When Harrison Bader returns to take hold of the center field reins once more, somebody's career with the New York Yankees will end.
There are precious few players left to demote, unless the Yankees want to foolishly demote Oswald Peraza and thin out their infield depth/remove someone who should be starting almost daily. They could also take advantage of the split major/minor-league deal they signed with Franchy Cordero and stash him in Scranton. There's no sense in taking a pitcher out of the bullpen when Bader returns -- which will hopefully be oh-so-soon. No offense to Isiah Kiner-Falefa, but he's already provided more than enough center field magic. Maybe Willie Calhoun accepts an outright assignment? Maybe?
But, as we know, as long as the Yankees have an alternate path to nicking Aaron Hicks from the roster, they will pursue it. Calhoun can "bang" all he wants. Cordero can mourn for the disappearance of his incredible first few weeks in pinstripes (where does the time go?). Odds are, the Yankees would rather lose either of those theoretical assets than part ways with Hicks, who used to be spectacular, and now mostly drifts.
Calhoun and Cordero probably don't have much left, either. But tossing them off the roster to keep Hicks afloat will still be the wrong move.
Yankees should end Aaron Hicks' time in the Bronx when Harrison Bader returns
Just because someone's going on a rehab assignment doesn't mean they'll be completing a rehab assignment. Just look at Josh Donaldson, who was supposed to come back last week, but was instead "returned" from his assignment, leading every Yankee fan to go, "Wait, returned? He's back?!? Oh, no, he's back, but only because he's more hurt than ever, got it."
Bader's rehab will be an extended process, with his current return date reportedly targeted for next weekend at Tropicana Field. Partially, this is because Aaron Boone wants to get Bader acclimated to playing nine-inning games back-to-back after his spring training was cut short. Partially, it's probably also an effort to get a longer look at the roster's current options while deciding how to pare it down.
Hicks, Cordero and Calhoun all provide limited versatility and aid to a roster that's several bats short, a problem that became more glaring when Giancarlo Stanton went down and the team's confoundingly bad bench all had to become starters. But only Hicks has openly complained about his role so far, then worked hard to have that role lessened every time he's been called upon.
Send out Cordero or Calhoun, and you're getting rid of a marginal player who probably won't make it through the season, regardless of the decision that's made in the coming weeks. Remove Hicks, and you're DFAing a cloud that's spent too much time hanging over the roster.
The Yankees shouldn't send Hicks to the Trop in a week's time. But they will anyway.