Happy Halloween, Reds Country. Game 4 of the World Series takes place tonight, meaning we're less than a week away from the official start of the Major League Baseball offseason.
The Hot Stove is always simmering, even during the regular season, but teams will officially be able to sign free agents in the coming days.
The Cincinnati Reds, while much improved from a year ago, still have some holes in their roster that need to be filled. Free agency affords a team the abillity to do so, but who are three scary free agent targets the Reds should avoid?
1. Reds should avoid free agent outfielder Aaron Hicks
The New York Yankees released Aaron Hicks during the season despite the fact the the veteran outfielder still had more than two years remaining on his contract. Hicks received over $27-million from the Yankees as a parting gift and signed with the Baltimore Orioles last summer.
Hicks will be a free agent this offseason, but the Cincinnati Reds would be wise to steer clear of the 34-year-old. If the Yankees were willing to eat $20-plus million of Hicks' salary, there's every reason to believe that his best years are behind him.
Aaron Hicks has been little more than an average ballplayer since the 2018 season. Though he has a relatively good understanding of the strike zone (12.7-percent career walk-rate according to FanGraphs), there's not much else to get excited about.
Hicks played much better after landing in Baltimore (.275/.381/.425), but his slash line with New York (.188/.263/.261) was awful. If the Reds are able to pursue him as platoon bat versus left-handers, perhaps that makes sense. But in no way can Hicks be paid as an everyday player.
Several Cincinnati Reds fans have been advocating for the team to pick up a right-handed hitting outfield power-bat this winter, but Hicks hasn't eclipsed double-digit homers since 2018. Furthermore, injuries have derailed his career. Only once in the past five seasons has Hicks played over 100 games.