Boston Red Sox Need to Make a Splash with Josh Hamilton
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If the Boston Red Sox are still looking to make a big splash and add star power to their roster, there is one player still left on the free-agent market who fits that description.
Hamilton is seemingly waiting for one team to make him a big, multi-year offer. His numbers speak for themselves. His 2012 slash line of .285/.354/.577 would fit very nicely into the middle of the Sox order for the next three or four seasons, as would the 43 home runs that he hit last season.
With the news from Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal that the Seattle Mariners are making a strongest push for free-agent outfielder Hamilton, the question is where are the Boston Red Sox when it comes to signing Hamilton.
That tweet from Rosenthal is extremely interesting for a couple of reasons.
One, if Seattle turns out to be the main competition for the Red Sox in signing Hamilton, the difference in markets and home stadiums should give the Sox a clear advantage.
The other part of that tweet that is very interesting is that Seattle is talking to Hamilton about a contract in the three-year range with an average annual value of $20 to $25 million.
If that is the contract being discussed with Hamilton, the Sox need to be all over that.
The Red Sox are interested in Hamilton, as this tweet from WBZ's Dan Roche mentions a meeting between Ben Cherington, John Farrell and Hamilton at the winter meetings.
Would you rather have Josh Hamilton?
Hamilton would be viewed as a risky signing at $25 million per year, given his history of injuries and drug abuse. But, given that the Sox have just committed $26 million per season combined between Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino over the next three years, that seems like a pretty fair deal in comparison.
The simple question: Would you rather have Josh Hamilton over the next three seasons or Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino? I think the answer to that is pretty easy given Hamilton's potential impact on the Sox.
The contracts for Napoli and especially Victorino will look really bad if it causes the Sox to be unable to opportunity to sign Hamilton. The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo reported Napoli's deal in this tweet and WEEI's Alex Speier was the first to tweet about Victorino's deal.
If it has become a soft market for the 31-year-old slugging outfielder, the Red Sox need to take advantage of the situation and use some of their newfound payroll flexibility that they gained from the blockbuster trade with the Dodgers last summer.
Cherington and Sox need to do something to excite the fan base again. If it means signing a star player to a potential short-term deal that could pay huge dividends, even better.
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