Yankees fans have been praying for Aaron Hicks to be out of their lives and the best option to replace him is pretty much waiting on New York.
Christmas will come early for New York Yankees fans on the day that they no longer have to watch Aaron Hicks in the outfield. If there’s one fan base to not get on the bad side of, it’s the ones in the Bronx and Hicks has done more than his fair share to earn the distinction of fans having almost nothing but complete disdain for him.
Whether it’s been his 23 OPS+ for the season to this point (MLB average is 100), a number of defensive miscues, or the fact that the team is paying him $10 million per season on a contract that doesn’t have a club option until 2026, fans are fed up with Aaron Hicks at this point and just eagerly awaiting the moment he gets cut loose.
And now an easy Aaron Hicks replacement is emerging that might make that happen sooner than later.
In late April, the Yankees signed 35-year-old veteran Kole Calhoun to a minor league contract. And since that point, he’s been a monster for Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre. On Tuesday, he hit his second home run with the Railriders, giving him five extra-base hits with the club in the minors and raising his OPS to 1.515. For good measure, he’s also added four stolen bases.
Yankees: Kole Calhoun could be perfect Aaron Hicks replacement
Calhoun spent last season with the Rangers and, admittedly, was not all that impressive in 125 appearances, measuring up to a -1.0 dWAR with the glove and slashing a measly .196/.257/.330 on the season, though he did have 12 home runs.
Having said that, Calhoun has slashed .243/.316/.418 for his 11-year career and, while he might not be a defensive stud still, there is a track record of him being a much more positive asset at the plate than Hicks certainly is right now. Moreover, he’s absolutely crushing in the minor leagues right now, potentially indicating that he might’ve found something at the dish late in his career.
With experience all over the outfield — he played 29 games in Hicks’ left field spot for the Rangers last season — Calhoun is the perfect option to replace Aaron Hicks whenever he’s up to major-league speed. The Yankees clearly don’t want to spend more to fix an already-expensive issue of their own creation, but Calhoun doesn’t require that. A simple call-up and he’s there as the replacement fans have been looking for.
That doesn’t mean that Kole Calhoun will revolutionize the New York Yankees but, given the net-negative that Hicks has been, it’s well worth a look.