Josh Hamilton Rumors: Updating Each Suitor's Chance of Landing the Superstar
As the MLB winter meetings get closer, more and more rumors will begin to surface about big-name players. Josh Hamilton rumors are constantly emerging, and they give some indication about the star's potential landing spot.
Last week, I looked at the chances that each suitor had of landing Hamilton this winter. As time has gone by, more information has come out and shifted some of the teams' chances.
Some teams have begun to focus more on other players, while others have stated that they are not sure that they will be able to afford Hamilton. This obviously has an impact on each suitor's chances of signing the star.
Note: All original rumors and links can be found in last week's installment.
At the moment, there has been no change in the Atlanta Braves' interest in Josh Hamilton. They are currently focused on their top center field target, B.J. Upton.
Jim Bowden of ESPN has reported that the Braves are in the lead in the Upton sweepstakes and that he could sign later this week. If the Braves ink Upton to a deal, then there is virtually no chance that they sign Hamilton.
Chances: Four percent (Down three percent)
Since the beginning of the offseason, it has been unclear if the Seattle Mariners would be in or out on Josh Hamilton. While he would improve their team significantly, there are some cons to signing him.
In a recent article, Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times discussed those issues and why he does not think the Mariners will sign or even really pursue Hamilton. It would certainly be a surprise if Hamilton ended up in a Mariners jersey, but at this point it is still a possibility.
Chances: Six percent (Down two percent)
There have not been any updates on the Milwaukee Brewers front in regards to Josh Hamilton over the past week or so.
However, during that span, Bleacher Report Lead MLB Writer Ian Casselberry identified the Brewers as a dark-horse candidate to land Hamilton. Milwaukee would likely only bring Hamilton in on a shorter deal, but if they do it could turn out to be an outstanding move.
Chances: Six percent (Up one percent)
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox have already filled one of the holes in their outfield by signing Jonny Gomes. It would seem as if the team has now shifted its focus to finding a first baseman.
A number of members of the Red Sox brass met with Mike Napoli to talk about a possible contract (h/t Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe).
That does not mean that the Red Sox are out on Hamilton just yet. Red Sox GM Ben Cherington mentioned that the team was going to be pursuing Hamilton this winter (h/t Jim Bowden of ESPN).
Chances: Seven percent (Up two percent)
If B.J. Upton ends up signing with the Atlanta Braves, then there will be two options for the Philadelphia Phillies. There is a good chance that they will end up with either Michael Bourn or Josh Hamilton.
Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. recently spoke with Jayson Stark of ESPN and hinted that Hamilton may no longer be on their list of targets. This could obviously change as other players begin to sign, and a big-spending team like the Phillies cannot be counted out.
Chances: 12 percent (Down three percent)
After their postseason berth in 2012, the Baltimore Orioles are going to look to find a way to build on their success in 2013. They are expected to be players in the free-agent market this winter.
Indications are that the Orioles will not be going after Josh Hamilton. Jim Bowden of ESPN has spoken with Orioles GM Dan Duquette, who has mentioned that it is unlikely that the Orioles sign a big-ticket player. Buster Olney of ESPN has also added that the Orioles probably will not be going after Hamilton.
However, if a number of other teams pass on Hamilton, then the Orioles could jump right back into the race for him. A short-term deal for Hamilton would make a lot of sense for Baltimore.
Chances: 15 percent (Down five percent)
With National League East rivals, the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies, in a battle for Justin Upton, the Washington Nationals are going to need to look somewhere else for a center fielder (h/t Jim Bowden of ESPN).
Washington was already identified as a possible destination for Hamilton by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, and if one of their rivals signs Upton, then the Nationals could certainly pick up their pursuit of Josh Hamilton this winter.
Chances: 20 percent (Up five percent)
As other teams seem to be less interested in Josh Hamilton, the chances that he will return to the Texas Rangers increase. The Rangers could look to trade for Justin Upton to play in their outfield, but according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, they are waiting for the Arizona Diamondbacks to stop asking for one of their shortstops.
If the Rangers can't trade for Upton, then they could turn their focus towards re-signing Hamilton. Texas has been through a lot with the slugger, and if the Rangers are not able to retain Mike Napoli, then they will need a bat like Hamilton's in their lineup.
Chances: 30 percent (Up five percent)