Saturday, December 8, 2012
The Yankees avoided arbitration with left fielder Brett Gardner on Friday by agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.85MM. Gardner got a slight bump from the $2.8MM he made in 2011 despite missing almost the entire season due to elbow surgery.
There have been rumors that the Yankees may switch Gardner and Curtis Granderson's positions in the outfield. A bigger rumor has the Yankees looking into free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton.
The 2010 AL MVP winner is not coming close to get the long term offer he was hoping for. Teams are concerned about Hamilton's history of injuries and drug and alcohol abuse. Long term contracts are also not in vogue at the moment as teams see what happens when a player like Alex Rodriguez shows diminished skills and health.
The Yankees thinking has to be short term, big money, and still be able to fit under the $189MM luxury tax ceiling that goes into effect in 2014. In the event the Yankees sign Hamilton, they may consider dealing Curtis Granderson who becomes a free agent after the current season and will make $15MM in 2013.
Hamilton definitely falls under the category of "Let the buyer beware."