The Yankees are, of course, suffering the consequences of foolishly pursuing Alex Rodriguez in 2004 and then compounding their problem by signing him to a 10-year deal after the 2007 season. They may or may not be able to get out from underneath that incredible blunder this offseason. Either way, going after the 31-year-old Hamilton, a player with immense talented but a troubled drug and alcohol addicted history, would be repeating the mistake.
Here is George Vescey of the New York Times describing what has happened to the Yankees, with A-Rod being the most obvious -- and expensive -- example:
As for what has befallen the Yankees, it seems to be the predestination of an old-fashioned children's fable - the prince or princess haunted by a fatal prediction:
If you sip from the magic potion, you may enjoy the bloom of youth. But never forget that someday the dark angel will return and claim his percentage.
The curse, if you will, of the Yankees has been the rush to acquire Alex Rodriguez from Texas for the 2004 season, a continuation of the Steinbrenner Fatal Flaw - the Yankees cannot stop overpaying for aging sluggers and pitchers.
Yet, Hamilton will be on the market tempting the troubled empire with his talent, his big name and his ability to be one of those home-run hitting monsters the Yankees have fallen in love with.
Former major league general manager and current ESPN analyst Jim Bowden would have Hamilton at the center of his plan to rebuild the Yankees. Bowden says the Yankees should make the 31-year-old Hamilton their biggest offseason purchase:
Outfielder Josh Hamilton will be by far the biggest name on the free-agent market. Fittingly, the team in the biggest market should be the one to reel him in.
Hamilton fits Cashman's proclivity for "complete" players, and his left-handed swing is tailor-made for Yankee Stadium. They Yankees need a better postseason hitter than Swisher, who has been exposed in October, hitting .169 in the playoffs in his career.
Why? Sure, the Yankees need to let Swisher go and replace him in rightfield with a more athletic, more complete player. They could actually do that, though, by convincing Ichiro to stick around for another year.
The last thing the Yankees need to do is go back to the thing they always do when they are in trouble -- go out and buy the biggest, flashiest, most expensive toy on the market just to make themselves feel better in the short term.
Thankfully, it sounds like the Yankees don't plan on pursuing Hamilton. That would be a good thing. Hamilton would just be more of the same star-driven, free spending that has led to the Yankees winning only one World Series title since 2000.
It is time for the Yankees to try a different plan.