Yankees Send Murphy to the Twins for Aaron Hicks

It seems that this morning's trade was a mere precursor for something with far greater ramifications for the 2016 season:

John Ryan Murphy was quite good for the Yankees this season, putting up a .277/.327/.406 (103 OPS+, 99 wRC+) line in 172 PA as Brian McCann's back-up. There was talk about an expanded role for Murphy heading into 2016, given McCann's age and struggles down the stretch, so this comes as a bit of a surprise. Of course, that could also mean that Gary Sanchez could be in-line for a large role as something between a back-up and platoon player behind the dish - he's certainly earned the opportunity.

As for Aaron Hicks, Keith Law actually wrote a bit about him as a trade target this morning. Here's the crux of it:

No matter how you slice it, however, Aaron Hicks seems to be the most imminent victim of the roster crunch, right after establishing himself as a viable everyday player in center, hitting .259/.333/.432 as a regular after returning from a forearm injury in late June. He's a plus-plus runner with a 70 or 80 arm in center, and his defense could still improve as he's more reliant on pure speed than good reads or efficient routes. He has yet to show much production against right-handed pitching, but killed lefties in 2015, and at least has hit right-handers in Double-A and Triple-A the last two years. The free-agent market is deep in corner outfielders but has no center fielders to match Hicks' potential with the glove and bat.

At the very least, Hicks seems to be an excellent replacement for Chris Young, with a career line of .272/.360/.447 with 10 HR in 261 PA against southpaws - and at something close to league-minimum salary, to boot. And with the Brett Gardner rumors swirling, who knows what else could be in store?