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Hamilton would like to remain in Texas, but the Rangers may have other plans.
Allow me to be blunt: Any team that claims it does not want Josh Hamilton in their lineup is lying.
Sure, there are teams that do not have room for the lifetime .304 slugger, but if they did, be sure that they would be involved in the rumor mill.
The Mariners, Rangers, Red Sox, Phillies and Brewers have all been linked to Hamilton this offseason, with those first two teams remaining as the front-runners.
Hamilton hit .285 with 43 home runs and 128 runs batted in 2012 despite a midseason slump in which he batted .223 in June and an even worse .177 in July.
What many analysts suspected for Josh Hamilton this offseason has come true: a long-term deal is easier wished for than crafted.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, while Hamilton desires a contract of seven years or more, many believe the slugger may have to settle for a deal of five years or less.
At 31, the Raleigh native is no young pup, and his history of substance abuse is a heavy concern. However, Hamilton is the owner of one of the prettiest and most devastating swings in baseball and is just three seasons removed from an MVP award.
In this day in age, players of his caliber receive nine-figure, multiyear contracts. That is just how it goes.
If the Rangers settle on someone else (possibly Zack Greinke), the Mariners will need to step up to the plate quickly and forcefully before a dark-horse team swoops in and steals the five-time All-Star.