Aaron Hicks finally started to cash in on some of his promise in 2015. Now, he'll try to take another step forward for a new team.
Hicks was dealt from the Twins to the Yankees on Wednesday. Catcher John Ryan Murphy will head to Minnesota in the deal.
Overall, Hicks batted a pedestrian .256/.323/.398 last season, but a 41-game stretch from early July to late August displayed what he's capable of at the plate. Following his promotion on July 3, Hicks batted .281/.333/.477 with seven home runs before a left hamstring strain cost him 13 games. He failed to get back on track following the injury, but Hicks finished with 11 home runs and 13 stolen bases in 97 games played.
For the Twins, Murphy could eventually prove to be their everyday catcher. Kurt Suzuki struggled mightily at the plate last year, but Murphy hit .277/.327/.406 over 67 games in a part-time role with the Yankees in 2015. Murphy was a former second-round pick of the Yanks in the 2009 draft.
The move may not have been made in a vacuum, either. The Yankees lost Chris Young to free agency, but the team is also believed to have spoken with the Mariners regarding starting outfielder Brett Gardner. Hicks could potentially free up the team for such a move if they get the right package in return for the All-Star.
Pierzynski Staying Put
Another possible Twins catching target, A.J. Pierzynski, also found a 2016 home on Wednesday.
Pierzynski stayed put after a relatively successful 2015 season, re-signing with the Braves on a one-year deal. Immediate terms of the deal were not available.
Pierzynski enjoyed a bit of a renaissance with the Braves last year, batting .300/.339/.430 with nine home runs and 49 RBI. He ended up being one of the Braves' best players, batting cleanup in 50 of his 113 games.
The veteran will turn 39 in December, and with young Christian Bethancourt in the organization Pierzynski will likely be counted on as a mentor as much as an offensive force.
Turner Has Microfracture Surgery
Justin Turner's recent knee surgery was a bit more serious than was let on originally.
Turner, who was believed to have had some loose bodies removed from his left knee last month, actually had microfracture surgery on the knee, it was revealed Wednesday.
Turner said he thinks the injury worsened during the playoffs, saying an MRI after the postseason "showed a bunch of different stuff." He said a piece of cartilage had torn off on the outside part of the knee.
He'll be on crutches for two to four weeks. Turner will be able to run at full strength in three months, and he said his readiness for spring isn't in question.
“I’ll be 100% well before spring training,” he said.
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