CINCINNATI – It’s never easy to let go of your longest-serving player. But the Yankees felt they needed to move on from outfielder Aaron Hicks.
“A tough decision, one we felt we had to make,” manager Aaron Boone said.
Hicks, 33, was set for assignment the Saturday before the Yankees’ game against the Reds. He was in his eighth year with the Yanks and was chopping . 188/. 263/. 261 with one home run and five RBIs in 76 plate appearances. Hicks best season in the Bronx came in 2018, when he hit . 248 with 27 home runs and 79 RBIs in 137 games.
From 2019-21, Hicks has been limited by a variety of injuries, and hit . 216 with eight home runs and 40 RBIs last year. Hicks was included in the Yankees’ postseason roster in 2022, but suffered a season-ending knee injury in the American League Series.
Hicks still has more than two years remaining on the seven-year, $70 million extension he signed prior to the 2019 season. The Yankees will have seven days to trade Hicks before giving him non-cancellable waivers. He was earning $10.8 million this year and had two more years worth $9.8 million on his contract with a team option in 2026 at $12.5 million with a $1 million buyout.
“There was a lot of talk,” Boone said. “It’s obviously difficult [move]. Once we were able to get Greg Allen—he had an outside condition—we had to make a decision. It was a difficult role for Aaron.
“It’s one that Greg has filled in for a lot throughout his career. He’s played really well this year. He’s got a similar set of skills that we’ve seen throughout his career. He’s played the role before, and he’s played it well.”
Allen, 30, hit . 250 with 25 runs, eight doubles, two home runs, 15 RBIs and 23 stolen bases in 37 games with Triple-A Worcester. He is a substitution player who can play all three positions on the field and will likely split time on the field with Jake Powers, Willie Calhoun and Oswaldo Cabrera.
232 over parts of six major league seasons, and spent part of the 2021 season with the Yankees, hitting . 270 with a 0.417 on-base percentage over 15 games. He was supposed to arrive in Cincinnati before game time on Saturday.
Bon Hicks was informed of the decision prior to Saturday’s contest.
“difficult [conversation]Bonn said. “More than five years from my point of view with someone. He obviously preceded me. It’s family. You go through everything with these guys. Obviously, with Aaron, he’s had some ups and downs. He’s had some good seasons for us. Some moments.” The clincher is us. In the past few years, he’s had some struggles and some injuries. Not an easy conversation.”
Boone said Hicks took the news like a pro.
Boone said, “Quiet.” “Maybe some level of understanding. I’m not sure if he saw it coming or not expecting it. I’m sure he and I will hook up on the road. Today’s conversation was rather direct and somber. It was a difficult role for him.”
“End of the day, I wish the best for Aaron. I think in a way he got over the crowd’s ire and got through it. We’ll see what’s next for him.”
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