Aaron Hicks’ last few seasons with the Yankees have been lackluster, but the Orioles think he could have left something in the tank.
The switchback signed with the Orioles on Tuesday after being designated for assignment by the Yankees on May 20 and was released a week later.
Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said Baltimore looked more than traditional counting numbers and that Hicks could do better than his base stats indicated.
“We have things that we look at from an exploratory and evaluative perspective that, like I said before, is very different than looking at the back of a baseball card,” the Baltimore Sun said. “We hope to recover from anyone we bring here.”
Hicks, who owes $30 million through 2025 but will be paid the league minimum prorated by Baltimore, has had OPS under 70,000 since 2021, including this season, where he has a slash of .188/.263/ .261.
But the Orioles were in desperate need of help off the field when quarterback Cedric Mullins went down on the injured list.
Baltimore hopes to catch the Lightning in a bottle with Hicks, who put up strong offensive numbers for the Bronx from 2017-20.
Over those four seasons, Hicks hit 60 home runs with 188 RBIs, including in 2018, where he hit a career-high 27 home runs.
“You may not get a great score on everything, but we see things with Aaron Hicks that we like and feel like a good fit for us,” Elias said. “I hope this is a shot in the arm, and I hope he helps us and helps us win some games.”
When Hicks was released, Yankees coach Aaron Boone praised the outfielder and highlighted his successes on the lines.
“I hope what’s not lost are the really good seasons he’s had here,” Bunn said Friday. “I had some good postseason moments here. And then some injuries really affected his time here, and may have affected his career and his ability to get back to that level.”
Overall during his time in New York, Hicks — who sported some facial hair in Baltimore — batted .232/.337/.398 across 651 games.
The upstart Orioles are 35-20, three games behind the AL East-leading Rays — and two games away from the Yankees.