New York Yankees Get Aaron Hicks From Minnesota Twins For John Ryan Murphy

It's been just ten days since the Kansas City Royals won the 2015 Major League Baseball World Series, and already the New York Yankees have made a major trade with the Minnesota Twins to prepare for 2016. Aaron Hicks, an outfielder and a switch hitter, will be sent to New York, and Minnesota will receive catcher John Ryan Murphy.

In 2015, Aaron Hicks batted.256 overall, hitting 11 home runs and 33 RBIs while playing 97 of Minnesota's 162 regular season games. Valuable as someone who can swing from both sides of the plate, he managed a.307 average with six home runs and 11 RBIs against left-handed pitchers in 101 at-bats. As noted by CBS, Hicks was drafted in 2008 and saw his first Major League action when the Twins called him up in 2013. Primarily a center fielder for Minnesota, he is being sent to the iconic Yankees at a time when their outfield situation is uncertain.
As ESPN reported, the Hicks/Murphy trade could result in Brett Gardner being traded, thanks in part to Chris Young leaving as a free agent. Chris Young played 140 games for the Yankees last year, primarily in right field. Young left as a free agent, but Hicks joins a roster that still boasts the likes of Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Carlos Beltran. With such depth in the outfield, it may appear as though Hicks will remain the fourth guy in the outfield rotation -- unless rumors of All-Star left fielder Brett Gardner being traded are true.
Are the New York Yankees really interested in trading 2015 All-Star Brett Gardner? According to the New York Post, the Yankees may be interested in trading Gardner for an inexpensive starting pitcher, and they have apparently been talking to the Seattle Mariners already. Trading Gardner for an up-and-coming pitcher would also play into New York general manager Brian Cashman's goal of working towards a younger, more athletic Yankee roster.
In John Ryan Murphy, the Minnesota Twins acquire a right-handed catcher that played 67 games for the Yankees in 2015. The Yankees are solid at catcher, with Brian McCann as their regular starter and both Austin Romine and minor leaguer Gary Sanchez anxious to play. With a batting average of.277, 14 RBIs and three home runs in his limited playing time, Murphy appears to be ready to compete for a starting position with the Twins. Murphy was drafted by the Yankees in 2009 and was first called up to the big leagues in September of 2013.
But Cashman and the Yankees weren't done there. They also dealt second baseman Jose Pirela to the San Diego Padres in exchange for right-handed pitcher Ronald Herrera. Pirela spent a considerable amount of 2015 in the minor leagues, registering just 37 games with the Yankees in the major league. According to Yahoo! Sports, Herrera is an ineligible selection in next month's winter meetings draft. Cashman said the move was made to clear space on the roster, the same reason Chris Martin was sold to a team in Japan last week.
The New York Yankees are hoping that moves like this one with Aaron Hicks will help them improve on a 2015 season that ended with a loss in the American League Playoff Wild Card game.

[Image credit Hannah Foslien / Getty Images]