On Saturday, the New York Yankees officially designated Aaron Hicks for assignment. Would the San Diego Padres take a chance on him continuing his recent solid offensive output as a spark for the struggling team?
Should the San Diego Padres take a chance on Aaron Hicks after Yankees DFA him?
Of course, there's a reason why the Yankees decided now was the time to part ways with the 33-year-old Hicks. He is slashing just .188/.263/.261 in 76 plate appearances this season and has had issues with his outfield defense as well, making himself a target for frustrated Yankees fans.
However, if there's a silver lining with Hicks (at least at the plate), it is this: He is slashing .353/.450/.647 with two doubles and a home run over his last seven games. Perhaps it's fool's gold, but it is likely enough for some team to take a chance on Hicks.
Could that team be the Padres? If so, it would likely be a swap of struggling outfielders, with Hicks potentially coming in to give a boost at center field where Trent Grisham has done little this season. Grisham is slashing .190/.307/.352 in 167 plate appearances and is one of the reasons why the Padres are tied with the Miami Marlins for the lowest center field bWAR among all MLB teams at minus-0.6.
If the Padres believe that the recent showing by Hicks is enough, bringing him on board would cost very little. If no one claims him off waivers or the Yankees aren't able to trade him within a week, Hicks will become a free agent and can sign with any team for the MLB minimum. The remaining $17 million he is owed by New York over the next two years will be eaten by the Yankees, meaning salary won't be an issue.
However, bringing Hicks on board would be a risk by A.J. Preller. His defense has been an issue and an already struggling Padres team would be looking to a player who has slashed just .218/.330/.360 in 1,121 plate appearances since the start of the 2019 campaign to be a spark. That's not a sure lock by any stretch and could potentially add even more angst to a season that has already been filled with it at the plate in San Diego.
Remember the failed Robinson Cano attempt by the Padres to inject some offense last season? Hicks feels a lot like that. While San Diego may be one of three places where Hicks makes sense on paper, there is likely much more risk in the potential move than reward.