Analysis

Yankees: The Aaron Hicks Era Has Run It’s Course

With news of Aaron Hicks 2021 season officially coming to an end, the Yankees should start over in centerfield going forward.

After just 32 games, Aaron Hicks‘ 2021 season is likely over.

Thursday, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Hicks would miss the rest of the 2021 season after he has wrist surgery to repair a tear. Before going on the IL, Hicks was struggling at the plate as he slashed .194/.294/.333 with four home runs and 14 RBI’s. 

Despite flashes of potential, including a 27 home run season in 2018 and a 2019 season that saw him hit a clutch three-run home run in Game 5 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros.

Unfortunately for Hicks, his entire Yankee tenure that began in 2016 has been ravaged by injuries. He missed time with a hamstring strain in 2016, two oblique strains in 2017, an intercostal strain in 2018 and both injuries and a flexor strain in 2019. 

In 2019, the Yankees gave Hicks a 7-year $70 million deal that locks him up through 2025, but that shouldn’t prevent the Yankees from making a change to their future plans in centerfield.

Long term, the hope is top prospect Jason Dominguez is the Yankees starting centerfielder of the future, but he is still just 18-years-old and likely won’t reach the majors until 2024 at the earliest. Thus, the team needs a bridge option in center until their star prospect is ready.

From inside, former top prospect Estevan Florial has been raking in the minor leagues and was called up to the majors Thursday for an audition. If his success from the minors can translate, he may be that guy. If not, the Yankees will need to turn to the trade or free-agent market.

At the deadline, they could target Reds star Jesse Winker or Diamondbacks and former MVP finalist Ketel Marte. After the season players, such as Starling Marte and Adam Eaton will hit the market.

Thus, there are options and the Yankees must find one that fits because it doesn’t seem Hicks can be trusted to be the centerfielder for the next three years. 

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