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Aaron Hicks released by Yankees, who owed outfielder $27.6 million

NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Hicks' eight-year tenure with the New York Yankees ended Friday when the outfielder was released from a contract that had more than 2 1/2 seasons remaining.

Hick was designated for assignment last Saturday and the Yankees released him before a series opener against San Diego.

At the time Hicks was cut, he was owed about $27.6 million: $7,620,968 for the remainder of this year’s $10.5 million salary plus salaries of $9.5 million in each of the next two seasons and a $1 million buyout of a 2026 team option.

Any big league team can sign Hicks for a prorated share of the $720,000 major league minimum, which would be offset against what the Yankees owe.

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“I hope what doesn’t get lost is a couple of really good seasons that he had here, had some good postseason moments here,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "Some injuries really impacted his time here and probably impacted his career and his ability to get back to that level,”

Hicks, 33, was was batting .188 with a homer and five RBIs in 28 games this season.

He agreed to a $70 million, seven-year contract with New York in February 2019 but injured his right elbow that Aug. 3, missed the rest of the regular season and for five postseason games, homering in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series against Houston’s Justin Verlander.

Hicks had Tommy John surgery with Los Angeles Dodgers head team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache that Oct. 30.

He returned the following July for the pandemic-shortened season but was never the same player. Hicks hit .212 with 19 homers and 80 RBIs in 244 games after the surgery, down from .236 with 82 homers and 276 RBIs in 654 games before the injury. His 2021 season was cut short May 12 because of a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist that required season-ending surgery on May 26.

Hicks broke into the majors with Minnesota in 2013. He was traded to New York in November 2015 and has a .230 average with 101 homers and 356 RBIs in 898 career games.

New York recalled right-hander Randy Vásquez from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 24-year-old right-hander was scheduled to start against the Padres in his major league debut.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports