Aaron Hicks hasn’t had a productive season over a full yr since 2018, however as of now, normal supervisor Brian Cashman considers him to be the front-runner to be the common left fielder this season — barring a commerce or free-agent addition previous to Opening Day.
Cashman mentioned Hicks is absolutely recovered from the knee damage he suffered throughout the postseason and they’re hopeful he can discover the shape he confirmed earlier than the Yankees signed him to what’s been an ill-fated seven-year, $70 million extension.
“I believe he would be the man that emerges [in left field] as a result of he’s nonetheless actually proficient and every thing is there,” Cashman mentioned Sunday on SiriusXM MLB Network Radio. “Hopefully we will get the Aaron Hicks we all know is in there again as a constant participant for us.”
Oswaldo Cabrera is one other candidate and Cashman as soon as once more talked about Estevan Florial, however they’re each unproven within the majors.
On the commerce and free-agent markets, which embody Pittsburgh’s Bryan Reynolds and maybe Minnesota’s Max Kepler, as effectively as the free agent Jurickson Profar, Cashman mentioned, “We have traces out on sure alternatives. If it occurs in February or March, so be it. Or we go along with what we’ve got.”
Cashman mentioned he is made “plenty of efforts” to amass a lefty-swinging left fielder this offseason, however has been unable to discover a match.
As for Hicks, the 33-year-old has struggled to regain his kind following surgical procedure to restore a torn sheath in his left wrist in 2021 and has been subpar on the plate every of the final two seasons.
He was unable to retain his job in heart discipline and as soon as Harrison Bader got here again from the foot damage late in 2022, Hicks was unable to remain on the sector.
Hicks instructed The Post in September that he can be open to a commerce if it meant getting extra taking part in time.
“As of proper now, I really feel the extra I play, the higher I’m gonna play,” Hicks mentioned on the time. “That’s not what is going on on proper now. Things are powerful in New York. I haven’t got a solution. If they really feel this is not the appropriate match for me, that is their name. If I do go to a different crew, I do know I may also help them win.”
Hicks is owed slightly greater than $30 million over the ultimate three years of his contract and would be capable of veto any commerce if he is nonetheless a Yankee on Aug. 8, due to his 10-and-5 rights, that are as a result of kick in that day.
Players who accrue 10 years of MLB service time and have spent the previous 5 consecutive seasons with the identical crew can veto any commerce.
Cashman additionally famous that Frankie Montas, who has been affected by shoulder accidents persistently since July, was examined this offseason by Dr. Neal ElAttrache and acquired an MRI examination and different diagnostic testing and no bodily points have been revealed.
But the crew opted to delay the beginning of his throwing program as a result of Montas expressed some “hesitancy” about his shoulder. He will miss at the very least the primary month of the season.
“Ultimately, we wish the thoughts and physique to be proper,” Cashman mentioned on SiriusXM MLB Network Radio.
The right-hander the Yankees acquired from the A’s previous to final August’s commerce deadline struggled in eight regular-season appearances earlier than being shut down.
“If we’ve got another points [with Montas’ shoulder]I do not know what’s subsequent,” Cashman mentioned.