Hicks designated for assignment; Allen added to roster
31 minutes ago
CINCINNATI — It’s never easy to part with your longest-tenured position player. But the Yankees felt they needed to move on from outfielder Aaron Hicks.
“Difficult decision, one we felt we had to make,” manager Aaron Boone said.
Hicks, 33, was designated for assignment Saturday before the Yankees’ game against the Reds. He was in his eighth year with the Yanks and was slashing .188/.263/.261 with one home run and five RBIs in 76 plate appearances. Hicks’ best season in the Bronx came in 2018, when he hit .248 with 27 home runs and 79 RBIs in 137 games.
From 2019-21, Hicks was limited by a variety of injuries, and he hit .216 with eight home runs and 40 RBIs last year. Hicks was included on the Yankees’ postseason roster in 2022, but he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the American League Division Series.
Hicks still has two-plus years left on the seven-year, $70 million extension he signed prior to the 2019 season. The Yankees will have seven days to trade Hicks before putting him on irrevocable waivers. He was making $10.8 million this year and had two additional years at $9.8 million on his contract with a team option in 2026 at $12.5 million with a $1 million buyout.
“There was a lot of conversation,” Boone said. “Obviously a difficult [move]. Once we were able to get Greg Allen — he had an out clause — we had to make a decision. It’s been a tough role for Aaron.
“It’s one Greg has filled in a lot throughout his career. He’s played really well this year. He has a similar skill set that we’ve seen throughout his career. He’s played the role before, and he’s played it well.”
Allen, 30, was hitting .250 with 25 runs scored, eight doubles, two homers, 15 RBIs and 23 stolen bases in 37 games with Triple-A Worcester. He’s a switch-hitter who can play all three outfield positions and will likely split time in the outfield with Jake Bauers, Willie Calhoun and Oswaldo Cabrera.
Allen has hit .232 over parts of six big league seasons, and spent part of the 2021 season with the Yankees, hitting .270 with a .417 on-base percentage over 15 games. He was supposed to arrive in Cincinnati just before game time on Saturday.
Boone informed Hicks of the decision before Saturday’s contest.
“Hard [conversation],” Boone said. “Five-plus years from my standpoint with someone. Obviously, he predates me. It’s family. You go through everything with these guys. Obviously, with Aaron, he’s had some ups and downs. He had some good seasons for us. Some playoff moments for us. The last few years, he’s had some struggles, some injuries. Not an easy conversation.”
Hicks, Boone said, took the news like a professional.
“Quiet,” Boone said. “Maybe some level of understanding. I’m not sure if he saw it coming or didn’t see it coming. I’m sure he and I will connect down the road. Today’s conversation was fairly direct and somber. It was a difficult role for him.
“End of the day, I wish the best for Aaron. I think in some ways he got over the ire of fans and got through that. We’ll see what’s next for him.”