Aaron Hicks unsure about future with Yankees: 'It's not really my call'

Sun, Sep 18, 2022
MLB News (AP)

Aaron Hicks unsure about future with Yankees: 'It's not really my call'

The New York Yankees will welcome outfielder Harrison Bader to their active roster in the coming days for the first time since obtaining him in a deadline trade with the St. Louis Cardinals. (Bader has been on the injured list since June because of plantar fasciitis.) Bader's addition will likely signal a reduced role for Aaron Hicks, and that reality has Hicks lamenting his situation -- and, perhaps more importantly, wondering about his future with the organization.

"I expect [Bader] to come in and start playing every day, as he should," Hicks told Dan Martin of the New York Post on Saturday. "He got traded here to help us win. We need him to be himself to win a World Series. When I get opportunities, I'll try to make the most of them, but it's extremely hard when I play a game and then I'm off for three days and now there's another outfielder out there."

Hicks, who will celebrate his 33rd birthday in October, has authored a second consecutive rough season. Dating back to last year, he's batted .209/.319/.307 (79 OPS+) with 10 home runs in his last 541 plate appearances. His contributions have been worth an estimated 0.6 Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball Reference.

When Hicks was asked if he might benefit from a change of scenery, he offered the following answer: "I don't know. The Yankees are gonna have to make a decision and I'll wait for whatever happens. It's not really my call." He also cited Joey Gallo's improved play with the Los Angeles Dodgers, curiously crediting manager Dave Roberts' ability to get the most from his players.

For whatever it's worth, the Yankees don't have much of a call to make, either.'

Hicks is guaranteed $30.5 million through the 2025 season. It seems unlikely that teams will be lining up to trade for Hicks based on his contract, his recent play, and his advanced age. The Yankees could, in theory, retain some of his money to facilitate a deal; they could also release him and eat the entirety of what remains on his contract. It's unclear if either possibility will be on the table this offseason, however.

Hicks, then, may have no choice other than to play better or get accustomed to a reduced role.

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