According to ESPN, the New York Yankees have reached a seven year, $70 million contract extension with outfielder Aaron Hicks. The 29-year-old power hitter, who was scheduled to become a free agent at the end of the 2019 season, will now be assured his career in pinstripes will continue until the 2026 season. The YES Network in New York was reportedly the first to announce the news.
While Hicks is not considered to be a player with the MVP potential of fellow Bronx outfielders Giancarlo Stanton or Aaron Judge, he is certainly an important piece. After spending the first three years of his major league career with the Minnesota Twins, Hicks has developed into an above average player during his tenure in New York.
According to Fan Graphs his 2.9 defensive rating ranks tenth among MLB center fielders. He is also a significantly improved hitter. Hicks hit just 20 home runs with a .225 average during his time in Minnesota. However, he began to establish himself as a legitimate power threat with the Yankees.
He would hit a career high 15 homers in 2007, followed by a 27-home run outburst in 2018. He has also increased his batting average to a respectable .244 over the past three seasons.
Yankees’ Outfield Situation
This signing helps ensure that the Yankees will retain one of the best group of outfielders in MLB. Hicks will remain with the team for next seven seasons. Former MVP Stanton signed a massive contract keeping him under team control until the 2028 season. This leaves feared power hitter Aaron Judge as the last remaining player to require a long-term deal.
His current rookie contract ensures he will play for the team in 2019. He will however face arbitration in 2020, 2021, and 2022. However, considering the Yankees’ willingness to provide Hicks with a multi-year deal, it seems clear the team will seek to retain all three players for as long as possible.