The New York Yankees have done most of what they needed to this offseason.
Aaron Judge is back and appears set to retire in pinstripes. Carlos Rodon has fortified the rotation and given the Yankees the starting pitcher they needed. Tommy Kahnle should make the bullpen that much better. It has been a solid offseason.
New York Yankees still stuck with Aaron Hicks
However, there has been one problem with the offseason. The Yankees are still without a left fielder. Michael Conforto, the last possible impact bat left on the market, signed with the Giants. This leaves the Yankees with Aaron Hicks still atop their depth chart in left.
There was a time when Hicks was not a complete disaster for the Yankees. While he had the durability of a Faberge Egg, Hicks was at least useful when he was on the diamond. He posted a 120 OPS+ with 60 homers and 56 doubles in his 1408 plate appearances from 2017 through 2020, numbers that the Yankees would certainly take in left.
Hicks has not been that player over the past two years. Those injuries have taken their toll, sapping his power and speed. Hicks has produced an 83 OPS+ with just 12 homers and 12 doubles in his 579 plate appearances since the beginning of the 2021 season. The Yankees cannot afford that lack of production considering questions at short, third, and possibly behind the plate.
The problem is that there is not much out there. AJ Pollock and David Peralta may be the two best options but both are stopgaps. Jurickson Profar had a solid showing in 2022 but he is not a given. Trey Mancini could work due to his ability to slot at either corner outfield spot and first base, but he would be more of a useful bench piece than someone that the Yankees would likely consider for their starting lineup.
This means that the ball keeps landing on Hicks. The Yankees have to hope that there is something left in his bat and that he can come back from the brink once more. Otherwise, left field is going to have to be a priority at the trade deadline and in the 2023-24 offseason, with Hicks as a possible roster casualty despite any money he is still due.
The New York Yankees may not have another choice but to stick with Aaron Hicks for one more year. However, this could be his final chance.