On Thursday, the New York Yankees announced that they declined first baseman/designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion's $20 million club option for 2020, and opted to buy out the veteran slugger's contract for $5 million. The Yankees also announced that outfielder Aaron Hicks underwent successful Tommy John surgery.

Encarnacion, who will turn 37 in January, joined the Yankees in June via a trade with the Seattle Mariners. He'll be a free agent this winter. Encarnacion suffered injuries (right wrist fracture, oblique strain), but was productive at the plate when healthy. He hit .244/.344/.531 with 34 home runs, 86 RBI and an .856 OPS in 109 games. With the Yankees, he hit 249/.325/.531 with 13 home runs and 37 RBI in 44 games. 

Encarnacion's bat went cold during the Yankees playoff run, however. In eight games, he hit .161/.278/.258 with 13 strikeouts. Eleven of those strikeouts came during five games in the ALCS against the Astros. He didn't hit a single home run throughout the entire postseason.

Meanwhile, Hicks got surgery to repair his damaged right UCL. Hicks' expected recovery time is 8-10 months. Hicks struggled to match his 2018 season, which included career highs in home runs, RBI and walks, due to injury issues related to his oblique and elbow. Hicks, 30, hit .235/.325/.443 with 12 home runs and 36 RBI in 59 games played during the 2019 campaign.

Hicks was told that he would need Tommy John surgery by team doctors prior to the start of the postseason, but managed to work his way back in time for the ALCS. With the Yankees down 3-1 in the series and facing elimination in Game 5, Hicks hit a three-run home run off Justin Verlander in New York's 4-1 Game 5 win -- the Yankees' final win of the season.

In the meantime, the Yankees still maintain outfield depth with Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Mike Ford, Mike Tauchman and Clint Frazier. New York will also have Brett Gardner available, if he re-signs with the team this offseason. He signed a one-year, $7.5 million deal before the start of the 2019 season.