New York Yankees Trade John Ryan Murphy To Twins For Aaron Hicks


Today has been a busy day on the trade market for New York Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman. After dealing Jose Pirela to the San Diego Padres for pitching prospect Ronald Herrera, New York has traded young catcher John Ryan Murphy to the Minnesota Twins for outfielder Aaron Hicks:

First, let’s talk about Aaron Hicks. He is a 25-year-old switch-hitting outfielder who has been with the Twins since 2013. Minnesota selected him with the 14th pick in the 2008 MLB Draft. This season, he had a slash line of .256/.323./.398 with 11 home runs, 33 RBI’s, and 13 steals in 16 chances over the course of 97 games. He has versatility at all three outfield positions when you considered he played 88 games in center field, 16 games in right, and four games in left this year.

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At first glace, it seems as if Hicks is the fourth outfielder for the Yankees and could be a replacement for Chris Young, who is currently a free agent. Against left-handed pitchers this year, Hicks hit .307 in 101 at-bats with six home runs and 11 RBI’s (.235, five home runs, 22 RBI’s in 251 AB’s vs. right-handers).

The one downside to this move could be that Hicks was not a good hitter away from Target Field this year. In 176 at-bats both home and away, Hicks’ home batting average of .307 was over 100 points higher than his road batting average (.205). However, Cashman did tell the media today that Hicks might be more than just a left-handed fourth outfielder:

As for John Ryan Murphy, the 24-year-old catcher had a slash line of .277/.327/.406 with three home runs and 14 RBI’s in 67 games as the backup catcher to Brian McCann. Murphy had some clutch hits for the Yankees this season, including the game-winning three-run home run against the Twins on July 25 at Target Field.

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With Gary Sanchez excelling in the Arizona Fall League and Austin Romine in the upper ranks of the minor league system, New York had catcher depth to make this kind of a trade. Murphy now joins a Twins’ roster that currently has Kurt Suzki has its starting catcher.

Suzuki has a $6 million vesting option for 2017 if he makes 485 plate appearances next year. Minnesota also traded a  catcher to the Diamondbacks yesterday when they dealt catcher Chris Herrmann to Arizona for first base/outfielder Daniel Palka.

Next: Yankees, Mariners Have Discussed Brett Gardner

It will be interesting to see whether or not the Yankees deal Brett Gardner to make room for Hicks on the roster. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported this morning that there have been talks with the Mariners involving Gardner. It’s a trade where the Yankees get another young outfielder and they were able to deal from a position of strength with the catching depth they have in the minor leagues.