Thursday, November 8, 2012

Should The Mariners Pursue Josh Hamilton?

On Saturday 2010 AL MVP Josh Hamilton will test the free agent market.  The Texas Rangers center fielder has put up big power numbers over the last 3 seasons and is considered one of the elite home run hitters in baseball.  There has been speculation Hamilton is asking for a 7 year deal in excess of $170,000,000.  Although Texas is probably his first choice he may have to go elsewhere to receive that kind of compensation.

One logical destination is the Seattle Mariners.  The Mariners have been desperately looking for a power hitter for several years now.  Home run hitters have been reluctant to sign a free agent deal with Seattle because of the difficulties hitting at Safeco field.  There are plans to move the fences in next season so the power numbers should increase dramatically. 

The problem with agreeing with Hamilton's demands are his age and personal issues.  It has been well documented that Josh Hamilton has a history of substance abuse that makes him a risk for any organization.  In addition, he is 31 years old meaning he'll be pushing 40 by the end of the contract.  The recent decline of Alex Rodriguez has owners leery of giving such a large sum of money to a player not in his mid 20's.

If Josh Hamilton came down a few years and a few dollars several teams would be much more interested in his services, but if he doesn't the list of suitors will be short.  Seattle is one of the few teams with a relatively low payroll and a glaring need at the position.  It will be interesting to see if the Nintendo guys step in and make him an offer he can't refuse.  Sure would be nice for Mariner fans.

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