He's a mediocre defensive player on his best day and a pretty rotten one the rest of the time, but there's not many players in the game that can do more damage with a bat in their hands than Josh Hamilton.
Of course, Hamilton comes along with a unique set of luggage with his spotty injury history and off-field issues to boot.
Typically speaking, a player of Hamilton's offensive prowess, one who hit .285 with 43 home runs, 128 RBI and 103 runs scored in his contract year would be the subject of an all-out bidding war between the big market clubs in baseball.
But the Cubs aren't likely to play ball, considering that they are still in the process of rebuilding and still a few years from being legitimate contenders.
The Dodgers' outfield, with Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford, is set for the foreseeable future.
The Red Sox, after unloading nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in salary and desperately trying to change the culture in the clubhouse, probably aren't anxious to spend buckets of cash on a player who has the baggage that Hamilton does.
The Yankees, while they'll have an opening in right field with the expected departure of Nick Swisher, are hopeful to get under the $189 million luxury tax threshold and still have new contracts to work out before then with Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Derek Jeter, among others, so they aren't likely to bid for his services.
Washington? They've got their eyes on a center fielder, but he's more the leadoff-type than the masher in the middle of a lineup.
Forget the Angels. They've got outfielders and designated hitters coming out of their ears, even if Torii Hunter departs as a free agent this winter.
San Francisco figures to have interest, but I'd put the Rangers and Detroit Tigers as the two most likely landing spots for the 31-year-old slugger.
Tigers' owner Mike Illitch isn't getting any younger—he's 83, though he doesn't look it—and, as he proved with the Prince Fielder signing, money is not an object when it comes to improving his team.
ESPN's Buster Olney asked a number of general managers where they thought Hamilton would wind up, and he quotes one as saying "Detroit? "They're always the wild card, aren't they?"
With both corner spots in the Tigers outfield works in progress, Hamilton would be an upgrade, at least offensively, over their current options.
It goes without saying that a middle of their lineup, one that would include Hamilton, Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez would be one of, if not the most potent in the entire game.
Olney went on to say that Hamilton is expected to ask for an annual salary somewhere between $20-to-$25 million, but that the length of the contract, not so much the annual salary, will be the major sticking point in negotiations with any team.
In the face of being booed off of the field in the Rangers' wild-card game loss to the Oakland A's, Hamilton told ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon that Texas remains his first choice:
I always would love to stay here. They understand that. They know that. When we talked earlier in the year, we didn't get things worked out, so we said we'd wait until the year was over. They obviously get first shot. I told them they'd get first shot at the end of the year. We'll see what happens.
Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News believes that Hamilton's botched attempt to catch Yoenis Cesepedes' fly ball in the wild-card game will cost him as a free agent:
I'm not ready to subscribe to that line of thinking, but it certainly re-emphasizes the fact that Hamilton can go from mediocre defensive player to defensive liability in the blink of an eye.
Dropped fly ball or not, Texas certainly makes sense on a number of levels, especially since they already know Hamilton's issues and have a support system in place to nip any issues in the bud when they arise.
Whether Hamilton is willing to accept fewer years than he'd like to stay where he wants to play is the real question—that, and how willing he is to slide over to a corner spot permanently, which is something that he will have to do in his new home.
Predicted Deal: Signs with the Detroit Tigers for three years, $67.5 million