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Yankees supposedly asked ex-outfielder to give up golf due to injuries, former MLB player says

The New York Yankees‘ breakup with Aaron Hicks was sour, but now there may be an explanation for why it happened.

The Yanks inked the outfielder to a seven-year, $70 million deal ahead of the 2019 season, but injuries and poor play almost immediately followed. 

He was designated for assignment last season and signed with the Baltimore Orioles.

For a brief time, Hicks was in the upper echelon of center fielders in baseball, but his play declined and the Yankees moved on from him.

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New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone, right, waits as a trainer checks on Aaron Hicks, who was hurt during an at-bat in the third inning of a game against the Cincinnati Reds July 12, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Hicks has always been an avid golfer. Last week, he competed at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions celebrity tournament, which New York Mets utilityman Jeff McNeil won.

There was a rumor floating around the Yankees thought Hicks’ golf game was causing his injuries. So, they tried to get him to give up the clubs.

“I don’t know if this is true or not, but Aaron Hicks used to play in this event a few years ago, and the Yankees told him he had to stop because they thought that’s why he was getting injured,” former MLB catcher AJ Pierzynski said on the “Foul Territory” show Thursday. 

“I don’t know if that’s true or not, but there was a rumor … that they told him he had to stop playing golf.”

Aaron Hicks golfing

Professional baseball player Aaron Hicks plays a shot on the sixth hole during the second round of the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club Jan. 19, 2024, in Orlando, Fla. (Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

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Hicks’ former Yankees teammate and show co-host Todd Frazier said there is “no chance” the rumor is true.

“There was guys that would struggle, and their hitting coach would be like, ’Go golf. Go.’ And they’d come back, and all of a sudden, they got their swing back.”

Pierzynski said he was told to hit golf balls when he struggled.

Aaron Hicks reacts after striking out

Aaron Hicks of the New York Yankees, right, reacts after he struck out to end a game in the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium May 1, 2023, in the Bronx. (Elsa/Getty Images)

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Hicks, a scratch golfer, is married to former LPGA player Cheyenne Woods, the niece of Tiger Woods. The outfielder once recorded a hole-in-one on a par four at Silverleaf in Scottsdale in 2021.

Hicks hit .188 with a .524 OPS with the Yankees last season, but he had a resurgence with the 101-win Orioles, hitting .275 with an .806 OPS.

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