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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: YANKS SWAP JOHN RYAN MURPHY WITH THE TWINS FOR AARON HICKS

The first trade of the Winter Meetings was completed Wednesday as the Minnesota Twins traded outfielder Aaron Hicks to the New York Yankees for catcher John Ryan Murphy.  The move is a very interesting one in that Hicks is a younger version of Brett Gardner and thus could help push the latter out of town via trade which has been rumored for awhile.  With the trades freshly completely, let's get to how the change in location affects the two. 

Alex Hicks:  The Yanks may have gotten a steal here as Hicks is a former first round pick of the Twins (14th overall in 2008) and who is still just 26.  Again after years of ugly play and terrible batting averages due to high strikeout rates, Hicks put up a very nice 2015 season when he hit .256 with 10 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 504 at-bats while handling the leadoff spot for the Twins.  The power/speed ability is the most interesting part of Hicks' game and he seems capable of 15/15 in 2016 based on his recent development.  There are still holes though such as Hicks' 19.5 percent K rate but he did walk at a good clip at 8.7 percent which will help offset the average hit going forward.  The Yankees wouldn't have made the deal for Hicks if they had no plan to plan him consistently and again that brings to mind the fact Gardner has been involved in trade talks. 

John Ryan Murphy:  While the Twins have gotten some decent work out of aging catcher Kurt Suzuki the last two years, Murphy represents the new guard behind the dish for the team in 2016.  Murphy played quite well in limited time for the Yanks in his first full major league season a year ago, hitting .277 with 3 home runs in 172 at-bats.  Murphy was known more for his defense coming up though so those numbers should be taken with a bit of a grain of salt.  Right now Murphy is just a bit interesting in AL-only formats given the chance to be a starter this season but we could revisit this if a good start is seen.



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