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Yankees Rumors: Josh Hamilton and Cole Hamels

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July 5, 2012; Flushing, NY, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) delivers a pitch against the New York Mets at Citi Field Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE
July 5, 2012; Flushing, NY, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) delivers a pitch against the New York Mets at Citi Field Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE

Due to their intent of staying beneath the luxury tax threshold next season, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports believes the New York Yankees will likely pass on pricey free agents-to-be, including Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton and Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels.

The Yankees are intent on reaping the financial benefits from getting under the threshold, but also plan to keep second baseman Robinson Cano and center fielder Curtis Granderson, both of whom are signed through 2013.

So, the Yankees likely will pass on free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton and left-hander Cole Hamels this off-season. The team’s concern with the threshold also makes trading for Hamels less attractive; he only would be a rental if the club was unwilling to sign him long-term.

Earlier in the week, Joel Sherman of The New York Post reported that there’s "pretty much zero possibility" the Yankees retain outfielder Nick Swisher beyond this season due to the luxury tax.

It makes sense for Rosenthal to say the club will not pursue big-name free agents if they do hope to remain below the threshold. He adds this factor will likely keep the Yankees from pursuing Hamels this summer in a trade because of his expected high cost and the fact that he would only represent a rental.

Rosenthal notes that the Yankees desire to remain below the threshold will be tested if veterans Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira continue to decline and the club’s young pitchers, including Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances and even Michael Pineda, do not fulfill their potential.

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Will the Yankees be under the luxury tax threshold next season?

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