NEW YORK — The Yankees’ efforts to improve left subject this offseason haven’t resulted in tangible enchancment, and normal supervisor Brian Cashman now says the membership sees veteran Aaron Hicks because the likeliest candidate to garner enjoying time on the place.
“I believe he would be the man that emerges, as a result of he’s nonetheless actually proficient, and all the pieces’s there,” Cashman informed MLB Community Radio on SiriusXM. “Hopefully, we get the Aaron Hicks that we all know is in there again as a constant participant for us.”
Hicks endured a tough 2022 marketing campaign wherein he slashed .216/.330/.313 with eight dwelling runs and 40 RBIs (86 OPS+), a yr that ended with a left knee damage in Sport 5 of the American League Division Collection towards the Guardians. Cashman mentioned Hicks is “absolutely recovered” from that damage.
Booed at dwelling incessantly through the yr, Hicks recommended in September that he may profit from a change of surroundings, telling the New York Submit that “issues are robust in New York” and that “in the event that they really feel this isn’t the best match for me, that’s their name. If I do go to a different workforce, I do know I might help them win.”
However with the Yankees having walked away from a sky-high asking worth for Pirates’ Bryan Reynolds and seemingly unable to match with the Twins on a commerce for Max Kepler, the 33-year-old Hicks — nonetheless owed $30 million by way of the 2025 season — initiatives to enter the spring because the presumptive favourite in left subject.
The Yankees have additionally expressed curiosity in free agent Jurickson Profar, who logged 658 plate appearances with the Padres final season. Given their roster configuration, the Yankees appear unlikely to vow as a lot enjoying time.
Barring a commerce or signing, Hicks’ principal challenger figures to be 23-year-old Oswaldo Cabrera, who performed six positions whereas slashing .247/.312/.429 (109 OPS+) with six homers and 19 RBIs in 44 video games as a rookie final season.
“You’ve the younger buck, Cabrera, that wishes to stake a declare,” Cashman mentioned. “He confirmed quite a lot of constructive issues for us, particularly on the defensive aspect, being a jack-of-all-trades.”
Cashman additionally talked about Estevan Florial, who has batted simply .185 (10-for-54) in 29 massive league video games from 2020-22, however is a left-handed speedster who can play all three outfield positions. Cashman mentioned that Florial is “pushing for his time within the solar.”
Hicks being topped the presumptive starter in late January is not any assure, after all. Final spring, the Yankees reported to camp with Gary Sánchez as their beginning catcher and Gio Urshela at third base, then swapped these gamers to the Twins for third baseman Josh Donaldson, shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and catcher Ben Rortvedt.
“We definitely have our traces out on sure alternatives, however attempting to match up is rarely straightforward,” Cashman mentioned. “If it occurs in February or March, so be it. But when not, we’re ready to go along with what now we have.”