When last we checked in on potential suitors for Josh Hamilton and their odds for signing him, it was in a similar article back on Nov. 15th. There were no fewer than 10 teams with varying levels of interest in signing the slugger.
I'm not afraid to admit when I'm wrong, and my original odds already appear as though they'll be way off even though Hamilton has yet to make a decision. Here's a look at how I set things back on Nov. 15th:
Nov. 15th Odds
Baltimore Orioles: 5/1
Seattle Mariners: 8/1
Milwaukee Brewers: 10/1
Philadelphia Phillies: 15/1
Boston Red Sox: 15/1
New York Yankees: 18/1
Los Angeles Dodgers: 20/1
Atlanta Braves: 20/1
Washington Nationals: 35/1
Texas Rangers: 50/1
Nov. 15th Odds Analysis
We'll start at the top, where, according to ESPN, the Orioles are officially out on Hamilton after bringing back Nate McLouth to play left field. The Orioles will look to upgrade their offense in other ways.
The Braves and Nationals are also both conceivably out after Atlanta signed B.J. Upton to a big contract and the Nationals traded for Twins center fielder Denard Span to fill their outfield void.
As dangerous as it is to count them out the way they've been spending lately, the Dodgers also don't appear to be players as their main focus is signing Zack Greinke, and they already have a solid outfield in place once Carl Crawford is healthy.
After spending on Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli at the winter meetings, as well as signing Jonny Gomes earlier in the offseason, the Red Sox also appear to be out of the running. According to a tweet from cbssports.com's Jon Heyman, Boston is "not focusing" on Hamilton.
That leaves us with the Mariners, Brewers, Phillies, Yankees and Rangers as the five teams in the running for Hamilton's services at this point. Here's how I'd stack the odds with those five as of right now:
Dec. 5th Odds
Texas Rangers: 6/1
Philadelphia Phillies: 8/1
Seattle Mariners: 18/1
Milwaukee Brewers: 20/1
New York Yankees: 50/1
Dec. 5th Odds Analysis
Long shots at the time of my first article, the Rangers have now emerged as front-runners to bring Hamilton back. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweeted that Texas has been the most aggressive team in pursuing the slugger to this point.
However, the Rangers have reportedly put talks with Hamilton on hold for now, according to Heyman, as they turn their attention to signing Greinke. Still, the Rangers appear to be the favorites to re-sign Hamilton, as of now.
Where will Josh Hamilton sign?
After missing out on their top target in B.J. Upton and watching Angel Pagan and Shane Victorino sign elsewhere, the Phillies could ramp up their efforts to sign Hamilton in the days ahead.
ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted that Philadelphia is fine with the annual salary Hamilton is seeking but is not as keen on the desired length of the deal. That could be the stance of a number of these teams, and in the end the Phillies' willingness to add an extra year or two to the offer could result in signing him.
The Mariners have met with Hamilton at the winter meetings, according to Fox Sports, and they continue to look for ways to bolster their league-worst offense, having signed Mets castoff Jason Bay on Wednesday.
Heyman noted that the Brewers, who appeared serious about their pursuit of Hamilton early on, are now viewed as long shots. Money appears to be a sticking point.
Then there are the Yankees, who have never formally expressed interest in signing Hamilton and may very well opt to just bring back Ichiro Suzuki as they now turn their attention now to third base. Alex Rodriguez is expected to miss most of the first half after undergoing hip surgery (h/t ESPN).
Still, until Hamilton's wearing a new uniform, it's hard to not at least give the Yankees some chance of signing him.