Everyone seems to agree that superstar Texas Ranger Josh Hamilton would be a good addition to the Mariners’ lineup – it would bring a much-needed superstar player back to Seattle and give the team power behind the bat. However, one has to wonder whether such a deal is a real possibility for the Mariners. Sure, the team freed up some cash by trading Ichiro to the Yankees, but the team will have to do quite a bit of bargaining in order to lure Hamilton away from potentially larger offers.
So far the stance of the club has involved taking a back seat during the free agent deals and watching to see what happens. This kind of laid-back approach may save them money, but it’s doubtful whether it is the best approach for winning the loyalty and contract of Hamilton, a powerhouse who knocked 43 balls out of the field and ran the bases 128 times.
Todd Pheifer of the Seattle Mariners Bleacher Report points out that the Mariners will have to be quite aggressive if they want to scoop up Hamilton. While it may be the case that grabbing up someone, who even with a 30 home run year would bolster the underdog team’s lineup, will be difficult in light of the Greinke deal with the Dodgers, it’s important that the team doesn’t sleep on this opportunity. Sure, one could make the argument that Hamilton literally dropped the ball in the final game of the playoff series against the Oakland Athletics, but when a team needs power behind the bat its important to take opportunities that pop up.
There has been some speculation that the New York Yankees may swoop in and pick up Hamilton before the Mariners get a chance to make that deal. So far, this appears to be just a rumor. What does seem to be a more substantiated theory is that the Mariners have talked with Hamilton about a three year deal of $20 to $25 million a year (Ken Rosenthal reports).
Until there is an official announcement of Hamilton signing with a team, all one can do is theorize. I suppose we will all have to adopt the Mariners’ sit-back-and-wait strategy to find out where Hamilton goes – at least for now.