Aaron Gleeman

Twins trade Aaron Hicks to Yankees for John Ryan Murphy

28 Comments

Facing a glut of young outfielders and needing help behind the plate, the Twins have traded center fielder Aaron Hicks to the Yankees for catcher John Ryan Murphy.

Hicks turned his career around this year, hitting .256 with 11 homers and a .721 OPS in 97 games for the Twins to show some of the promise that made him a top-100 prospect before back-to-back rough seasons in 2013 and 2014. He’s a speedy center fielder with a very good arm and the potential to be an above-average hitter, although so far the switch-hitting Hicks has struggled against right-handed pitching enough to question if he should be playing every day. He could fill Chris Young’s old platoon role or make Brett Gardner expendable.

Murphy has served in a backup role for the Yankees, hitting .267 with four homers and a .685 OPS in 115 total games from 2013-2015.  His numbers in the minors are similar, including a .259 batting average and .736 OPS at Triple-A, so the 24-year-old Murphy is unlikely to be a standout hitter. He’ll split playing time with veteran Kurt Suzuki, whose struggles this year convinced the Twins they needed to find outside help at catcher.