So far the New York Yankees haven’t been mentioned in many MLB rumors, although they are trying to bring in Kevin Youkilis on a one-year deal but are not alone in their pursuit of the free agent third baseman. The Yankees lost out on Jeff Keppinger, Nate Schierholtz, Russell Martin, and Eric Chavez but have re-signed Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda, and Mariano Rivera. Now, there are some reports that they have started doing background checks on Josh Hamilton.
The Yankees interest in Josh Hamilton might be nothing more than the team doing their due diligence but there is a chance that the Yankees might be genuinely interested in Hamilton. Imagine Hamilton’s lefty swing aiming for the short right field porch at Yankees Stadium. We already saw it is perfectly suited for his record-setting round at the 2008 Home Run Derby.
The Yankees still desire to get under the $189 million luxury tax threshold, nothing has changed in that department. However, Brian Cashman and the Yankees aren’t stupid.
If the Yankees can get Hamilton for the right price and the right contract length, why wouldn’t they sign him? Curtis Granderson is a free agent after next season. So is Robinson Cano. If the Yankees can sign Hamilton to a contract in the neighborhood of $22 million, why not take the risk?
I’m not a huge fan of the Yankees investing huge money in a middle infielder about to hit the wrong side of 30, which Cano will be doing when he becomes a free agent. While Hamilton isn’t without his own risk, I think he represents less of a risk than a middle infielder.
Think about Roberto Alomar and how his career fell off after his age 33 season. Perhaps the Yankees are preparing to hedge their bets.
Either way, I wouldn’t mind seeing Hamilton in a Yankees uniform, even given the risks involved, so long as the contract is on the Yankees’ terms. That is probably the Yankees’ thinking as well.