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Red Sox one of “four or five” teams interested in Josh Hamilton

Dec 3, 2012, 9:59 PM EDT

josh hamilton getty Getty Images

We heard earlier today that the Rangers have been the “most aggressive” on free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton, but it appears they will have competition.

Rob Bradford of in Boston reports that the Red Sox are among “four or five” teams interested in Hamilton. But their interest comes with a pretty big caveat, as they are only willing to consider him on a short-term deal, likely with a higher AAV (average annual value). So his market would have to be pretty weak for this to be a real possibility.

There’s been chatter that Hamilton is looking for a seven-year deal, but one source tells Bradford that teams are currently waiting to see if there is anybody willing to offer as many as four years. The Orioles, Phillies, Brewers, and Mariners have all been mentioned as possible landing spots, but there’s some hesitancy to meet his substantial asking price, which is not a big surprise when you consider his age, injury risk and history of substance abuse. But it only takes one team to blow expectations out of the water.

  1. uyf1950 - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    I don’t think he will have any problems getting at least 4 years and probably 5. After that the suitors may have some reservations but up until 5 years I think there will be more then enough demand for him.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:13 PM

      4 with an option for a fifth sounds about right. I don’t see anyone giving him 6 or 7.

  2. 13arod - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    tampa sign him

  3. hammyofdoom - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    I wouldn’t mind if the Red Sox (as a fan of the team) signed him to a shorter contract with a shit-ton of money. 7, 6, or even 5 years is kinda scary for an (at this point) corner outfielder at 20+ million dollars, but 3-4 is comfortable for me even if I do think that he’s only had 1 or 2 years that is worthy of the contract that he is going to get. His low on base skills really make me nervous about any long term commitment to Hamilton but on a short deal I think it’d be worth the risk.

    • hockeyflow33 - Dec 4, 2012 at 2:01 AM

      No way, with the rest of the garbage we signed this offseason this guy would be a disaster. How can anyone sign him for longer than three years is beyond me. He’s falling apart pretty quickly.

  4. larryboodry - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    Substance abuse? I’ve been known to go to my favorite bar and down a few ‘substances’ my own self.

  5. brenenostler - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    The Rangers are the ones that gave him his second chance. Come back to Texas, man.

    • bowltr - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:16 AM

      Sorry Dude but that would be the Cincinnati Reds.

  6. shaggylocks - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    Can this really be taken seriously, though? With all the payroll freed up in the mega-trade, I’d expect the Red Sox to kick the tires on anything that can swing a bat.

  7. Jeremiah Graves - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    I guess what I’d do, ideally, is offer him a 3-year-deal with a solid base salary around $15M/yr and then add on all-kinds of incentives and bonuses for games played. Put in a number of vesting options, to get it up to 5/6/7 years or whatever, again, all based on games played. Give him the framework for the deal he wants, but make him stay healthy to earn it. I think that’d give him some serious incentive to avoid the “substance abuse” issues from his past. Heck, you could maybe work in some clause allowing the team to opt-out if he has another public meltdown like he has had the past couple of offseasons.

    I realize he’d never in a million years sign that deal, but that’s one way to offer him the deal he’s looking for and do your best to ensure you don’t live to regret it.

  8. cameltoehoe - Dec 4, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Milwaukee…..great place for a recovering abuser. On a team called the “Brewers”.

  9. psousa1 - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    Strange how Josh Hamilton is now considered a liability. With the exception of 2009 in which he was hurt he has put up 4 straight fantastic seasons. He is a tremendous outfielder. I think there will be more fiscal responsibility going forward after the A-Rod/Jeter/Adrian Gonzalez/Carl Crawford deals (even though Gonzalez is better than all of those guys – by far). So he may not break the bank but if anyone deserves to get 4 years he does. There are going to be clauses in his contract re: substance abuse and teams don’t have to pay guys if they are put on the suspended list anyway. He’s not going to get the a-rod $ but he is deserving of being the highest paid position player post ARod/Jeter/Gonzalez/Crawford contracts.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:22 AM

      Yes he’s a fantastic outfielder and a good/great hitter, but I think you are forgetting how often he’s injured. Since he came back in ’07, he’s played in 737 games over 6 seasons (122 average). Only twice in six years has he played in 135 games or more. He’s on the wrong side of 30 and only getting older.

      Teams are definitely going to have reservations signing him to a long term contract as there are real issues at play.

  10. severinsmith - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    As a Sox fan, I’ve pretty much given up all hope for the next few years.
    This would SEEM to be inline with all the garbage free agent moves they’ve made that have put them where they are, and I was hoping for a ‘build from the ground up’ approach. So at that level, I wouldn’t like this, and would be surprised.

    But honestly, I love watching Hamilton, and I would CERTAINLY buy tickets to a few more games, were they to sign him. So in short, I’m completely conflicted with this one.

    But it would have to be fours years with an optional fifth to make any sense to me at all.

  11. coloradogolfcoupons - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    If you watched every game he played as a Ranger (I di) you should know he quit on this team starting in June. His numbers for the last 4 months make him Alphonso Soriano’s twin, both defensively and offensively. He has a negative defensive War, he makes excuses for everything that don’t hold up to inspection, his ego is so massive he refuses to study film of opposing pitchers, he will swing and miss at 3 straight slow curve balls a foot outside and in the dirt 150 times/year, and not give a crap about anybody but himself.

    Other than that, this guy is awesome. Hope somebody other than the Rangers gives him a boatload, so they have no money for pitching. I seriously doubt his teammates want him back, which should tell you a lot about this crackhead loser.

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