Aaron Hicks’ latest injury update pretty much makes him untradable
Yankees OF Aaron Hicks says he still doesn’t feel 100%.
One element that helped derail the New York Yankees 2019 season was the injury to Aaron Hicks. The slugging outfielder endured elbow issues, which played a part in limiting him to 59 games, for a good portion of the campaign to the point that he needed Tommy John surgery. He underwent the procedure after the season in October.
He was able to return on time for the 2020 season because it was delayed until the end of July, but apparently something’s still off despite the ample recovery time (remember, position players return from TJ much quicker than pitchers). Hicks appeared on the YES Network’s “Yankees Hot Stove” to talk about his situation.
Hicks, who was once viewed as a potential trade candidate this offseason due to the Yankees’ desire to cut costs and add to the roster elsewhere, just provided commentary that makes him untradable.
"“I still don’t really feel 100%. My strength and doing all that stuff is kind of starting to be better and kind of work as far as strength. But I still kind of don’t feel the same,” Hicks told the YES Network.“I had to change my swing a little bit to protect my arm from hyperextending.“It was just the little things every now and then. I didn’t start really feeling good until toward the back end of the season and by then it’s too late and you’ve got to keep grinding.”"
Forget about his trade value though, this is first and foremost bad news for the Yankees (and obviously Hicks himself). The veteran told reporters back in August that his arm still “sometimes sucks” and we’re now approaching the middle of December — about 14 months after the procedure — and he’s still not back to normal.
Hicks signed a seven-year, $70 million extension prior to the 2019 season, which will keep him tied to the Yankees through 2025 (he also has a team option for 2026). It’s odd that the Yankees bypassed their seemingly strict extension “rule” and managed to ink deals with Hicks and Luis Severino, both of whom suffered significant injuries shortly after.
What this does do, however, is explain Hicks’ lacking arm strength in center field coupled with his serious struggles at the plate the last two years after stellar 2017 and 2018 campaigns. It certainly helps with context instead of leaving us guessing.
Getting Hicks right for 2021 should be atop the Yankees list of priorities because we know how dangerous he can be in this lineup if he’s swinging freely.