After acquiring the electric flamethrower from the St. Louis Cardinals at the trade deadline, Hicks helped stabilize the Jays’ bullpen for the most part down the stretch. With Nate Pearson being sent back down to the minors in the latter parts of the season, Hicks was relied upon heavily to be the overpowering, strikeout machine for the Jays in late-inning matchups. He also displayed his versatility by playing an effective role as both the team’s setup man and closer whenever he was called upon.
Overall, Hicks performed admirably in his 25 appearances with the Jays, pitching to a 2-3 record with a stellar 2.63 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, holding opponents to a .207 batting average while giving up just 7 earned runs with 8 walks and 22 strikeouts in 24 innings of work. In doing so, he also tallied 4 saves and 7 holds in the process, helping the team lock down key victories in their successful playoff berth chase.
At just the young age of 27, Hicks has had many suitors contact him in recent weeks hoping to obtain his services. Among some of the teams in hot pursuit include the Angels, Rangers, Astros, Orioles, Red Sox, as well as his former team, the Cardinals. The Rangers are looking to repeat as champions in 2024. But the fact that they actually had the league’s 7th worst bullpen ERA in 2023, along with just a makeshift closer in José Leclerc, Hicks would be the perfect addition to their relief corps to add some established firepower to their game. Moreover, the Rangers had been active in recent years in adding big names in free agency including Marcus Semien and Corey Seager, so it is the right time for them to chalk up another one.