According to tweets from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Texas Rangers have been the most aggressive team in the Hamilton sweepstakes. He also noted the Milwaukee Brewers are on Hamilton’s periphery.
Both the Rangers and Brewers are in need of Hamilton’s services, but have yet to come to terms on a long-term deal. John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus reported in early November that Hamilton’s asking price is seven years, $175-million.
There are few teams able to invest $175-million in one player, no matter who it is. However, there is one team that can afford just about anyone and anything: the Yankees.
If the Yankees were to step in and sign Hamilton, it would shake up MLB and it would work out for both sides in the immediate future.
Hamilton would be perfect for Yankee Stadium. His swing is built to pepper the right field bleachers and there is no porch shorter than the one in the Bronx. Also, in 2012 Yankee Stadium yielded more home runs per game than any other park in MLB (2.85 HRPG), which makes it the perfect launching pad for the free agent slugger.
Hamilton would also be a welcome addition to the Yankee lineup considering recent reports saying that Alex Rodriguez will have hip surgery in January. The Yanks are in need of another power bat to fit between Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira. There are no guarantees with the Yankees offense considering the injuries they have sustained over the last 12 months and Joe Girardi is searching for the answer to what happened in the 2012 postseason.
New York also needs an outfielder due to Nick Swisher hitting the free agent market this offseason. Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reported the Yankees and Raul Ibanez have mutual interest in each other, but he is not an everyday player anymore. New York would need somebody to platoon with Ibanez in the outfield and designated hitter spots. Hamilton could be that player.
There have been questions as to whether Hamilton can handle living and playing in a place like New York City. His past transgressions have made teams weary of offering multiple years to the slugger, but New York has proved willing to take risks in the past. They have the money and if their fan base puts enough pressure on the organization, they could make an offer.
The risk is great, but the reward for landing Hamilton could be greater. Both he and the Yankees could benefit from a long-term relationship, but the short term is even more intriguing.
If the Rangers and Brewers don’t step to the plate, the Yankees will. New York has a win now mentality and nobody gives the Yankees a better chance at a championship than Josh Hamilton.