Orioles sign Hicks and put Mullins on injured list

The Orioles have signed veteran outfielder Aaron Hicks to a major league contract. He’s active for tonight’s game at Camden Yards.

The lineup hasn’t been posted.

Hicks replaces Cedric Mullins, who’s on the 10-day injured list with a right groin strain.

The Yankees designated Hicks, 33, for assignment on May 20 with the club owing him about $27.6 million for more than 2½ seasons remaining in a seven-year, $70 million contract. The Orioles are on the hook only for the league minimum.

Hicks was batting .188 with a .524 OPS in 28 games. He’s made 619 starts in center field, where the Orioles need to replace Mullins.

Mullins limped off the field yesterday in the eighth inning after trying to beat out a ground ball to shortstop. He slowed up as he approached the bag, bent forward and waited as manager Brandon Hyde and assistant athletic trainer Mark Shires left the dugout.

Mullins appeared in 53 of 54 games, missing one in New York for personal reasons. He was back in the lineup the following night.

The club is losing its leadoff hitter and gifted defender in center, a 2021 All-Star, registering the first 30/30 season in franchise history. A player who hit for the cycle earlier this year. One of the leaders of a team with the third-best record in baseball.

Signing Hicks, who’s wearing No. 34, could indicate that Mullins will be on the IL for an extended period, but the club intends to provide an update later today.

Hicks is a career .230/.329/.384 hitter in 11 major league seasons, the first three with the Twins. He had a career-high 27 home runs and 79 RBIs in 137 games with the Yankees in 2018.

The Orioles chose to bring in a center fielder instead of relying exclusively on Austin Hays and Ryan McKenna, and count on some of their versatile infielders to assist in the corners.

The 40-man roster is full again.

The Orioles have dropped three of their last four games. They remain four behind the Rays, who lost 1-0 to the Cubs yesterday. The Yankees are two games behind the Orioles.

The offense is lagging, with 11 runs scored in the last five games.

Kyle Gibson starts tonight. He’s 6-3 with a 3.82 ERA in 11 starts and shut out the Yankees on two hits over seven innings in his last outing. The veteran right-hander has surrendered one run and seven hits in his last two starts over 14 innings.

Gibson is 3-10 with a 5.59 ERA and 1.660 WHIP in 21 career games (20 starts) against Cleveland.

Anthony Santander is slashing .326/.421/.576 (30-for-92) with five doubles, six home runs, 17 RBIs, 13 walks and 15 runs scored in 25 games this month.

Guardians right-hander Cal Quantrill is 2-3 with a 4.75 ERA in 10 starts. He’s served up seven home runs in 55 innings.

In four career games against the Orioles, Quantrill has allowed eight earned runs and 10 total with 10 hits and six walks in 12 innings.

Cleveland has the second-lowest bullpen ERA in the majors at 3.09, followed by the Orioles at 3.11.

Orioles sign Aaron Hicks
A strong day-to-day approach helped O's get throug...

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