Hamels a top target for Yanks at deadline?
On Monday, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reported that the team will keep tabs on Phillies lefty Cole Hamels’ availability between now and the July 31 deadline – however, it is believed that GM Brian Cashman won’t be as aggressive as he has been in the past, thanks in part to a pair of provisions in baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement.
The first, which says that teams no longer receive compensatory draft picks for players acquired in their last year before free agency, would prevent the Bombers from getting anything if he should be acquired and then leave at the end of the season.
The second, however, is a self-imposed handcuff, related to baseball’s luxury tax; Cashman and the team want to get the payroll under the luxury tax threshold of $189 million by 2014, and if Hamels were signed as a free agent this winter, he would likely command a salary that would continue to push the payroll up instead of down – and that fact, combined with the level of prospects the Yankees would likely have to give up to acquire him, means that a “rental” is an unlikely option as well.
In the meantime, the Yankees will also reportedly be keeping an eye on Cubs starters Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza, two named made especially intriguing thanks to both Cashman and new Cubs boss Theo Epstein expressing excitement earlier this season about their now-expanded ability to make deals with each other.
Brewers righty Zack Greinke, however, doesn’t appear to be a target, as Davidoff notes in the report that team sources don’t believe he would thrive in New York.
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