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No one on the 2021 New York Yankees is hitting right now, but three players in particular should be on the hot seat:
Aaron Hicks, Gary Sanchez, and Clint Frazier.
Contracts can make getting rid of a guy complicated, so we’ll discuss all of it. Let’s start with Clint Frazier, since my hopes are highest for him.
CLINT FRAZIER’S FIRST RBI OF THE SEASON pic.twitter.com/ypTPDlsVUa— Talkin’ Yanks (@TalkinYanks) April 22, 2021
This a video from April 22 when Frazier cashed in his first RBI of the season. When your first RBI comes more than three weeks after Opening Day and you have had 47 at bats — you’ve been cheeks at the plate. This putrid production is coming from a player who was quite literally sent down to the minors a year and a half ago to “work on his defense.”
The 26-year-old outfielder is currently batting .149 with zero homers and one RBI. That’s almost impressively bad. Yet he maintains the starting left fielder job with the New York Yankees. So what gives? Why does Clint deserve this type of leash from manager Aaron Boone?
Well, he’s making $2.1 million this year, and for a team strapped for cash, his presence is much-needed. That’s pretty much what happened to the Yankees. They spent poorly elsewhere on their roster, so they need bargains like Frazier and Gleyber Torres to perform.
The 28-year-old catcher has been nothing short of dismal, despite high hopes the past couple years. He hasn’t hit or blocked well, but his contract still makes sense. Sanchez is in line to make just $6,350,000 in 2021, and the Yankees were essentially forced to pay him even that much.
It was either fork over 6 million bones or give up on the two-time All-Star catcher and receive nothing for him. I’ve argued that the team should’ve ditched the Sanchez revenge tour and found a better catcher on the market, but I’m not the one cutting checks in New York. That’s a move Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner has to make.
I can’t believe people thought gary Sanchez was a top 3 catcher at one point. He is a dh who cannot even hit pic.twitter.com/IslQl2iYMA— Keith (@Torontosports00) September 9, 2020
Sanchez is currently batting .204 with two homers, but he has improved behind the plate. That’s not worth an extension or a starting job with the Yankees. Sorry.
Now this is the big one. Aaron Michael Hicks. The switch-hitting center fielder for the New York Yankees is currently on a seven-year, $70 million contract. Oh yeah, and he’s hitting .154 in 2021, just one of many brutal years on offense throughout his tenure in New York.
That contract is why he’s playing. The reason cheap contracts are so enticing for the Yankees is because of how expensive Hicks is. The Steinbrenners are pretty much delivering $10 million checks for a below average baseball player.
Hicks is a player who clearly has all the tools. He can run, catch practically anything in center, has a cannon for an arm, and has power, but he just hasn’t put it all together. And the Yankees don’t have time to wait for Aaron Hicks to show what he can do. He’s already had five seasons in pinstripes, and frankly, that’s long enough. Hicks is Sonny Gray if the former Yankees pitcher had been locked into a contract.
The Yankees need to move on from Hicks and find someone who can get it done. There’s no need to compound the problem by getting cheap elsewhere and hanging on to a failing player.
Don’t be fooled by flashes of brilliance…
AARON HICKS IS BACK!!! pic.twitter.com/dxrUNjN0Wp— Talkin’ Yanks (@TalkinYanks) April 24, 2021
Aaron Hicks hit a homer in last night’s Yankees win, and fans fell in love with his potential all over again. It’s fool’s gold. Instead, we should insist on consistency in New York because it’s the only way the Yankees will be World champions again.