New York Yankees left fielder Aaron Hicks (31) celebrates the win with designated hitter Aaron Judge (99) against the Toronto Blue Jays at the end of the ninth inning at Rogers Centre

For quite some time now, fans of the New York Yankees have been waiting for the team to make the move that they did on Saturday. Prior to the team’s game against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday afternoon, the Yankees announced that they had designated struggling outfielder Aaron Hicks for an assignment.

Unfortunately for Hicks, the move has been a long time coming, as his play has significantly tailed off in recent years.

The 33-year-old outfielder still has two and a half years remaining on his seven-year, $70 million contract. So unless a team decides to claim Hicks off waivers — which is more than unlikely — the Bronx Bombers will be on the hook for his remaining salary. The most likely scenario here is that another team will sign Hicks for the veteran minimum once he reaches free agency, perhaps giving him a change of scenery away from New York.

While Hicks was hitting, he was also more than adept with his glove and was one of the better defensive outfielders in the game. That is no longer the case, though. According to Statcast, Hicks has prevented minus one run on the season and has minus one above-average outs. OAA is a range-based metric of skill that shows many outs a player has saved.

At the plate, Hicks is slashing .188/.263/.384 with one home run and five RBIs in 76 plate appearances (69 at-bats). This has pretty much been the story for Hicks, who has a career-low .524 OPS after he had a career year with the Yankees in 2018. But it’s progressively gotten worse.

Ironically enough, Hicks is on a tear at the plate over the past seven games, but the Yankees still decided that it was time to move on.

“It is what it is. It’s part of the business side of it,” Hicks said, via Greg Joyce of the New York Post. “Just got to move on to the next chapter.. … This is a very good baseball team. It kind of seemed like it wasn’t working out for me.”

Those in the world of Major League Baseball, particularly those that root for or cover the Yankees, reacted to the huge news on social media:

[New York Yankees on Twitter, Statcast; photo from Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports]

About Sam Neumann

Sam is a 2021 graduate of Temple University who has previously worked for other publications such as The Clemson Insider, Jets Wire and He's a Charlotte native, who currently resides in Greenville, South Carolina, and is unfortunately a big Mets and Jets fan.