Thursday, November 8, 2012
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — The Yankees are so serious about dropping under that $189 million luxury tax threshold for 2014 that, according to a source briefed on their plans, they would not even do a two-year contract in the $20 million range with Torii Hunter, The Post has learned.
Though Arizona’s Justin Upton has become available at the GM Meetings, a person involved in discussions said, “The Yankees are not on him.”
Yankees officials are insisting that you either commit to a philosophy or not, and they remain galvanized on gaining the financial benefits that are available via the collective bargaining agreement if they slip below $189 million.
So how do the Yankees’ find a replacement to Swisher that a) costs little and b) approximates the 24 homers, 93 RBIs and .837 OPS (remember, the Yankees will be looking for power here, especially because they are committed to Brett Gardner in one of the other outfield slots)?
The answer could be a lefty-righty platoon. For example, they could re-ink Ibanez to face righties and sign a free agent such as Scott Hairston, Jonny Gomes or switch-hitter Melky Cabrera to face lefties. Mets officials think Hairston will get a two-year deal for between $8 million-to-$10 million, which may be too rich for either New York team. Arizona’s Jason Kubel, Pittsburgh’s Garrett Jones and Oakland’s Seth Smith all are lefty hitters with pop who probably could be had in trades.
85 wins, here we come.
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