Aaron Hicks
Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The New York Yankees granted its fans’ desperate wish to cut off outfielder Aaron Hicks on May 20. Hicks, who signed a seven-year contract with the Bombers in 2019, had delivered a subpar performance for not one but several seasons. Moreover, this year, things escalated when the outfielder went into the media to criticize the team’s plans and strategies over his role in the lineup.

Hence, after a long tussle, the Yankees had to pull the plug and release Aaron Hicks from the roster after seven years of association. Hicks packed his things and entered unrestricted free agency, wherein he was picked up by Bombers’ east rivals, Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles signed him for a league minimum salary, and what happened next has made the Yankees question its decision.


Most Disliked Former Yankees OF Aaron Hicks Got A New Life At Orioles

Aaron Hicks
The Orioles signed outfielder Aaron Hicks, pictured taking batting practice before Tuesday’s game, as a replacement for All-Star center fielder Cedric Mullins, who remains placed on the 10-day injured list. (Julio Cortez/AP)

Baltimore Orioles were one outfielder short when Aaron Hicks entered free agency. Center fielder Cedric Mullin entered IL after a gruesome injury. Hence, the Orioles signed Hicks as a replacement. Picking up Hicks was a no-brainer for the Orioles as the outfielder was a low-risk, high-reward candidate. Little did anyone know that Hicks would return to his old self in the orange kit. Since joining Baltimore, the outfielder has hit .345 with a 1.058 OPS. Not only that, his strikeout rate has reduced significantly, and the on-base percentage is as high as .472.

It’s hard to believe that he is the same Aaron Hicks who could not even connect a single hit in the pinstripes. In the past three years, Hicks could not even score more than 20 home runs combined. Moreover, his average and on-base percentage were at a record low. And don’t even bother to mention the terrible defensive plays. However, despite everything, his recent resurgence at the Orioles may give an impression that may be the Yankees pulled the plug too soon. But it’s worth noting that the resurgence’s sample size is too small. Moreover, it’s not that uncommon for a player to regain some form after joining a new team. The most challenging thing for Hicks would be to maintain consistency from here on to really prove that he has still got some spark left and that the Yankees, indeed, made a mistake.

What Changed For Aaron Hicks At Orioles?

Aaron Hicks’ time in pinstripes has come to an end. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)

The latest comments made by Orioles coaches suggest that maybe the Yankees hitting coaches did not do enough for Aaron Hicks. The Orioles staff explained that when they reviewed the outfielder’s tapes from his time with the Yankees, they called in for an immediate adjustment in his batting stance. They believed that Hicks needed to stay in a more athletic position while taking a stride. This adjustment eventually produced results for the OF on the plate.

If the Orioles coaches were able to pick up the problem so quickly, what actually unfolded in the Yankees clubhouse remains a valid question. Did Dillon Lawson fail to find a solution? Or did he not pay enough attention to Hicks? Well, only the Yankees hitting department knows the truth. But one thing is certain, Aaron Hicks’ resurgence at the Orioles will pinch the Bombers’ fans for a long time, or at least until he loses the current electric form.