Hal Steinbrenner, after all, has shown a much greater willingness to hold to some financial guidelines than his father, George, did. For example, the Post has learned, the Yanks had a completed trade last July with Milwaukee for Mike Cameron, pending ownership’s blessing to take on the money. But Hal Steinbrenner refused to add the approximately $5.5 million in salary and luxury tax it would have cost for the rest of the season, so the deal was scrapped.
Sherman leaves out some important details, namely who would have been exchanged for Cameron and when in July this deal almost took place. It was rumored that the Yankees were about to trade Melky Cabrera to the Brewers for Cameron last December, so it's possible that he would have been included in the deal again. Brett Gardner broke his thumb in July 25th, so the Yanks could have tried to orchestrate a trade in that small window before the July 31st deadline, in which case it would be more likely that other players would have been sent to the Brewers instead of Melky.
With a total salary of $10M and $125,000 bonuses kicking in at 425, 475, 525 & 575 plate appearances Cameron wasn't exactly a bargain last year, but that prorated amount would have only been about 2.7% of the Yankees payroll. It was a proverbial drop in the bucket at that point. Clearly it wasn't a necessary addition as the Yanks got all they needed out of centerfield in 2009, but it takes a lot of discipline as an owner to be convinced of that at the time.
Sherman goes on to say that the Yankees are interested in Xavier Nady and Reed Johnson but that the former might be slightly out of their price range. This means that signing Jerry Hairston, Jr. would all but exhaust their budget and unless Johnny Damon wants to come back on a bargain-basement-one-time-only-red-tag-special, he's obviously out too. Your move, Reed Johnson.