Yankees face Aaron Hicks conundrum

Aaron Hicks of the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium during a game in 2023.
Sara Molnick
Tuesday April 18, 2023

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Aaron Hicks refused to give a postgame interview on Sunday because he was busy performing the “hot and cold” whirlpool, an activity that distinguishes Him — at least the present version of Hicks — because it’s sometimes he turns too hot with his words and sometimes too cool on the field.

Aaron Hicks remains the worst for Yankees fans

If the 2022 baseball season felt like a nightmare for the talented Aaron Hicks, the 2023 season seems to be much worse. Though it was overshadowed due to an immensely dominant display by Gerrit Cole in the Yankees’ 2-0 victory Sunday, Aaron Hicks had an offensive effort that qualifies as memorably terrible — three at-bats and three strikeouts out of the No. 9 hole against his original Minnesota Twins squad.

After each strikeout, Yankees fans booed Aaron Hicks, which may not be helping matters. Certain players, including Aaron Judge, may endure booing from the home fans as part of the bargain of being a Yankee. But Hicks has been facing it for his dismal show and out-of-field cries.

Carlos Correa recently claimed that the booing is like “gas in a Ferrari” to him, which is surely applicable to other famous players. Correa heard it much worse than Aaron Hicks over the weekend, but Correa is a battle-tested player, and he got to leave town. Hicks is here to stay, and he could remain for a long time.

Although it’s natural for Yankees supporters to jeer Correa, booing home players is ridiculous. Some fans at Yankee Stadium booed Judge when he went cold in October during a baseball season that he made historic with his 62 home runs. Aaron Hicks, on the other hand, may be taking it to heart.

Hicks doesn’t understand Yankees culture

Aaron Hicks seems to be one of a long series of good players who don’t understand New York or the whole Yankees culture. Joey Gallo, Sonny Gray, and Javier Vazquez were all excellent players when they weren’t wearing pinstripes. But they failed once arrived in New York. Hicks is fast-moving in that direction.

Aaron Hicks is in a refreshing mood during the Yankees spring training and after failing to hit against the Phillies on April 4, 2023.

The problem with Aaron Hicks is that he had two extremely good seasons in The Bronx before disintegrating, long enough for the Yankees and him to agree on a $70 million, seven-year contract. But this was a terrible decision for the Yankees.

General manager Brian Cashman is continuously facing fans’ wrath on social media over Aaron Hicks. The analytics community adores Hicks but seven-year contracts for solid players rarely work. The Yankees don’t like to admit when they’re wrong, and no one likes to lose $30 million. But it doesn’t look like Hicks’ seven-month slump will end soon. Last year, he had an OPS+ of 86, and this year it’s -12 in 22 at-bats.

But his time with the Yankees is not coming to an end anytime soon. In fact, they indicate that they need him the most right now, which may be true. Whether it’s a gift or a curse, Aaron Hicks seems to be in line for more playing time in the near future, given that Giancarlo Stanton has joined Harrison Bader on the sidelines with a Grade 2 hamstring strain.

“We’re going to mix and match,” manager Aaron Boone told about Aaron Hicks. “Obviously, it’s a blow when Giancarlo is not in the lineup. But that being said, Hicksy is a switch hitter. I do feel we can mix and match and get it done. And we’ll have to. It will require some more guys to step up and play some different roles.”

Yankees can’t afford to waste millions

Aaron Hicks
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Boone proposed playing Franchy Cordero and Willie Calhoun more but he didn’t have the plan to bench Aaron Hicks. “Hicksy will play a part,” he responded when asked. Boone also said that he believes Hicks can handle the boos at this point.

“I think, from Aaron’s standpoint, he’s past that point where it’s a shock to the system and not fun,” Boone said. “I don’t think it’s anything that’s creeping into him right now.”

Boone also did not imply that this is Aaron Hicks’ final opportunity. It is evident that the Yankees can’t afford to waste millions.

The Yankees attempted to trade Aaron Hicks throughout the offseason, but such agreements are difficult to reach. To make it work, they need to identify a player who has been equally unproductive and earns tens of millions of dollars. Although there are expensive athletes, there aren’t many who have been as unproductive as Hicks.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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