Aaron Hicks 7 year/$70 million extension

Wingack

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Well yeah that’s the thing a good defensive CF like him that can hit and actually get on base is probably worth at least $17 million a year on the open market.
 

jon abbey

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His defensive numbers were not very good last year, FWIW.

This feels to me like a 4-5 year deal in terms of the total money, with the extra years bringing down the AAV, as the last two posts also kind of said. The thing was if they let him go, it would have been very hard to find a replacement next winter.
 

jon abbey

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For reference, in a year where Brett Gardner will be turning 36, the Yankees are paying him $12.5 million.
They're paying him $7.5M plus the $2M buyout from the previous deal, but $7.5M is the number for comparison.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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My first reaction was that a lot of years. Just in the sense of how contracts seem to be getting shorter except for mega-stars. Are there any comps for contracts of similar lengths at similarly low AAV?
This is my first reaction. It's not a bad contract, it's just a strange contract.

I think I'm more surprised by the lack of flexibility that this might give the Yankees.

Hicks is 29 and is now signed through age 35.
Stanton is 29 and signed through age 37.
Judge is 27 at the end of April, but tied up between pre-arbitration and arbitration to age 32, but outside of him falling off a cliff does anyone expect the Yankees not to retain him much longer?

Meanwhile Stanton, Andujar and Sanchez are all potential future DH candidates.

I'm actually sitting here wondering how I'd feel about JBJ signing an identical contract.
 

DanoooME

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Per MLBTR:

There’s also a club option for an eighth season, Marc Carig of The Athletic tweets. The Post’s Joel Sherman reports that Hicks will receive a $2MM signing bonus and a $6MM salary for the upcoming season (Twitter link). He’ll then be paid $10.5MM annually from 2020-23 and $9.5MM annually from 2024-25. His option for the 2026 season is valued at $12.5MM and comes with a $1MM buyout.
Really good deal, especially the end of it when the salaries go down. If he had a good year this year, there would have been a decent chance he could have beat this on the market, but it must be worth it to him to not gamble.
 

jon abbey

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I think I'm more surprised by the lack of flexibility that this might give the Yankees.

Hicks is 29 and is now signed through age 35.
Stanton is 29 and signed through age 37.
Judge is 27 at the end of April, but tied up between pre-arbitration and arbitration to age 32, but outside of him falling off a cliff does anyone expect the Yankees not to retain him much longer?
I think the low AAV makes Hicks a trade chip (or at least tradeable) if Florial blossoms or some other CF shows up, but it's really hard to find a solid CF these days. It's worth noting there is no no-trade clause here, and also that it's actually a six-year extension as the deal starts immediately (replacing his $6M final year arb salary for 2019).
 

rembrat

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HAHA. 2 years of .800OPS in the prime of his career means you lock him up for years 29-36? Lord.
 

Average Reds

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I'm actually sitting here wondering how I'd feel about JBJ signing an identical contract.
I'd be ecstatic if JBJ signed a similar contract.

This gives Hicks lifetime security and wealth. (Not that pro athletes aren't capable of blowing it, but that amount of guaranteed money should set him/his family up for life.) And it gives the Yankees a productive outfielder who will not break the bank. And who can be moved if needed.

If the Yankees believe that his glove is worth it, it's a good (not great, but good) signing.
 

jon abbey

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I still can’t believe NY is letting Harper just sit there. Seven years for Aaron Hicks?
They have nothing to do with each other, Hicks plays CF and Harper is a (terrible) corner OF. For NY, he would be a DH since both Judge and Stanton are decidedly better defenders, why would you want to give the biggest contract in history out for that? Someone did season simulations a couple months ago with Harper on different teams, for NY he had 53 HRs and was AL MVP, and NY won 93 games and I think lost in the ALCS. That is a perfect explanation of why NY never went after Harper, he doesn't really improve them almost at all.
 

jon abbey

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Also how is anyone fixating on the number of years here? First of all, it's actually six (through 2025) as they're counting this year too, and since 4/60 was probably fair, 6/60 is two years for free and a lower AAV all along. Good deal for both sides, if his defense holds up 2-3 more seasons.
 

scott bankheadcase

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They have nothing to do with each other, Hicks plays CF and Harper is a (terrible) corner OF. For NY, he would be a DH since both Judge and Stanton are decidedly better defenders, why would you want to give the biggest contract in history out for that? Someone did season simulations a couple months ago with Harper on different teams, for NY he had 53 HRs and was AL MVP, and NY won 93 games and I think lost in the ALCS. That is a perfect explanation of why NY never went after Harper, he doesn't really improve them almost at all.
Agree with all of this. To me the weird part of this contract -- which I think is very solid for the Yankees -- why did they give Gardner above market money? And more money than Hicks?
 

jon abbey

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Agree with all of this. To me the weird part of this contract -- which I think is very solid for the Yankees -- why did they give Gardner above market money? And more money than Hicks?
You mean his previous FA deal? Those were different times, but if you mean this year, Gardner is getting $7.5M.
 

jon abbey

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As Joel Sherman points out, it's basically a 6/64 deal (he was going to make $6M this year) for a guy who will hit FA younger than Cain or Pollock but with comparable numbers. More importantly, CF is an area where NY has no real backup, this is why I advocated all winter for trading for someone like Manny Margot or Corey Ray, but Hicks would have had all the leverage if he had another good season and then hit FA, as there are no other genuine alternatives next winter (seriously, it's guys like Lagares and Leonys Martin).

https://nypost.com/2019/02/25/aaron-hicks-contract-gives-yankees-chip-in-trade-for-top-pitcher/
 

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Hicks hits better than JBJ and fields better than Harper. Good deal. I don't think they'll have a problem moving him at that price if the CF defense starts to break down and he needs to stick to a corner spot.

Edit: Just a couple of numbers that I think most here have seen, and understanding that WAR is overrated, it still isn't a bad stat for comparison purposes:

Hicks
2017: 3.9 WAR, 122 OPS+
2018: 4.7 WAR, 123 OPS+

JBJ
2017: 3.0 WAR, 89 OPS+
2018: 2.1 WAR, 92 OPS+

Harper
2017: 4.7 WAR, 156 OPS+
2018: 1.3 WAR, 133 OPS+
 
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Just a bit outside

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Seems like a good deal for both player and team. Hicks gets security when salaries and contracts are hard to come by and the Yankees get a good player at a good price. Even if Hicks falls off in a few years his salary is not going to hurt them.
 

TheoShmeo

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I get the arguments as to why this deal makes sense for the Yankees.

But my reaction as a Sox fan is good. Hicks is a good and not great player and he’s certainly not one of the Yankees whose at bats make me overly nervous. That’s he’s likely part of the equation for years is positive in my view.
 

jon abbey

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I get the arguments as to why this deal makes sense for the Yankees.

But my reaction as a Sox fan is good. Hicks is a good and not great player and he’s certainly not one of the Yankees whose at bats make me overly nervous. That’s he’s likely part of the equation for years is positive in my view.
He was the third best CF in MLB last year according to WAR, behind only Trout and Cain. He was the 23rd most valuable player in all of MLB, again according to WAR.

http://www.espn.com/mlb/stats/batting/_/sort/WARBR

Also FWIW, he hit 5 HRs against BOS last year and had a .889 OPS. 13 RBIs in 16 games.
 

crow216

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Love this. Hicks is so underrated in this lineup and defensively. He can be plugged into almost any spot and keeps himself in great shape. I’m happy he’s sticking around.
 

Big John

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Good outfielder with an excellent arm--one of the very best outfield arms in all of MLB-- and a switch hitter. But Hicks seems to pile up those nagging injuries. In 2017 it was his oblique, in 2018 his hamstring. If he can stay healthy it's a great deal, but that's a question mark.
 

crow216

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Good outfielder with an excellent arm--one of the very best outfield arms in all of MLB-- and a switch hitter. But Hicks seems to pile up those nagging injuries. In 2017 it was his oblique, in 2018 his hamstring. If he can stay healthy it's a great deal, but that's a question mark.
And I think that’s why he’s happy to secure a long term deal. Ultimately, it’s really a good deal for sides. As a piece of the puzzle, I think this helps Cashman have flexibility for Judge and a potentially big contract.
 

bankshot1

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Financially it looks like a very reasonable deal from the Ys perspective.

And thus ends the Jacoby Ellsbury era of patrolling the hallowed ground of Dimaggio and Mantle.
 

TheoShmeo

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He was the third best CF in MLB last year according to WAR, behind only Trout and Cain. He was the 23rd most valuable player in all of MLB, again according to WAR.

http://www.espn.com/mlb/stats/batting/_/sort/WARBR

Also FWIW, he hit 5 HRs against BOS last year and had a .889 OPS. 13 RBIs in 16 games.
Yeah, that's fair and totally logical. And yet I'm still totally unfazed by this. I've been wrong before but Hicks as NY's CF for the next bunch of years is fine by me.
 

jon abbey

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Yeah, that's fair and totally logical. And yet I'm still totally unfazed by this. I've been wrong before but Hicks as NY's CF for the next bunch of years is fine by me.
Yeah, I was going to add that I still kind of get your perspective here, also you can factor in that this likely closes off any chance of Trout to the Yankees down the road, not that anyone has been rumoring that at any point anyway.
 

edoug

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Yeah, I was going to add that I still kind of get your perspective here, also you can factor in that this likely closes off any chance of Trout to the Yankees down the road, not that anyone has been rumoring that at any point anyway.
Does it? He could be a nice trade chip. If they need to open up centerfield.
 

jon abbey

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Yeah, I was thinking that too as I wrote it, but Philly seems the most likely destination for him anyway, South Jersey boy.
 

edoug

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Yeah, I was thinking that too as I wrote it, but Philly seems the most likely destination for him anyway, South Jersey boy.
To be fair, when a team signs a guy to a long contract you expect him to be there awhile.
 

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I like this deal for the Yankees, Hicks, and the Red Sox, somehow. The Yankees get a nice player on a below market deal and Hicks gets his set for life money. The Red Sox get their division rival semi-locked into a good bit not great CF who has been hurt a lot during his younger years. Not sure I can think of a situation with this trifecta happening before.
 

Sprowl

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Financially it looks like a very reasonable deal from the Ys perspective.

And thus ends the Jacoby Ellsbury era of patrolling the hallowed ground of Dimaggio and Mantle.
NMCWJEAFO (Nobody Much Cares When Jacoby Ellsbury Achieves Final Obscurity)
 

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I love this deal from Hicks’ perspective. Right now he and his children are set to be wealthy for the rest of their lives and never need to worry about anything. Buy an island rich? No. Be able to puff your chest out around other CF’ers, or your friends in the NBA? No, probably not. And he quite possibly didn’t squeeeze every possible dime out of what figures to be the next 10 years. But practically, he’s locking in a great life for himself and his family. Hakuna Matata
 

moondog80

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I love this deal from Hicks’ perspective. Right now he and his children are set to be wealthy for the rest of their lives and never need to worry about anything. Buy an island rich? No. Be able to puff your chest out around other CF’ers, or your friends in the NBA? No, probably not. And he quite possibly didn’t squeeeze every possible dime out of what figures to be the next 10 years. But practically, he’s locking in a great life for himself and his family. Hakuna Matata

Including this year's salary, his career earnings were about 12 million. If he's halfway reasonable with his money, he's already locked in a great life for himself and his family (and if he's totally unreasonable, even 70 million isn't enough). I get why he took it and good for him if he's happy with it, but I'm sure the MLBPA hates this deal.
 

jon abbey

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This is the guy who was hitting about .190 after his first three months with the NYY, right?

Can't believe he turned it around so significantly that he could get a deal like this.
Yeah, they got him before 2016 (his 26 year old season) because MIN wanted to make room for Byron Buxton, and he was so bad that year that I was shocked Cashman didn't dump him over the winter.

But also he was the #14 overall pick in 2008, and a top 100 prospect for 4 seasons with MIN, peaking in the top 20, so he always had the talent, it just took him a long time to put it together.
 

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Harper is a (terrible) corner OF...he doesn't really improve them almost at all.
I get that once it's clear they're not signing him its best to move on positively, but the mystical belief that he'd land in his true baseball home for all classy and great players was alive and well in this sub-forum well as recently as last summer. Maybe Adam Ottavino stole all his true Yankee mojo...
 

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I get that once it's clear they're not signing him its best to move on positively, but the mystical belief that he'd land in his true baseball home for all classy and great players was alive and well in this sub-forum well as recently as last summer. Maybe Adam Ottavino stole all his true Yankee mojo...
Really? I think the Yankees fans contingent here has been fairly lukewarm on Harper for a quite a while.
 

jon abbey

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Harper still seemed possible to NY before both Andujar and Voit's bats emerged last season, in addition to Judge blossoming in 2017 and Stanton being traded for before 2018. He definitely never made sense to NY to anyone paying attention at any point this offseason, I know I've been very consistent on that.

Edit: And Harper's horrendous defensive 2018 didn't help, to me that's at least as big of a problem as Machado's occasional dirtiness and not running out every ball hard.