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Jarrod Saltalamacchia retires

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia has retired from baseball. Rosenthal posted Saltalamacchia’s statement on Facebook.

Saltalamacchia, 33, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers last March, spending the entire season at Triple-A Buffalo until rosters expanded in September. He mustered a paltry .569 OPS in 253 plate appearances in the minors and drew just one walk with no hits in eight trips to the plate in the big leagues last year.

Across parts of 12 seasons, Saltalamacchia played for the Braves, Rangers, Red Sox, Marlins, Diamondbacks, Tigers, and Blue Jays. He owns a career .232/.306/.408 batting line with 110 home runs and 381 RBI. He was part of the 2013 world champion Red Sox team as well.

Aaron Hicks would like to avoid Tommy John surgery

Aaron Hicks
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The Yankees’ 2019 run ended in heartbreak on Saturday night when, despite a stunning ninth-inning comeback, they fell 6-4 to the Astros and officially lost their bid for the AL pennant. Now, facing a long offseason, there are a few decisions to be made.

One of those falls on the shoulders of outfielder Aaron Hicks, who told reporters that he “thinks he can continue playing without Tommy John surgery.” It’s unclear whose recommendation he’s basing that decision on, however, as MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch points out that Tommy John surgery was recommended during the slugger’s most recent meeting with Dr. Neal ELAttrache.

Hicks originally sustained a season-ending right flexor strain in early August and held several consultations with ElAttrache and the Yankees’ physician in the months that followed. He spent two and a half months on the 60-day injured list and finally returned to the Yankees’ roster during the ALCS, in which he went 2-for-13 with a base hit and a Game 5 three-run homer against the Astros.

Of course, a handful of strong performances doesn’t definitively prove that the outfielder is fully healed — or that he’ll be able to avoid aggravating the injury with further activity. Granted, Tommy John surgery isn’t a minor procedure; it’s one that requires up to a year of rest and rehabilitation before most players are cleared to throw again. Should Hicks wait to reverse his decision until he reports for spring training in 2020, though, it could push his return date out by another six months or so.