The Yankees will stay informed about Cole Hamels’ availability between now and the July 31st trade deadline, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. But even if the left-hander's possible extension doesn't materialize and the Phillies decide to weigh trade offers, Yankees GM Brian Cashman probably won’t pursue Hamels as aggressively as he went after Cliff Lee two years ago.
Under baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement, it’d be impossible for the Yankees to obtain draft pick compensation for Hamels if he were to depart as a free agent when his contract expires following the 2012 season. And signing Hamels long-term doesn’t seem realistic for a Yankees team that aims to avoid luxury tax penalties by 2014. Not only would Hamels command an annual salary of $20MM plus, the Yankees would have to surrender inexperienced (and affordable) players to pry the left-hander away from the Phillies.
The Yankees aren’t interested in Zack Greinke and don’t believe his personality would thrive in New York, Davidoff notes. Like Hamels, Greinke could sign an extension before the trade deadline. Cubs right-handers Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza are among the other possibilities for the Yankees. However, Cashman has said he’s skeptical about the chances of finding a deal that makes sense.