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Yankees sign Aaron Hicks to seven-year, $70 million extension

The Yankees locked down center field by signing Hicks long term.

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees jump-started the work week on Monday by inking their center fielder to a long-term contract. According to Jack Curry, the Bombers agreed to a seven-year extension with Aaron Hicks. The contract is worth $70 million and begins this season. The deal also includes an option for year eight, per Marc Carig.

Hicks, 29, played a key role for the Yankees in 2018. He hit .248/.366/.467 with 27 home runs over 581 plate appearances. His 127 wRC+ rivaled that of Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Andujar. As our sister site Beyond the Box Score points out, Mike Trout proved the only American League center fielder in 2018 with a better WAR than Hicks.

A former top prospect with the Twins, Hicks broke out after joining the Yankees in advance of the 2016 season. In that time, he authored a .244/.344/.431 batting line with a 109 wRC+. His bat improved with each passing year. His defense typically grades out as above average in center field, however the advance stats dinged him in 2018. Nonetheless, he can hold his own with the glove.

The Yankees expressed interest in extending Hicks, a free agent after this season, earlier this winter. According to Randy Miller, Hicks’ camp wanted to use A.J. Pollock’s free agent deal with the Dodgers to set the parameters of an extension. It looks like they cleared that dollar amount, but not in terms of annual average value.

We’ll have in-depth coverage of the Hicks extension as more information becomes available. For now, the Yankees have center field taken care of the foreseeable future on a very team-friendly deal.

Update: It’s official.