Rumor: Yankees checking on Josh Hamilton

Maybe there is life in the Yankees front office after all. Without Brian Cashman, the Yankees are quietly (maybe not so quietly) running a background check on slugger Josh Hamilton, according to Bob Nightengale of the USA Today.

There are a couple of things going on here. The first, and perhaps biggest, is that Cashman is not involved. This is significant because the Yankees have gotten quite a bit of criticism toward the budget constraints recently. The last time there was so much criticism was after they missed out on Cliff Lee and the response by the Yankees was for Randy Levine to go behind Cashman’s back to sign Rafael Soriano.

The same thing could be happening again. Consider that the Yankees sent Cashman to the Winter Meetings without the authority to even make offers to free agents. Perhaps there are people within the organization who don’t like the way he is following through with Hal Steinbrenner’s budget.

The other thing about this is that Hamilton’s market has not developed the way he hoped. Initial reports were that he wanted a huge eight-year, $214 million, but he hasn’t gotten offers anywhere close to that. The Texas Rangers seemed like the best fit to me and they seem far more focused on signing Zach Greinke or trading for Justin Upton. Meanwhile it seems that one of his best offers could be from Seattle in the three-year, $60-$75 million range. If that’s the case it makes perfect sense for the Yankees to at least be checking in on him right now.

It is possible, although it would be hard, that the Yankees could fit even $25 million and still reach their payroll goals. This certainly means that Curtis Granderson is gone after this season and probably could mean Robinson Cano is gone too. With expected contract talks between the Yankees and Cano not even happening and rumors that he’s already looking for a $200 million + deal, Hamilton on a three or four year deal might be a better alternative considering Cano will be 31 by the time his deal is up.

Signing Hamilton wouldn’t necessarily mean they couldn’t re-sign Cano and it would give them huge leverage in negotiations next offseason. But consider, the Yankees have $15 million coming off the books when Granderson leaves plus they have another $37 million tied up in one-year deals with Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera, three players who very well could be gone a year from now. Perhaps some of that money could be earmarked to cover the difference between Granderson and Hamilton’s contracts.

It still seems unlikely though. This very well could just be a member of the media trying to bring life to what has actually been a pretty boring offseason for the Yankees. There are reasons to think it could happen though and right now the only truly big bat in the Yankees lineup is Cano. So it’s not like there isn’t a need.

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11 Responses to Rumor: Yankees checking on Josh Hamilton

  1. Mike says:

    if they were to get rid of Cano, that would b the dumbiest thing anyone could ever do.

  2. Razor says:

    I thought a post yesterday said Hamilton would play for Yankees for nothing. Of course MLB wouldn't allow him to make less than last years contract. But, who wouldn't for that price. What's the matter with Yankee brass?

  3. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    I'm not sure that a 3, or even 4, years is going to get it done. I have to believe there are others willing to give him that and more.

    As for Cano (if this gets done), they should trade him between now and mid year hoping for the best deal and give Adams the slot in 2014. Then you have Hamilton and Adams in lieu Granderson and Cano for at least $15M less in 2014, which could be utilized elsewhere.

  4. Tanned Tom says:

    What a dysfunctional front office. Randy Levine would have been fired from any other team after his role in re-signing A-Roid. But he's been a toady for the Steinbrenner's forever so we're stuck with him. Meanwhile they let this scumbag run around undermining what is after all a pretty competent GM in Brian Cashman.
    Fire Levine.
    Have the Steinbrenner brats step aside and let their GM work.
    Void A-Roid's contract on medical abuse grounds (steroids).
    Trade Granderson (maybe Cashman's worst trade) for young talent.
    Re-sign Suzuki.
    Ditch Andruw Jones, Raul Ibanez.
    all this would be a start

    • There will be no voiding A-Rod's contract. If they could have done that they would have already. Heck, if they could have done that they would have gotten rid of Giambi years before they did.

  5. Tanned Tom says:

    Yes, yes I know. Reality can be a bitch.

  6. svend ekkersberg says:

    the best move the yankees could make would be to trade Cashman ( I really wish we could do that ) LOL !

    • Cashman is not the one instituting a salary cap and his authority to make deals has pretty much been stripped. Everything is going through either Randy Levine or Hal Steinbrenner right now. Cashman is not the problem.