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

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Jack Curry of YES Network reports that the Yankees and center fielder Aaron Hicks have agreed to a seven-year, $70 million contract extension. The team is expected to announce the extension later today.

The deal will begin this season, so it will run through 2025. There’s no word if it contains additional option years but, as it is, the deal covers him through his mid-30s. UPDATE: There is a club option for 2026.

Hicks, 29, is starting his fourth season with the Yankees following three seasons with the Twins. Last year he hit .248/.366/.467 (123 OPS+) with 27 homers, 79 RBI and 11 stolen bases.

Hicks would’ve been eligible for free agency after the 2019 season. In the past, a plus-hitting center fielder signing early for a $10 million average annual salary would’ve never happened because to do so would mean leaving millions on the table. The free agent market of the past two offseasons, however, has changed the calculus.

One cannot begrudge Hicks taking $70 million and setting himself and his family up for life but the current market is pushing down all salaries, not just those of free agents.

Zack Wheeler headed to IL due to shoulder fatigue

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Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler will be placed on the 10-day injured list due to fatigue in his right shoulder, Newsday’s Tim Healey reports. The roster move is retroactive to July 12. Steven Matz will open up a two-game series in Minnesota, starting in Wheeler’s place on Tuesday.

As Healey notes, the soonest Wheeler can return is July 23, which would give him at most two starts ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. Wheeler has frequently been brought up in trade conversations as he can become a free agent after the season and the 42-51 Mets have been freefalling.

Wheeler, 29, owns a 4.69 ERA with 130 strikeouts and 34 walks across 119 innings of work this season.