Published: Wed, February 27, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Aaron Hicks' surprise extension gives insight into Yankees mindset

Aaron Hicks' surprise extension gives insight into Yankees mindset

The New York Yankees have been more responsible with free agent spending in recent years, and this offseason was no different as they were only peripherally involved on Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Hicks also set a career-high with 27 home runs and 79 RBI in 2018. Given the slow pace of free agency and the disappointing deals that many middle-tier free agents have taken over the past two seasons, Hicks could be the first of multiple would-be free agents to go this route.

For the Yankees, the agreement with Hicks locks them into a long-term mix featuring sluggers Giancarlo Stanton (signed through 2027) and Aaron Judge (controlled through 2022) for the foreseeable future. From 2020-2023 the outfielder will receive a salary of $10.5MM, and then $9.5MM from 2024-2025. He agreed on January 11 to a $6 million, one-year contract and would have been eligible for free agency after this season. There's a $12.5 million club option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout. Unlike the others who have recently signed extensions, however, Hicks could've tested the market as soon as next winter. "He was hungry to prove otherwise and we were hungry to work with him on it". So the Yankees secured some cost control, while committing to Hicks as their center fielder and a core player going forward. He is such a valuable player, playing a premium position, " Boone said before praising the switch-hitter's plate discipline.

Acquired from Minnesota in November 2015, Hicks has been on the disabled list in all six of his big league seasons, nine trips in all for hamstring strains (three times), oblique strains (twice), shoulder, forearm and intercostal strains, and a concussion. He is really a complete player.

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"There was a lot of people questioning if he'd ever cross into being the player that his draft card said he was capable of being", Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.

And Cashman doesn't appear to be done. Reliever Dellin Betances is said to on the teams radar next for a long term deal.

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