The New York Yankees have agreed to a seven-year, $70 million deal with their centerfielder Aaron Hicks. Due to becoming a free agent this offseason, the extension locks Hicks up through 2025 and includes a club option for the 2026 season.
Hicks, 29, came to the Bronx from Minnesota in a trade after the 2015 season. He struggled in his first year in pinstripes. During the 2016 season, Aaron hit just .217 with eight home runs and 31 RBI. He turned things around in 2017, though, batting .266 with 15 home runs, 52 RBI and an .847 OPS. However, Hicks only played in 88 games that season, as an oblique injury kept him out for a month.
After fully recovering from the injury, Hicks had a career year last season. Despite hitting just .248, the big outfielder still put up career highs in games played (137), home runs (27), RBI (79), walks (90), WAR (4.7) and OPS+ (123). Those numbers placed Hicks 22nd in the AL MVP vote last year.
A Mutually Beneficial Agreement
The Yankees clearly believe Hicks is their guy in centerfield and that belief is echoed by comments made around the team. General Manager Brian Cashman said, “”he has more gas in his tank, he has more mountains to climb. We’re excited by a player who came here that wasn’t a finished product and had a lot of upside. We engaged him on a lot of levels about the talent that we thought he possessed.” Manager Aaron Boone also had high praise for Aaron calling him, “the most underrated player in the game.”
Two major factors played into Hicks decision to sign an extension with the Yankees. Just last month, Hicks became the father of Aaron Jr. After signing the new deal he said, “definitely now I don’t have to worry about buying diapers.”
The other factor is Hicks’ desire to win and his belief that the Yanks give him a great chance to do that. “This is an organization I want to stay with. The guys in the clubhouse, I want to fight for them. I want to go to war for them,” he said. “I want to win a World Series. I’m tired of losing. We’ve come so close, but I’m tired of saying we came close.”
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