Could Aaron Judge’s return mean the end of Aaron Hicks’ time with Yankees?

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New York Yankees’ Aaron Hicks reacts after lining out to third base during the eleventh inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Friday, June 10, 2022, in New York.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Could the return of Aaron Judge start to mean the end of Aaron Hicks’ time with the Yankees? 

As the Bronx Bombers have continued to try and tread water while they’re missing a number of players due to injury, they’ve been eying this week to get Aaron Judge back onto the field. Judge injured his hip and the Yanks eventually put him on the 10-day injured list.

Now with Judge expected to return on Tuesday, general manager Brian Cashman will have to make a decision on who goes to make room for the Yankees captain. Hicks is the priciest, but the most obvious answer to that question after he’s struggled this year.

Hicks only recorded his first extra-base hit on Sunday in the Yankees loss to the Tampa Bay Rays and he’s slashed .143/.213/.161 through 22 games this season. While the outfielder told reporters in Tampa that he felt better at the plate, his numbers haven’t shown that.

The switch hitter has gone just 3-for-40 batting righty and 4-f0r-12 as a lefty. 

“Been making better contact. Now it’s all about getting hits and results,” Hicks told the New York Post

It has seemed like the trust the Yankees have had in Hicks has dwindled and Cashman’s comments about Hicks didn’t necessarily instill any more confidence in him.

“I think Aaron Hicks is having a similar season to a lot of people,” Cashman said last week while speaking at Yankee Stadium. “There’s a lot of guys having very difficult seasons right now, getting out of the gate in the month of April.” 

Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone also told reporters before Monday’s game that everything was on the table when it came to corresponding moves for Judges’ return. 

Still, will his struggles and the growing frustration of the fanbase be enough to nudge the Yankees in this direction? The financial commitment left to Hicks is also part of the conversation when it comes to whether they’d cut him. 

Hicks was owed $30 million going into this season and there have been questions about whether ownership would want to eat the rest of that contract. 

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