Aaron Hicks’ lost 2019 season will extend into next year for the New York Yankees as he undergoes major reconstructive elbow surgery.
New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow at the end of the month and is expected to miss eight to ten months. General manager Brian Cashman made the announcement at a Thursday press conference.
Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka also had right elbow surgery, albeit for bone spurs, and first baseman Luke Voit recently had surgery to repair troublesome core muscles. Both are expected to be ready for Spring Training.
As for Hicks, however, the news could not be worse. Back and elbow trouble limited him to just 59 games in 2019 with 12 home runs and 36 RBI on a .235 average.
This also marks the second winter in a row a Yankees position player has needed offseason Tommy John surgery. Shortstop Didi Gregorius underwent the surgery last year and returned in June, but hit just .238 with 16 homers and 61 RBI.
The good news for the Yankees is this opens the door to bring back veteran Brett Gardner, and maybe offer the young Mike Tauchman more playing time. Hicks won’t return until July at the earliest and given how much Gregorius struggled, it wouldn’t be a shock if he missed most of 2020.
The bad news is the Yankees recently gave Hicks a seven-year, $70 million extension which kicks in next season. Hicks made $6 million in 2019 and will see his salary rise to $10.5 million in 2020. So far, the deal is not working out as planned. Given Hicks’ injury history, moving the contract becomes even more difficult.
Here’s hoping Hicks has a speedy recovery and returns to the field soon, otherwise the Yankees could soon have to make some very tough decisions.