Home News Orioles believe in Aaron Hicks turnaround after Yankees release

Orioles believe in Aaron Hicks turnaround after Yankees release

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Aaron Hicks’ past few seasons with the Yankees were lackluster, but the Orioles think he could have something left in the tank.

The switch-hitting outfielder signed with the Orioles Tuesday after he was designated for assignment by the Yankees on May 20 and was given his outright release a week later.

Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said Baltimore looked at more than the traditional counting numbers and that Hicks could be better than his underlying stats indicate.

“We have stuff that we look at from a scouting and evaluation perspective that, as I’ve said before, it’s very different from looking at the back of a baseball card,” Elias said, the Baltimore Sun reported. “We hope that we get a bounce back from anyone we bring in here.”

Hicks, who is owed $30 million through 2025 but will be paid a prorated league minimum with Baltimore, has had an OPS under .700 since 2021, including this season, where he has a slash line of .188/.263/.261.

Baltimore Orioles outfielder Aaron Hicks works out prior to Tuesday’s game against the Cleveland Guardians.

But the Orioles were in immediate need of outfield help when center fielder Cedric Mullins landed on the injured list.

Baltimore hopes to catch lightning in a bottle with Hicks, who did produce strong offensive numbers in the Bronx from 2017-20.

Over those four seasons, Hicks hit 60 home runs with 188 RBIs, including in 2018, where he hit a career-high 27 homers.

“You may not get a great outcome on everything, but we see stuff with Aaron Hicks that we like and it feels like a good fit for us,” Elias said, according to the Sun. “I hope this is a shot in the arm for him, and I hope that he helps us out and helps us win some games.”

Yankees' Aaron Hicks reacts after striking out against Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Pablo Lopez in the second inning of a baseball game, Sunday, April 16, 2023
Hicks struggled in 2023 with the Yankees, batting under .200.

When Hicks was released, Yankees manager Aaron Boone spoke highly of the outfielder and highlighted his successes in pinstripes.

“I hope what doesn’t get lost is a couple of really good seasons that he had here,” Boone said Friday. “Had some good postseason moments here. And then some injuries really impacted his time here, probably impacted his career and his ability to get back to that level.”

Overall during his time in New York, Hicks — already sporting some facial hair in Baltimore — batted .232/.337/.398 across 651 games.

The upstart Orioles are 35-20, three games back of the AL East-leading Rays — and two games clear of the Yankees.

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