Dusting off this site after a year and a half! I recently was given the keys back to my old Twitter account (@ByCharlieRicker) which was suspended by old management after a dumb tweet I sent to a prominent politician back in April 2020. Say what you will about Elon Musk, I am grateful for a second opportunity to reconnect with so many of my old friends! I was proud of my connections in the baseball writing world, and losing my account was crushing. This was my main way of connecting with the outside world. In the time since my old account was suspended, I buried my Mom who passed in June 2021 and I returned to work after close to ten years of disability. I’m in such a better place now mentally.
ANYWAY. Let’s get down to business! Last year, Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson and left fielder Aaron Hicks had absolutely miserable 2022 seasons. Being that the Yanks owe Donaldson more than 21M in 2023 and 16M in ’24 (8M buyout for that year), plus Hicks being under contract through at least 2025 at an average 10M/year (1M buyout for ’26), neither player is going anywhere.
Donaldson didn’t make it rain very often in ’22, hitting only 15 HR’s and driving in 62 runs (.222/.308/.374 slash-line), drawing the ire of Yankees fans everywhere. That said, Hicks is still the reigning Yankee fans punching-bag. He played like his head (and heart) wasn’t in the game for most of 2022. Hicks cemented his way into infamy when he badly misplayed a fly ball to left field.
Hicks couldn’t hit to save his life, either. At season’s end, his slash line was .216/.330/.313 with 8 HR and 40 RBI. Yankees GM Brian Cashman tried to move both Hicks and Donaldson but found no takers. Unless something changes these guys aren’t going anywhere.
Donaldson is now 37 years old, but still only two years removed from a 26 HR/72 RBI season in 2021. If he can produce close to this level, the Yankees will be much better for it. Donaldson has always worked hard and expects better of himself. I like his chances of rebounding in 2023.
On the other hand, Hicks appears to be cavalier about his spot on the Yankees roster. In an August 9 story with The Athletic, Hicks told Chris Kirschner, “All we’re trying to do is win a championship here, so if I’m a guy that’s in the lineup, cool. If I’m not, it is what it is.”
Maybe it’s just me but if I’m Aaron Boone, I would want every player on my team saying they WANT to be in the lineup every day, not saying that. Hicks has 80 home runs over his seven years with the team to go with his lousy .233/.340/.403 slash-line. Why Brian Cashman wanted him so badly is beyond me.
No, I don’t look for Aaron Hicks to redeem himself. At this point, I would love to see him go away, work on his golf game. That might be the sport he plays best because he’s sure not good at baseball.