Josh Hamilton: All 30 MLB Teams' Chances of Landing Him This Winter

Robert KnapelCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2012

Josh Hamilton: All 30 MLB Teams' Chances of Landing Him This Winter

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    Once MLB free agency begins this winter, a number of teams will be going after Josh Hamilton. He is the crown jewel of the 2013 MLB free agent market, and Hamilton will draw an incredible amount of attention.

    Hamilton has been to the MLB All-Star Game in each of the past five season, and he has not disappointed with his production in 2012. There are few players in baseball that have the offensive abilities that Hamilton possesses.

    There is no doubt that Hamilton will be looking for a mega-deal this winter, and there could be teams out there that would give him blank checks. However, some teams will have no way of affording Hamilton.

    Here are the early chances that each team has on signing Hamilton this winter.

San Diego Padres

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    With the lowest team salary in baseball, there is no way that the San Diego Padres can afford to sign Josh Hamilton (h/t USA Today).

    If the Padres did sign Hamilton, he would represent around 25 percent of their team salary.

    Chances: Zero percent

Houston Astros

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    The Houston Astros are in a rebuilding mode, and signing an expensive superstar is certainly not a part of their plans.

    Astros fans can still see Hamilton whenever their team plays against his.

    Chances: Zero percent

Chicago Cubs

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    Theo Epstein has some tricks up his sleeves, but he is not a good-enough magician to bring in Josh Hamilton and keep the Cubs within their budget.

    Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune notes that signing Hamilton is not a part of the Cubs' winter plans.

    Chances: Zero percent

New York Mets

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    There are reports that the Mets will have $15 million at most to spend this winter, and there is no way that they can afford Hamilton with that budget (h/t Adam Rubin of ESPN).

    Even if the New York Mets were to find the money this offseason to go after Josh Hamilton, they would have a very tough time selling him on the team that they have.

    Chances: Zero percent

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    While Los Angeles Dodgers ownership may be willing to spend cash without much discretion, it will not be going after another outfielder.

    Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier both signed huge extensions recently, and the Dodgers have Carl Crawford to play in center field.

    Chances: Zero percent

Minnesota Twins

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    The Minnesota Twins have two big contracts with Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. It is doubtful that they are looking for a third player with a mega-deal, and they are not a great fit for Josh Hamilton given the current state of their team.

    Chances: Zero percent

Seattle Mariners

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    The Seattle Mariners have a lot of young players on their roster, and they will not be looking for expensive players this winter. Seattle's best move would be looking for young, cost-controlled players.

    Chances: Zero percent

Colorado Rockies

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    Pitching has been a major problem for the Colorado Rockies this season. With the money that the Rockies have available this winter, they will likely focus on resolving their pitching problems.

    While it would be fun to watch Josh Hamilton in Coors Field, it is nothing more than a pipe dream at this point.

    Chances: Zero percent

Kansas City Royals

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    The Kansas City Royals will be getting a big-time power-hitting outfielder next season, but it will not be Josh Hamilton. Wil Myers will take a spot in the Royals outfield, and he should be an American League Rookie of the Year Award candidate.

    Chances: Zero percent

Cleveland Indians

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    Signing Josh Hamilton is essentially out of the question for the Cleveland Indians. They don't have the resources or the playoff-contending team that would be needed to convince Hamilton to come to Ohio.

    Chances: Zero percent

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Josh Hamilton was once a part of the Tampa Bay Rays organization, but chances are that they will not be able to get him back this offseason.

    The Rays have been successful by signing low-cost players and developing great internal options.

    Chances: Zero percent

Oakland Athletics

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    While the Oakland Athletics flexed some of their financial muscle last season by signing Yoenis Cespedes, they do not have enough cash to go after Josh Hamilton. The Athletics have gone away from their Moneyball ways a bit recently, but they have not gotten to the point at which they would pursue a player like Hamilton.

    Chances: Zero percent

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    For each of the past two seasons, it has appeared as if the Pittsburgh Pirates would have the opportunity to make the playoffs, but they faded fast.

    A player like Josh Hamilton would likely push the Pirates over the edge, but he would also push them well over their budget.

    Chance: Zero percent

Miami Marlins

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    During the 2012 offseason, the Miami Marlins spent big on Jose Reyes, Heath Bell and Mark Buherle. The Marlins did not have the success that they wanted, and they ended up having a fire sale.

    Miami likely will not spend the money that it will cost to bring in Hamilton.

    Chances: Zero percent

Milwaukee Brewers

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    If the Milwaukee Brewers were not going to spend the cash to re-sign Prince Fielder, it is hard to see them dropping the cash that would be required to bring in Josh Hamilton.

    With Ryan Braun, Corey Hart, Carlos Gomez and Norichika Aoki, the Brewers are fairly set in their outfield.

    Chances: Zero percent

Washington Nationals

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    While the Washington Nationals lineup would be incredibly intimidating with Josh Hamilton in it, they have no need for him. Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth and Mike Morse make up a very good outfield for the Nationals.

    Chances: Zero percent

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    The Arizona Diamondbacks might trade Justin Upton this winter, but that does not mean that they are in the market for another outfielder (h/t Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic). Arizona can spend the money it has this winter much more efficiently if it doesn't pursue Josh Hamilton.

    Chances: Zero percent

Toronto Blue Jays

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    It is possible that there is an outfielder that gets a big contract from the Toronto Blue Jays this winter.

    That player may be Colby Rasmus, as he is a possible extension target for the Blue Jays (h/t Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star).

    After re-signing Edwin Encarnacion and working on an extension for Rasmus, the Blue Jays will not have money for Josh Hamilton.

    Chances: Zero percent

St. Louis Cardinals

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    The St. Louis Cardinals already have two high-priced outfielders in Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran. While both have produced at high levels, the Cardinals are likely unwilling to hand another massive deal to an outfielder over the age of 30.

    While Josh Hamilton would be an improvement over John Jay, the current Cardinals center fielder can more than hold his own.

    Chances: Zero percent

Chicago White Sox

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    For the 2013 season, the Chicago White Sox already have over $81 million in payroll commitments to eight players as well as the buyouts for Jake Peavy and Brett Meyers (h/t Baseball Prospectus).

    If you include the raises that White Sox players will get from arbitration, there is no way that the team can afford to pay Hamilton over $20 million a year and bring in a few other players.

    Chances: One percent

Philadelphia Phillies

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    After trading away Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino this season, the Philadelphia Phillies have a few vacancies in their outfield. According to GM Ruben Amaro Jr., the Phillies will go after some of the more coveted free agents this winter (h/t David Murphy and Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News).

    With all of the holes that the Phillies have to fill, it is hard to see them spend a large chunk of their cash on Josh Hamilton, but it could happen.

    Chance: Two percent

Cincinnati Reds

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    With Jay Bruce entrenched in one outfield spot and Ryan Ludwick giving the Cincinnati Reds every reason possible to pick up his 2013 option, the only spot the team has left is in center field.

    Drew Stubbs is having what is arguably the worst year of his career, but that does not mean that the Reds will go out and sign Josh Hamilton. Cincinnati just spent a lot of money on Joey Votto last season, and the idea of another deal with an average annual value above $20 million may not sound so great to them.

    Chances: Three percent

Baltimore Orioles

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    The Baltimore Orioles outfield has been one of the team's strengths this season. Both Adam Jones and Nick Markakis have put up solid numbers this season.

    Baltimore discussed a deal worth $20 million a year with Mark Teixeira a few seasons ago, so they have shown that they are willing to get involved with high-priced players (h/t Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun).

    If the Orioles are coming off a playoff run, they could get involved in the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes.

    Chances: Four percent

Los Angeles Angels

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    Even though Buster Olney of ESPN (Insider required) does not see the Los Angeles Angels as a suitor for Josh Hamilton, the team could still go after him. With Torii Hunter's contract expiring this season, the Angels will have some extra money to spend.

    Los Angeles has seen what Hamilton has done over the years, and signing him this winter would shift the power in the American League West.

    Chances: Five percent

Atlanta Braves

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    There is a good chance that the Atlanta Braves pursue a free agent center fielder this season. Michael Bourn has done a great job for the Braves since they acquired him, and the team might look to sign him to an extension.

    If that does not work out for the Braves, they could go after either B.J. Upton or Josh Hamilton. They may choose Upton because of the price difference and the fact that it would allow them to spend on other players.

    Chances: Five percent

New York Yankees

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    It is hard to count the New York Yankees out whenever there is a big-name free agent on the market. New York will be looking for an outfielder, since Nick Swisher hits the open market this winter.

    Josh Hamilton will be expensive, but that obviously is not a deterrent for the Yankees. Adding Hamilton to the middle of the Yankees lineup would make it scary good.

    Chances: Eight percent

Boston Red Sox

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    By trading away Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, the Boston Red Sox freed up a ton of future payroll space. That means that can certainly be a contender to make a big splash this winter.

    One way to quickly turn the Red Sox back into a contender is for them to sign Josh Hamilton. However, it is uncertain how he would fit in the team's clubhouse (h/t Ian Casselberry of Bleacher Report).

    Chances: 10 percent

Detroit Tigers

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    Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch wants to see the Detroit Tigers win at least one more championship during his tenure as owner. If the team misses out on that this season, Ilitch may go after Josh Hamilton.

    According to Buster Olney of ESPN (Insider required), at least one general manager thinks that the Tigers have a shot at landing Hamiltion. If they do, the trio of Hamilton, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder will give opposing pitchers nightmares.

    Chances: 12 percent

San Francisco Giants

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    The San Francisco Giants have been identified as being a possible landing spot for Josh Hamilton, according to one National League GM (h/t Buster Olney of ESPN).

    Even with all of the moves that the Los Angeles Dodgers have made this season, signing Hamilton would likely give the Giants a slight edge when it comes to their playoff chances in 2013.

    Chances: 15 percent

Texas Rangers

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    The favorite to sign Josh Hamilton this offseason has to be his current team, the Texas Rangers. He has been an invaluable part of their team over the past few seasons, and the Rangers would take big hit if they lost him.

    Texas has a window of time to exclusively negotiate with Hamilton this year, and the Rangers could use that to lay the groundwork for a possible deal.

    Hamilton almost certainly want to test the free-agency waters, but he should return to Texas.

    Chances: 35 percent