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Blue Jays Trade for Hicks: Huge Closer Upgrade for Fantasy

The buzz surrounding the trade deadline often brings excitement and anticipation, but this season, one move stands out above the rest. The St. Louis Cardinals have traded reliever Jordan Hicks to the Toronto Blue Jays, a decision that has sent ripples through the league and caught the attention of fantasy baseball players everywhere. Known for his blistering triple-digit sinker, Hicks has been a key figure in the Cardinals’ bullpen. Now, as he transitions to a new team and a new city, the question on everyone’s mind is how this move will impact his performance on the field and his value in fantasy baseball.

As Hicks prepares to don the Blue Jays’ uniform, fantasy baseball enthusiasts should take note. His unique combination of speed, control, and versatility makes him a valuable addition to any fantasy roster. The trade to Toronto is not just a new chapter in Hicks’s career; it’s an opportunity for fantasy baseball players to capitalize on his talents. Whether you’re a die-hard Blue Jays fan or a strategic fantasy owner, Jordan Hicks’s move to Toronto is a game-changer, and here’s why you should add him to your lineup.

Blue Jays Trade for Flamethrower: Closer Upgrade for Fantasy

Hicks’ Season At a Glance

In 41 2/3 innings pitched during the 2023 season, Hicks has recorded a 3.67 ERA with 24 walks and 59 strikeouts. As a result of Ryan Helsley’s trip to the injured list on June 12th, the young flame-throwing righty has often found himself working in the role of the closer. In 11 save opportunities, Hicks has gotten the job done eight times.

By taking a deeper look, a couple of metrics really stand out. First, amongst relievers with at least 25 innings pitched, Hicks’ 35.1% strikeout rate ranks 27th. Second, his hard contact rate which currently sits at 18.6% is 32nd best amongst relievers. Finally, his xERA of 3.00 is good enough for the 39th spot. While he’s been able to limit hard contact and regularly strike batters out, his control has been poor. He possesses an extremely poor 12.7% walk rate which contributes to his lackluster WHIP of 1.51.

Extraordinary Splits

While many fans have been quick to point out his somewhat underwhelming 3.67 ERA, there is a truly exciting variable that doesn’t lie too far beneath the surface. Hicks has been utterly horrendous at home this season. In his 21 1/3 innings pitched at home, he has surrendered a pitiful 6.33 ERA with opponents batting .286 against him. On the flip side, in his 20 1/3 innings pitched away from home, he boasts an extraordinary 0.89 ERA in which batters are hitting just .197 off him.

However, it goes much deeper than ERA. When at home, his walks per nine of 7.17 are more than double the away figure that sits at 3.10. In terms of strikeout rate, once again, his away splits are far superior. At home, Hicks has managed to strike out batters at a rate of 25.7% which pales in comparison to his 38.1% strikeout rate away from home. Additionally, there is not much reason to believe that his performance away from home has been a result of profound luck. His xFIP whilst playing on the road is an elite 2.19.

Deja vu

This is not the first time we have witnessed a Cardinals reliever with perplexing splits be traded to the Jays. In fact, such a trade occurred this year in the form of lefty Genesis Cabrera. Prior to his trade to Toronto, Cabrera displayed very similar home/away splits as Hicks. The lefty possessed a horrible 8.78 ERA at home in 13 1⁄3 innings. In those appearances, opponents batted .309 off him as he coughed up six home runs. Conversely, away from home Cabrera was outstanding. He posted a 2.41 ERA in 18 2/3 when on the road. While away, batters hit only .217 against him, and he gave up just two home runs.

Since being traded to the Blue Jays, Cabrera has been nearly perfect. Through five innings pitched, Cabrera has allowed no earned runs or walks, one hit, and struck out five.

Last Word on Hicks

The recent placement of All-Star closer Jordan Romano on the 15-day injured list with lower back inflammation has thrown a wrench into the Blue Jays’ plans, but it has also opened a door for newly acquired Jordan Hicks. Romano, who has pitched to a 2.79 ERA this season with 28 saves, felt his back flare up earlier this month during the All-Star Game and again in Friday’s win over the Angels. This significant loss for the Blue Jays has led to questions about who will step into the closer role.

For fantasy baseball owners, this situation presents a golden opportunity. Hicks’s move to Toronto, coupled with Romano’s injury, places him in a position to potentially take over the closer role, at least temporarily. His impressive strikeout rate, hard contact rate, and the remarkable difference in his home and away performances make him a valuable asset. The trade to the Blue Jays, a team that has already seen success with a similar trade in the form of Genesis Cabrera, adds to the intrigue.

In conclusion, Jordan Hicks’s trade to the Blue Jays is more than just a headline; it’s a strategic move that could pay dividends for both the team and fantasy baseball owners. With Romano sidelined and the Blue Jays in need of a reliable arm, Hicks’s unique skill set and proven track record make him a must-add in fantasy leagues. Don’t miss the chance to capitalize on this trade; pick up Hicks and watch as he takes the mound in Toronto, potentially as the new closer, and elevates his game to new heights.

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Photo Credit- Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Players Mentioned- Jordan Hicks, Ryan Helsley, Genesis Cabrera, Jordan Romano,


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