Last season Aaron Hicks said he wanted to go 30-30. It was lofty goals for a player who never accomplished either mark but would have been a clear sign that his career was on an upward trajectory.
After all, the Yankees awarded Hicks with a seven-year $70M contract in 2019 after hitting career-highs in homers (27) RBI (79) and hits (119). Then the bottom fell out and injuries mounted, which led to Hicks hitting a total of 30 homers over the next four seasons and totally falling out of favor with the fans.
Brian Cashman Says Hicks Is Leading Candidate For Left Field
As we approach Spring Training exactly a year later, Hicks’ goals are much lower, and his job security has changed significantly. Word on the MLB streets is that the New York Yankees would prefer to trade Hicks and acquire another outfielder, ending the 10-year veteran’s roller coaster tenure in pinstripes.
However, the market for a corner outfielder is shrinking and Yankees GM Brian Cashman said during a Sunday interview on SiriusXM MLB Network Radio, that he’s still got faith in the multi-tooled Hicks and insists that he’s the frontrunner for the starting left field job.
“I suspect he will be the guy that emerges because he is still really talented and everything is there,” said Cashman, adding that Hicks is fully recovered from a knee injury suffered in the postseason. “Hopefully, we can get the Aaron Hicks we know is in there back as a consistent player for us.”
Willie Calhoun Could Challenge For Yankees LF Job
If Hicks doesn’t get the nod, Boone could choose potential over experience and give the untested Oswaldo Cabrera or Estevan Florial a shot.
Boone reportedly also mentioned minor league signing MLBbro Willie Calhoun in a recent interview with the YES Network’s Jack Curry. Calhoun has tons of potential and showed flashes, but never really got it going in Texas once he was beaned in the head.
But overall, the Yankees skipper said he feels like the 33-year-old Hicks “has a chance to really bounce back” from a 2022 campaign in which he slashed .216/.330/.313 with eight home runs and 40 RBI, lost his center field job to Harrison Bader, and told the New York Post he would be open to a trade if it resulted in more playing time.
Things really went south following an above-average 30 game stretch early in the season. Hicks floundered while Yankees fans were enamored with the record setting exploits of Aaron Judge.
Can Hicks Revive Yankees Soul Patrol (All-Black Outfield)?
If Hicks is going to re-establish himself as the third leg of a potential Yankees Soul Patrol (along with MLBbros Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton) then he’s going to have to be available for more than 130 games, something he’s only done twice since 2013 and just once in the last four seasons.
With $30.5M still owed to him over the next three seasons, is going to get every opportunity to prove that he’s significantly better than he’s been able to show the past few seasons.