Seattle Mariners: Revisiting the Pursuit of Josh Hamilton

Todd PheiferAnalyst IIIMay 7, 2013

ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 05:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim comes up to bat against the Baltimore Orioles at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 5, 2013 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Remember when the Seattle Mariners were not able to sign Josh Hamilton in free agency? How does that look now?

It is still relatively early in the season, but Josh Hamilton has not started out well after signing a five-year, $125 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels. Perhaps he will start to turn it around, but so far the stats are not good.

Through May 7, Hamilton is hitting a paltry .202 for the year, with two home runs and nine RBI. In 129 at-bats, he has struck out a whopping 40 times. For those of you scoring at home, that means Hamilton is striking out 31 percent of the time.


As tweeted by Pedro Gomez of ESPN:

CBS Sports tweeted a similar sentiment:

Can you imagine the heat that general manager Jack Zduriencik would be taking if Hamilton was putting together that performance in a Seattle uniform? How many “I knew this was going to happen” comments would there be from fans?

The reality is that Hamilton is not exactly lacking for protection in the Angels lineup. When you have Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo in the lineup, you should see plenty of good pitches.

It has never been totally clear how close the Mariners actually were to signing Hamilton. Back in December of 2012, Hamilton suggested that the Mariners did not make a strong play for him (via The Seattle Times), even though Zduriencik stated that Seattle had made a solid offer.

Regardless, Hamilton signed with the Angels and the Mariners moved on to other deals.

At the time, there were mixed feelings from fans regarding the possibility of signing Hamilton. Adding him to the roster would have been a “big splash,” and it would represented that the Mariners were serious about spending some money and bringing in veteran talent to help the young hitters.

Granted, there was also skepticism at the time. Hamilton was 31 when he hit the open market, and the possibility of offensive decline was very real. Now that Hamilton is about to turn 32 at the end of May, that possibility may be beginning to unfold.

Again, Hamilton may start to hit soon and put this slow, painful start behind him. However, if Hamilton does not improve, one thing will be abundantly clear.

Seattle was fortunate to get outbid.