcher John Ryan Murphy to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Hicks. At the time, this move flew way under the radar as neither player was considered a good, well-rounded player. However, Hicks changed that narrative as he became a solid offensive presence in the Yankees lineup as well as continuing his good defense. He played well enough to earn himself a 7 year, $70 million dollar extension back in 2019.
Why Is Hicks Intriguing For Other Teams?
When Aaron Hicks is healthy and out there every day, he is one of the better centerfielders in the league. He can hit from both sides with some pop and plays a solid defense to go with his cannon of an arm. Not to mention, it will be easy for the Yankees to find takers because he is on a team-friendly contract.
Hicks has a history of being injured and he is just coming back from Tommy John surgery, but he offers a low risk and high reward scenario for other teams. If he is traded and performs well, then he’s under an extremely team-friendly contract for the next few years. If he is traded and continues to battle injuries, then he doesn’t cost enough to be considered a huge bust. A deal involving Hicks would likely not cost a team very much in terms of players as they can bargain using his injury history. At the end of the day, every team should be interested in a veteran switch-hitting centerfielder that can perform on both offense and defense.
Why Would the Yankees Trade Hicks?
Over the last couple of seasons, the Yankees have lacked consistency. Not in regards to player slumps, but rather who is out there playing every day. There have been multiple Yankees that have been unable to stay healthy, and Hicks is right at the top of the list. It is best for the Yankees to move Hicks while they still can. He’s a great player and proved to be able to perform in the playoffs, but the Yankees need to remove as many injury headaches as possible. Usually, injury-prone players are impossible to trade away, but as mentioned multiple times already, Hicks is on too good of a deal for teams to be scared away by potential injuries.
In all honestly, a trade involving Hicks is a win-win for both sides. The Yankees free up space for Clint Frazier to have a guaranteed starting job in center, and they can bring in one of the most consistent hitters in all of baseball in Michael Brantley to play left field. On the other hand, whichever team that trades for Hicks knows exactly what they are getting, which is an above-average outfielder when playing on a consistent basis.