Even with fewer teams in the market for Hamilton, there is not a very clear picture of where he will end up playing next season.
Hamilton's contract demands have caused some teams to shy away from him this winter. There are few teams that can afford the more than $20 million a year that Hamilton wants, and at the moment, they are the only real players in this market.
The Atlanta Braves have dropped off the list after signing B.J. Upton, and the Washington Nationals are no longer on the list as a result of trading for Denard Span.
The Boston Red Sox have been spending some of the money that they saved when they traded away Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett by bringing in Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes. It does not appear that the team will be using any of those savings on Josh Hamilton.
Boston already has a full outfield with Victorino, Gomes and Jacoby Ellsbury, so it does not have a need for Hamilton. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has noted that the Red Sox should not be considered serious players for Hamilton.
Chances: Three percent (down four percent)
There has not been a mystery team involved in the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes, but that could change as more and more teams drop out of the running. If Hamilton is willing to accept a shorter deal, then more teams may get involved.
At the moment, the chances of a mystery team are low, but given the way that the market for Hamilton has played out thus far, it is certainly a possibility. As a potential deal for Hamilton gets closer, a mystery team is more likely to come up in rumors.
Chances: Five percent (up five percent)
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has mentioned that there was a point this offseason during which the Milwaukee Brewers expressed an interest in Josh Hamilton. However, the team has seemingly been very quiet on this front.
While Milwaukee cannot be completely counted out, it is hard to see it signing Hamilton. He will simply be too costly for the Brewers.
Chances: Five percent (down one percent)
Although the Baltimore Orioles have attempted to make a play for big-name free agents in the past, it is hard to see them landing Josh Hamilton this offseason. It appears that the Orioles will be taking a different route to acquiring the big bat that they are looking for.
Roch Kubatko of MASN believes that the Orioles will trade for a hitter that will be a presence in the middle of their lineup at some point during this offseason. At the moment, this seems like a more likely option than the Orioles signing Hamilton.
Chances: 10 percent (down five percent)
Entering the 2013 offseason, the outfield was one of the areas of concern for the Philadelphia Phillies. After they missed out on B.J. Upton, I speculated that the Phillies could be inclined to go after Josh Hamilton.
Philadelphia has recently traded for Ben Revere to fill one of the spots in its outfield. The Phillies still have a need in the outfield, but Jayson Stark of ESPN has noted that they have not been too interested in Hamilton this winter.
Chances: 12 percent (no change)
Initially viewed as a spectator to the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes, the Seattle Mariners have begun to make a serious push for the slugger over the past few weeks. The team has already begun to discuss numbers with Hamilton.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has reported that the Mariners have brought up three-year deals worth up to $25 million per season. That has been disputed by Mariners President Chuck Armstrong, who said that the team has not discussed numbers with Hamilton (h/t Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times).
While the Mariners are still far away from a deal with Hamilton, they have seen their chances increase significantly from what they were before the winter meetings.
Chances: 25 percent (up 19 percent)
Earlier this offseason, it was noted by Jayson Stark of ESPN that the Texas Rangers were trying to sign Zack Greinke and then trade for an outfielder. With Greinke now a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Rangers will need to refocus their offseason approach.
This could mean that the Rangers now look to bring back Josh Hamilton. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has noted that the Rangers will likely have the opportunity to match any offer that is made to Hamilton. With that being the case, it seems as if the Rangers have a good chance to start next season with Hamilton in their outfield.
Chances: 40 percent (up 10 percent)