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Yankees, Red Sox reportedly in Josh Hamilton sweepstakes

The Yankees may have emerged as a late contender to sign free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton. USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports via Twitter that the Yankees are doing their due diligence -- more specifically a background check -- on the sometimes erratic slugger who requires strict off-the-field supervision to control his addictions.

https://twitter.com/BNightengale/status/277015565128847360

Nightengale's source, reportedly a rival general manager, doesn't give a reason as to why Yankees GM Brian Cashman is not involved in the Hamilton homework.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Cashman had been stripped of his power to make offers to free agents.

On Thursday, people within the Yankees organization confirmed that this was in fact true: Cashman arrived in Nashville unable to make offers to players, and without that power, targets like Jeff Keppinger and Eric Chavez took deals elsewhere.

The Yankees may not be the only American League East team still in on Hamilton. Alex Speier of WEEI reports Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen said that the team is continuing to talk to Hamilton.

The Rangers and Mariners have widely been considered to be the front-runners to land Hamilton. The Mariners reportedly have offered Hamilton three years at $20-$25 million. The Rangers would love a scenario that allows them to re-sign Hamilton, while also signing pitcher Zack Greinke and acquiring Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton.

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