I love free agency. It's a time of year when speculation runs rampant and hope springs eternal, especially in cities like Seattle where the local baseball team is in desperate need of a change in fortune.
This year it seems the Mariners are a potential suitor for Josh Hamilton, according to Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Kaduk last week.
Two months ago when putting together a list of free agents the Mariners would take a long look at, I included Hamilton assuming the front office would take a similar look, but don't touch approach—similar to how they "pursued" Prince Fielder last winter.
Quite frankly it's hard to take the M's front office or anybody too seriously at this point, so much so that even USS Mariner's Dave Cameron wanted to urge caution in his post in response to the rumor.
At the same time, it is a bit of a hot topic so when my editors asked me to tackle the question of Hamilton and the Mariners, I initially contemplated taking a pros and cons approach similar to what Seattle Times writer Steve Kelley pieced together over the weekend:
"Hamilton and his contract could suffocate the franchise, or he could resuscitate the team. He could hamstring the Mariners, or he could liberate them.
He is the most intriguing, scary, thrilling free agent in many years. At the right price, not $175 million, he could be the answer to the Mariners' prayers.
They have to consider him, while also having a fallback position if he doesn't sign. They have to do their homework and make a determination on whether Hamilton's second half slide was a glitch or a pattern."
Unlike Kelley though, I'm not in favor of pursuing Hamilton and I'm here to explain why.
Some issues have to do with Hamilton, but others have to do more with the team signing him. For as much as the Mariners might need Hamilton to help turn things around, are they really the right fit for him at this point in his career?