If you listen to our podcast, then you know we like playing a little game called Cuddle, Marry, Trash. CMT is a fun way to rank three choices. The Yankees current Left Field options are ideal for this game.
The Yankees current Left Field options would be Aaron Hicks, Oswaldo Cabrera, or the field. The field being a minor league prospect or a former major league player the Yankees have signed to a minor league deal.
An important aspect to note regarding this Cuddle, Marry, Trash, this isn’t what I think the Yankees will do, it’s what I think the Yankees should do. Realistically, no one is taking Aaron Hicks off our hands so Brian Cashman will start his overpaid and overextended mistake in left field to start the season. Yankees fans will just have to wait for the inevitable Aaron Hicks injury bug to kick in before we see the replacement. That being said, let’s get started.
The easiest answer of this all. Let’s trash Aaron Hicks right off the jump. Aaron Hicks used to be a really good player. He used to be really underrated. Now Aaron Hicks is a $10mil a year mistake that is locked up for 3 more years with no potential trade destinations on the horizon. I really liked Aaron Hicks in 2017 before the injuries sapped away his abilities. However 2017 was a long time ago and that version of Aaron Hicks is long gone.
I think a lot of Yankees fans want to marry my cuddle and I understand why. It’s always fun to see a young kid make it to the majors, play his heart out, and win over the fans respect. Oswaldo Cabrera did just that at the end of the 2022 season. Cabrera struggled in left field when he was put there in the playoffs but it was a position he never played before so the defensive struggles were to be expected. I really like Cabrera but I like him as a super utility player whose skills translate more to an infielder who occasionally plays outfield when necessary. I don’t think he is particularly suited for left field.
I am going with the “Married At First Site” option and hoping it works out. I choose the field. One of the Yankees outfield prospects or one of their minor league deal Yankees really needs to win the positional battle in spring training. The Yankees signed Willie Calhoun to a minor league deal a few weeks back. Calhoun is a former upper level prospect who never really hit his ceiling, kind of like Aaron Hicks prior to 2017. As a lefthanded hitter, he certainly fills a need for the Yankees. Additionally, he is not a high strikeout guy, more of a contact hitter who puts the ball in play. I would have to think Aaron Boone is really hoping for Calhoun to have a big spring training and wins the job, knocking Hicks down the depth chart to a 4th outfielder, at best.
Another lefthanded option would be minor league prospect Elijah Dunham. Dunham is a contact hitter like Calhoun. His strikeout rate was a bit higher than Calhoun but it was not drastically high. Dunham is 24 years old and finished a full year in AA. He has certainly earned a right to compete for the job.
It’s a bit of a gamble marrying the field but the Yankees need to take the risk. Sometimes you have to take risks to move forward, the Yankees are now in that position. The Yankees need to figure out how to get past Houston, giving some of these young kids a chance may be the way to finally beat those cheaters. We know what Hicks is and he isn’t getting better. We know Cabrera’s floor is a serviceable major league player, he just doesn’t seem like an every day left fielder. It’s time to take a risk and run someone out there who has a lot to prove. That kind of grit can be infectious for a team that really has a lot to prove.