I don’t why I even feel like this is worthy of passing along, but in his BP post this morning John Perrotto, while otherwise noting how much of the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes is a mystery, passes along one very definitive remark:
Where it winds up going is anyone’s guess, but the continued talk that the Yankees are going to jump into the bidding is way off the mark. Few people to seem to believe it, but the Yankees are dead set against committing big dollars to any free agents beyond next season because they plan to get under the $189-million luxury tax threshold in 2014.
I’m not really sure where the chatter about the Yankees swooping in and snatching Hamilton got its start, but it’s never really struck me as anything more than an attempt by reporters to inject some excitement into an otherwise dull hot stove season in which the Yankees are pledging, basically, to do next to nothing that’s going to light up the back pages. Alas, Hamilton is sort of the ultimate square peg for this time, as he clearly doesn’t fit into Plan 189 and, with the imminent return of Ichiro Suzuki, they don’t even have an opening in the starting lineup for him.
And, with that, I think we’ve sussed out what’s going on. The local media has been implying there’s much more meaning to some pretty bland winter facts like the Yankees listening to trade offers and Robinson Cano being open about wanting to get top dollar when his contract runs out for weeks, and I suppose this is the other side of it. But while trading Granderson, signing Hamilton, and then letting Cano walk sounds like a surprisingly preferable plan of action to me, there hasn’t been any actual indication that any aspect of it is under serious consideration, or that there’s anything more than an attempt to goose reader interest in a heavily saturated market going on.