1. Aaron Hicks
DJ Khaled has Major Keys. The Yankees have Injured Keys.
Aaron Hicks is still a proposed starter for the 2022 New York Yankees, though we’re not sure to what end, and we’re definitely sure the team should grab some insurance before Opening Day.
Will he be the speed, power, and defense triple threat he was during long stretches in 2018 and 2019? Or will he be the suddenly powerless 2021 edition, post-Tommy John, who was unable to air out his howitzer quite so effectively, worth -0.3 WAR in 108 at-bats prior to his wrist sheath tearing, which required (say it with me, now!) more season-ending surgery?
At least Voit got the chance to prove himself between trips to the injured list last season and, though the timing was often unfair, he occasionally excelled.
The Yankees have nearly no idea what they’ve got in the veteran Hicks at the moment, and would love to find out this March, at a time when he’s reportedly fully healthy.
Without Brett Gardner on the roster for the first time since 1982, New York really is either all in on Hicks or all in on finding a significant solution to their outfield depth issue during the free agent frenzy. Speedy rookie Brandon Lockridge might end up getting some reps if the team isn’t careful with how they apportion their money; after all, the upper minors are almost completely empty, save for Estevan Florial.
Hicks being viable could go a long way toward preventing Tim Locastro panic trades this time around. If only the Yankees’ braintrust had any idea what they were getting from one of their very few long-term fixtures.