Josh Hamilton Will Go Wherever the Wind Takes Him

So much of the offseason discussion has concerned corner outfielders, Torii Hunter, Ichiro Suzuki, Nick Swisher, but the cake is taken by former drunk Josh Hamilton.

I don’t mean to suggest that because of his tendency to drink (or want to drink) that he is a liability; not only was Babe Ruth the greatest hitter of all time, he was one of the greatest pitchers, too. So, toss aside the drinking stereotypes; I value Hamilton’s ability as a ball player. Keith Law would tell you he’s worth more than Taipei.

As of late, the Orioles have entered the discussion for Hamilton, and just recently, MLB Trade Rumors reported that the Mariners are interested in the troubled slugger. But the reality is, Josh Hamilton doesn’t know where he wants to go. I gathered he was unsure about his future from this video, but alas,  I have no source for this, just my divining rod, and a room full of used-up scorecards.

I mentioned in October that Hamilton had a good year: .285/.354/.577, 43 home runs and 128 RBI, but I also mentioned that he spent the year on and off the “incapable-list.”

His drinking and drug problems have dissipated for the time being, but his uncanny ability to all-of-a-sudden start sucking reared its ugly head. All Major League baseball players suck at some point, some for very long periods of time (Carlos Pena, Jason Bay, etc.), and Hamilton is not an exemption.

During July of this year, Hamilton hit .177 with 11 RBI and 4 HR.

Problem is, some ownerships will overlook this and be willing to give him the $20MM+ per year he deserves. But, he might only deserve that much for a portion of the year. See the contradictory tone, the conflict?

I’ve listed the teams who are interested in Hamilton by order of their likelihood of signing him (as of 11/8/12).

  1. Orioles
  2. Braves
  3. Mariners
  4. Red Sox
  5. Tigers
  6. Brewers
  7. Cubs
  8. Rangers

There are a few other teams I suspect will entertain a long-term deal, but from what we can tell today, it appears that the Orioles and Braves are serious suitors.

Hamilton will turn 32 in May of the 2013 season, and by that point he could have been one of the greatest hitters ever. Instead, he will be looking for a long-term contract, and a home where he can live up to his potential.

Here’s his price tag:

Stats courtesy of New York PostESPN.com, Baseball-Reference.com

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