Aaron Hicks‘ roller coaster Yankees season has recently reached the part where the train comes to a complete halt and the track has to undergo some maintenance. After pulling his numbers up to a respectable place by mid-June, he’s now hit .188 with a .583 OPS over his last 21 games, and entered play Friday mired in an 0-for-23 slump.
Luckily, his contract expires in (checks notes) 2025. Unless the Yankees pick up that team option!
Hicks is still a “relative” bargain, but not if his production continues to decline and the team still has to find room for him on an everyday basis. Since recovering from Tommy John surgery after the 2019 season, his power has largely dissipated, a process that additional wrist surgery in 2021 did not help along.
Occasionally, Hicks still hits a spectacularly dramatic home run to the sticks, like he did against the Astros in mid-June. Often, though, he looks far more pedestrian, and if the Yankees could find a way to eject his contract, they would. If they could find a way to eject his contract that also involved star right-hander Pablo Lopez coming to the Bronx, they definitely would.
According to WFAN’s Craig Carton, such a swap almost happened, which is almost too unbelievable to even entertain. No. Scratch that. It’s literally too unbelievable to entertain, given what we know about Miami’s rumored asks during the process.
WFAN’s Craig Carton says Yankees almost moved Aaron Hicks in Pablo Lopez trade
According to Carton, Marlins GM Kim Ng backed out of an Aaron Hicks-related trade package for Lopez at 5:59 PM, leaving Brian Cashman without Jordan Montgomery and with a contractual obligation through 2025 that he thought he’d shed.
If this were true — if — that would have involved at least three prospects attached to Hicks’ money, including some very high-caliber ones to offset the additional burden. Somehow, an “Oswald Peraza-for-Lopez” deal never came to be. If Hicks were involved, would that prospect centerpiece have been upgraded to … Jasson Dominguez?
Rumor has it New York balked at the inclusion of either Peraza, Anthony Volpe, or Gleyber Torres … but you don’t hear Dominguez’s name on that list. Could there really have been, say, a Dominguez/Hicks/Austin Wells/Will Warren deal at the one-yard line before Malcolm Butler picked it off? Still sounds extremely unlikely, but … it’s lingering.
Per NJ.com, the Yankees did attempt to offload Hicks, Miguel Andújar and Josh Donaldson in the week prior to the deadline, and didn’t find any takers. There’s at least a kernel of truth in this conjecture.
Of all the rumored trades that have leaked, though … a Gavin Lux-centered package from the Dodgers for Lopez, or an Aaron Hicks-centered one from the Yankees?
Doesn’t quite pass the smell test. That said, if the Yankees really fumbled this specific bag at the deadline, this means war.