New York Mets Offseason Trade Candidate: Aaron Hicks
By Tim Boyle
Trades between the New York Mets and New York Yankees are uncommon. However, this winter the Mets may want to consider Aaron Hicks as an option.
What’s it like to make a deal with the devil? If the New York Mets are willing to, they could strike one with the most devilish of baseball teams out there: the New York Yankees.
The crosstown rival Yankees could use some starting pitching help next season. Whether it’s that the Mets supply them with or something else, there’s a certain center fielder I wouldn’t mind seeing swap New York uniforms.
Center fielder Aaron Hicks has been a surprisingly productive member of the Yankees. For two straight seasons, the switch-hitting 29-year-old has produced at the plate and in the field for the Bronx Bombers. Much like fellow outfielder Carlos Gomez, he didn’t do much with the Minnesota Twins. Once traded, he began to shine.
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Over the past two seasons, Hicks is a .255/.368/.470 hitter with 42 home runs in 942 plate appearances. He finished 2017 with a 3.9 WAR in limited games and ended this most recent regular season at 4.7. If he played in Flushing in 2018, only Jacob deGrom would have had a higher WAR.
The caveat with Hicks is that he is in the final year of his current contract. Set to hit free agency after the 2019 season, he comes with this risk.
The Mets could always swap Zack Wheeler for him, thus taking away the downside of adding a player for one guaranteed season. I’m not in favor of this. Wheeler was better in 2018 than Hicks was. As a number two starter, Wheeler is far more valuable to the Mets than Hicks would be in center field.
There are, of course, other deals to make. The Yankees would still desire minor league talent. By targeting Hicks at all, the Mets would make a very “win now” move anyway.
And just because he loses arbitration eligibility after 2019, this doesn’t mean Hicks won’t stay with the Mets for longer. He’s certainly a candidate for an extension or someone they could revisit in free agency. He can play beneath the bright lights of New York City. Keeping him under them on a multi-year deal could make sense.
Hicks won’t challenge for an All-Star roster spot or single-handedly put the Amazins over the top. He would, however, give them a right-handed bat in the outfield and provide some stable defense in center.
Before adding Hicks, they would need to find a new home for Juan Lagares. If they can swap him for some relief help or a utility man, we would see the team make two minor yet significant changes to the roster.
Like I said before, a trade like this would require a phone call to the rival Yankees. As two baseball clubs not always on speaking terms, there may be a better chance of them landing Odubel Herrera from the Philadelphia Phillies. After all, they made two trades this summer. Why not another?
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Would Hicks be a nice fit for the Mets 2019 outfield or do you have eyes for someone else?