Yankees Quietly In on Hamilton?

Are the Yankees finally waking up? According to Bob Nightendale of USA Today, the Yankees without GM Brian Cashman, are quietly running background checks on Josh Hamilton.

Does this story have any legs? It’s not impossible. Hamilton’s market has not developed close to what he had hoped for. Nobody is close to offering him an eight-year deal for over $200 million liked he wanted. It appears like the Texas Rangers are the front-runners for Zack Grienke, which would probably put them out of the Hamilton sweepstakes. This would leave the Seattle Mariners as the only serious suitor at the moment.

If Hamilton is really only going to get a three or four-year deal the Yankees should be all over it. It would really be a good value and  it would fill a big need, as the only big time hitter the Yankees have right now is Robinson Cano. Speaking of Cano, if the Yankees were going to get Hamilton he might have to be sacrificed. The Yankees would have them both for next season, but it would probably be unlikely that both could fit under the $189 million budget when Cano is a free agent next offseason. The question is would Hamilton on a three or four-year deal be a better value than Cano on a six or seven-year deal?

If the Yankees were to sign Hamilton it would allow them to trade Curtis Granderson for some younger players. Right now it is tough for the Yankees to trade him since they have lost Russell Martin, Nick Swisher and Alex Rodriguez for part of the year, and they have yet to replace them adequately. They would have a great shot at a championship this year with Hamilton and Cano forming the best duo in baseball and behind a solid starting pitching staff.

The other interesting part of this report is that the Yankees are supposedly doing this without Cashman. There were also reports that Cashman did not have the authority to even make offers at the Winter Meetings in Nashville. This is something to continue to watch. Maybe ownership is responding to criticism about the budget?

All of this is still probably unlikely, but it is interesting to talk about. However, there are reasons to think it is possible, so you never know. I think the Yankees should be all over Hamilton at this price, even if it might mean sacrificing Cano. What do you guys think? Is Hamilton on a shorter deal better than Cano on a long-term deal?

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About Matthew B

I am a student at William Paterson University and studying to become a sportswriter. I have a huge passion for the Yankees and love sharing my opinions on them. I can analyze every aspect of the Yankees very well. I am very active on Twitter so feel free to contact me there Twitter: @RAYROBERT9

Posted on December 7, 2012, in Hot Stove, Personal Opinion. Bookmark the permalink. 44 Comments.

  1. I’d say Yes. But if it happens I think there will be a big backlash. Even though you are bringing in Hamilton you would be getting rid of a fan favorite in Cano.

  2. Yeah sometimes tough decisions have to be made. Hamilton could hit 50 HRs with the short porch.

  3. Yes because it is the bottom of the 9th for Petitte and Rivera and probably the 8th inning for Jeter. Win in 2013 and then prepare to rebuild.

    • Great point Ross. With those guys on their last legs it is important to got for it this year. With Hamilton and Cano they would have a great shot.

    • I wouldn’t call it “rebuild” as much as “reload”. You clear those salaries off the books and you free up $40-45M per year. You can bring in some good assets with that money and still be right in the mix without breaking stride.

  4. I would say yes, like you said a guy like Hamilton will use the right field porch to his advantage and I think fans would love to see him perform. But if the Yankees sign Hamilton who in your opinion do you think will be the Yankees third outfielder if Ichiro is signed?

  5. I started the off-season with Hambone on the Yankees on a 5 year deal. But when I found that they were going to really hold to the budget I gave another look at it and came up with another idea!
    As Matt has asked, which way we should go I say dump Cano after 2013 but, sign Hambone for the next 5 years.
    One dirty little secrete about very good 2nd basemen is, they work so hard to be good, they burn themselves out by 34/35 years of age!

  6. This really makes a lot of sense. i said a couple of days ago that they should go all-in this season because next yr the pitching is going to be poor and they won’t have the money to improve it. The only pitchers signed next yr are CC, Nova, Pineda & Phelps. Hughes is gone, Andy & Juroda will likely be gone, Mo will be gone….time to go for it.

    The market for Hamilton has not developed and if he can be had for 4 yrs you do it. The Yanks would then have the hammer over Cano next yr because they can afford to let him walk if he wants 8 yrs or more. If Cano is reasonable and would accept 6 yrs, even 7, they could fit both players and get under $189 in 2014. however, it would mean they HAVE to go with youth at several positions and more importantly, in the rotation. They could likely affordone moderately priced veteran pitcher but would need to fill 3 spots from the group of Nova, Pineda, Phelps, Warren, etc. Trading a Granderson, Hughes or Joba could possibly bring in a cheap pitcher for 2014.

    There are definitely options and this could possibly be the reason why the Yanks haven’t spent a red-cent on position players this Winter. Until Hamilton signs, it seems everything else is on hold for the Yanks. it also appears that perhaps Ownership is tired of hearing the criticisms about the budget and feel a splash has to be made to fill the park this yr. Could also be that they realize Cano coming back next yr is far from certain.

  7. Cano is a better player and a safer sign than Hamilton but you can’t pass on Josh for 4 yrs. Cano is arguably the most durable player in baseball today having played at least 159 games for 6 seasons in a row. We have never had to go without Cano for an extended period of time so I think yankee fans may take him for granted a bit.

    Hamilton has the addiction issues and more importantly has had a lot of injuries. However, if Hamilton can be stolen for 4 yrs, he’s a better sign than Cano at 8 yrs. But make no mistake, Cano is just as good a player and his durability and defense make him more valuable than Hamilton – if all things were equal I’d take Cano.

    Here are their averages over the last 3 seasons:

    R. Cano 160 games – .311/.370/.539/.909 – 141 OPS+ – 30 hr – 107 rbi – 45 Doubles
    Hamilton 134 games – .313/.370/.583/.952 – 146 OPS+ – 33 hr – 107 rbi – 34 Doubles

    Their numbers are eerily similar but Cano gets the nod in my book because he’s been better the last 2 yrs, is far more durable and plays a premium position while Hamilton will be a corner OF on the Yanks.

  8. fishjam, the first question the Yanks have to ask themselves is can they sign Cano, if the answer is no, which I think it will be then they have to trade him and Grandy for players and prospects. The pitching is the key to this equation. Only CC,Pineda,Nova, and Phelps are signed for next year, and of those only CC is a certain commodity. Adding Hamilton makes sense becuase of the term of his contract.

  9. People have to keep in mind, getting under the luxury cap threshold doesn’t seem to be a yearly goal as much as it is to get under it, reset the taxed rate & then dip below it every 3-4 years to reset it again (and again).

    That being the case, a 3 year, $75M deal could be valued out at $30M in 2013, $15M in 2014, and $30M in 2015 to accomplish that goal.

    It’s tricky and requires a long-term focus but it could be done.

  10. I would have to say yes to Hamilton on a three-to-four year deal at this point. I originally didn’t want him at all, but no one could have seen the Yankees being this desperate for hitting. I think it’s a great point that Ross M. made in the fact that Jeet, Mo, and Andy are all in the legitimate twilight of their careers. Who knows if they’ll even perform the same in 2013. So maybe it’s a smart idea to scrap the “get younger, hold on to prospects, hope for the best” strategy I hoped Cash was going to follow, and really gun for it in 2013. Hamilton is without a doubt one of if not the best hitter in baseball, and if we could get him out of New York by the time he hits 35, it’s no doubt a win-win for both sides. Yeah, Hamilton won’t have the long-term deal he asked for, but I can’t imagine him complaining making $25 million a year and being on a perennial contender.

    I give in…..go for it Cash.

  11. IF THEY can afford him……….Why not A.J. Pierzynski? Better than all the rest. Can hit, hit with power.
    So what if he’s not such a nice guy? Are not you tired of being pushed around?

  12. BRET GARDNER…is he healthy? Will he ever be healthy? Will he hit for power?
    Will he hit for average?………just asking.

    • Patrick…
      I hope you understand you have just put yourself on the Delia Sh-t list and mine also. Never speak ill of an almost super star in the making all he needs to be a super star is hitting instruction from Ball Park, instincts from me, and power from anyone but me.
      Brett is a good ballplayer, a type we have great need of, ok, he will always have to fight for respect, (been there and done that) but that will put steel in his mind that no-one can break down.

      You ever notice how many times I can say; “Been there and done that”? Well, you live to be my age and you’ll have the same thing coming from your mouth as well! lol :)

      • Kenny……..I like Gardner, only asked a few questions. Those questions are still relevant.
        The only one that has lived past your age…was Moses.

        • Patrick…
          Some fans think he is way over rated, others think under rated. A team such as we have, needs one or two guys like Brett and Nunez.
          I have liked him from his days in the minors.

  13. Gardner’s eyes are too close together to hit for average. And he’s too bald to hit for power.

  14. But he is fast ……..

  15. When he’s chasing Delia…..

  16. Jim222/444….big boy? If you want something….dig yourself out. You got yourself into this.
    You have no problem with patrick.

  17. Time to think about trading Cano and Grandy, here are some possibilities. For Cano, Nats- Espinosa, Rendon, and Giolito, St.Louis- Craig, Rosenthal, and Wong, Seattle- Walker, Franklin, and Ackley, Dodgers- Lee, Webster, and Ellis, Royal- Gordon,Ordorizi, and Cuthbert, Braves- DelGado, and McCann.

  18. New line-up Jeter-Craig-Hamilton-A-Rod-Tex-McCann-Youk-Wong-Gardner Rotation CC-Kuroda-Pettite- and 2 of either Hughes-Nova-Rosenthal-Delgado-Pineda-and Phelps, not a bad team. This also give the Yanks 6 starters for next year, and only one position to be replaced.

  19. Dodgers signed Greinke today which may hurt yankees chance for Hamilton. The Rangers were the other big suitor for Greinke and now that they lost him they’ll have more money for Hamilton.

    The thinking was if Texas could sign Greinke they could then trade for Justin Upton – letting Hamilton walk. No without Greinke, they may trade for a Shields or RA Dickey. The question is would they also have the chips to trade for Upton if they trade for a pitcher. Any chance the Yanks have on Hamilton hinges on Texas’ interest since he’s Hamilton’s #1 choice.

    • Fish I don’t think the Yankees ever intended to sign Hamilton anyway. I believe management leaked the “background check” on him to simply lead disgruntled fans and media who are mocking the Yankees for not spending into believing that they were interested in him.
      I am still stunned that management is so obsessed with cutting payroll instead of winning.
      Cashman made every possible bad trade after the 2009 season and I guess now we pay for it because he isn’t being allowed to spend himself out of his bad moves.
      The terrifying part to me is that he loses every trade he makes and we are all now hoping that he can use trades to improve the team.
      My thoughts on his possible trade chips:
      Hughes- The NY media did a great job of convincing people he’s no good and its preposterous. He was screwed with by the “Joba Rules” and then by his own manager. Despite being almost wrecked he had a very good season last year and after FINALLY pitching an entire season as a starter I see nothing but an even better season next year. Why this imbecile is considering trading him is beyond me. I’d keep him and be looking to resign him after next season.
      Nova- Had increased velocity last year that didn’t translate well to his form but at his young age you’d have to think that increased velocity WILL translate to better form soon. He’s young and cheap and as with Hughes there is no way I would trade him. I think people are insane to expect a couple of antiques like Pettitte and Kuroda to both last a full season. Now with CC off of his first real surgery as well, we are going to need young arms available like Hughes and Nova.
      Nunez- He never, ever, never should have been sent down last year off of a few errors. He did a really great job filling in during the 2010 season and in my opinion the errors would go down with playing time. I would make HIM the third baseman instead of signing Youkilis but Cashman and Joe G have prematurely decided he is not part of the Yankees’ future like they did with Montero. He has a decent bat, a great arm, and great speed and he makes no money. I wouldn’t trade him either.
      Cano- Management shows their incredible incompetence by even entertaining the notion of not resigning him, or even worse, in trading him. The guy is the best second baseman in baseball and in my opinion he is one the best 5 players in the game. If they ever put another great hitter in front or in back of him he’d be even more deadly. Pitchers pitched around him or “very carefully” the entire second half of last season because he had bums like Texeira or Arod hitting behind him. How exactly do you get “good value” for him in a trade when noone else is available?
      Granderson- Trade him now. The guy is an all or nothing hitter and an average CF at best.

  20. CANO, CANO..be prepared for Yankee life after CANO. It may be at your doorstep.
    With Boris, and the no hometown discount, what greater time than now?
    The player is setting parameters, and he means business….cast off lines.
    Do it know…blockbuster a deal with Him ,Hughes, Nunez…why not?

    • To trade Cano would be like dumping an incredibly gorgeous and nice girlfriend because you’ve dated her for years and how she wants you to marry her.
      The guy has been the biggest bargain in history for the Yankees when you compare what he’s done to what he’s been paid. So now he wants his money! Anyone else in his position would want the same thing.
      Playing chicken with Cano is absolutely insane. Going forward past 2013, who exactly is going to carry this team offensively?!!! We don’t have any offense as it is!!!
      Do you expect Jeter to keep on hitting like last year into 2014 and beyond? Granderson is all or nothing and gone no later than the end of 2013. ARod? A physical wreck who may not even be able to play baseball effectively again. Tex? What a sad joke he is with his popups and GIDP’s and .250 average. He’s only going to get worse. Gardner? He’s yet to put together a complete season. Ichiro? Another antique with no power either. The Yankees don’t even know who will be DH’ing or catching in 2014 either. You let Cano walk and you are looking at last place in the AL East in 2014.
      This notion that a GM who gets killed on every trade can put together a bargain moneyball team for 2014 and beyond is absolutely hysterical. I read these fantasies about our minor league guys(none of whom is viewed as a future star by anyone living in reality besides Sanchez, who they will keep in the minor leagues forever) taking over the team by 2014 and wonder what planet you guys live on because it certainly isn’t Earth!!
      Betances is a wreck, Banuelos and Pineda are coming off huge surgeries, and the rest besides Sanchez are really just pipe dreams at this point that we can only HOPE will be good. Mason Williams is currently our top prospect.
      Yeah, thats right, get the best player we have by far out of the organization!! Trade Cano!! LOL!!

      • Michael P……..morning. Have a seat, son.
        Great come-back post, really. You nailed everything. Even put in some humor, like that.
        My point though is……be prepared for Mr. Cano, and Mr. Boris, to ask for outrageous money.
        And he will. So trade him now.

      • Michael, Cano wants a 7/165 million contract, the Yanks won’t give him that kind of money so he has to be traded, it’s the only thing that makes sense.

  21. djpostl…….log in with OldYankee7…….Ken. Ex-army guy…Ranger. Great guy. Can’t do better than that!
    Still has shrapnel in him…VietNam. Some say, he went up San Juan Hill… Take care.

  22. COWGIRLS, and the ones who hide behind characters…so what do we have? Hamilton?..hopefully.
    Pierzynski?..who’s better?..Hughes?..now is the time to trade. Nunez?..where? trade? the fit?
    Cano? …if he is going to do it to you, you do it first, and get the better of it.
    Alex? ..hit the lotto, find a match. Granderson?..think about it.

  23. Completion of my nights work……………
    A person who hides behind character names…….IS ALLOWED THE OPPORTUNITY TO POST HERE?……WHY?
    If it is clear to those, that read a banned individuals comments, as it is to me…..
    then why can not management see that?

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