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UPDATE: mixed reports on Josh Hamilton to the Mariners

Dec 6, 2012, 10:06 AM EDT

josh hamilton getty Getty Images

UPDATE: Hold the phone: Bob Nightengale of USA Today spoke with Chuck Armstrong, president of the Mariners, and he said that the Mariners are not close to signing Hamilton.

Odd, then, that Baker would be as specific as he was with his report. One wonders if Armstrong is running some misdirection here.

8:40 AM: You laughed when you first heard that the Mariners were talking to Josh Hamilton. Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times is reporting, however, that the last laugh may belong to Seattle:

I’m now told the talks between the two sides have been a lot more serious than anyone has let on and that they are actually “very close” to getting a deal done.

The holdup: Zack Greinke. Why? Because, according to Baker, the Rangers have been given a chance to match any offer for Hamilton the Mariners make. They cannot match it if the Rangers sign Greinke, because they can’t spend that much. If Greinke goes elsewhere, however, the Rangers will match the Seattle offer on Hamilton. Seattle is poised to strike fast, Baker says.

This is pretty shocking, no? Did anyone really think the M’s would be anything other than a stalking horse? Could anyone — before they moved the fences in anyway — have imagined them landing a big free agent bat, let alone the biggest?

But, pending Zack Greinke’s ultimate destination, that could very well happen.

  1. yankeepunk3000 - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:51 AM

    sounds like a plan…make it happen M’s. far too long have they not competed and now with the fences in a bit.and Hamilton in the middle they can make a run at it… good luck

  2. stex52 - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    So Seattle gets big-hitting drama boy and the Rangers get a high draft choice. At this point the Rangers may have to worry that they are giving up too much hitting with Napoli gone, but it could be win-win all around.

    With great difficulty I will not make a comment about smoking and Washington.

    • skane2005 - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:11 AM

      Ha, by saying you will not make a comment, you did make one.

    • stex52 - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:19 AM

      Of course! I just wanted to appear classier than I really am.

      • heyblueyoustink - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:58 AM

        I’m confident if he could avoid Texas crank, he’ll be able to pass on Seattle Smoke. Good for him, In the Griffey Jr. days, Seattle was a great fan base for the Mariners.

        Just don’t park your Hummer, pick up, or any other kind of gas guzzler outside your garage :

        http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2003719703_ecosentence24m.html

  3. henryd3rd - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    “Come On Man”; but does Hamilton’s agent realize that the State of Washington has just legalized marijuana? I may be wrong; but legalized pot and a man who once was addicted to drugs looks like a bad combination? This just doesn’t seem like it may be in Josh’s best interest? What next? Investing in a marijuana farm or a Budweiser distributor?

    • pellypell - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      Marijuana isn’t a drug. Besides, his reason for staying clean isn’t about legality or ease of access, if he wants to use, he can score in ANY CITY, USA.

      • gt929 - Dec 6, 2012 at 10:40 AM

        Did you really say marijuana is not a drug? Please look up the definition of drug. It may not be a very dangerous drug, or in some places, an illegal drug, but it is, without a doubt, a drug.

      • mikhelb - Dec 6, 2012 at 10:45 AM

        Marijuana has tetrahydrocannabinol, which IS a drug and is marketed as such (Marinol), though potheads usually claim that it is not a drug because a holistic medic told them it was not.

      • ryan02190 - Dec 6, 2012 at 3:11 PM

        Who cares mikhelb

    • koufaxmitzvah - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:44 AM

      Yes. Smoking marijuana has put on the path to smoke more marijuana. Or was it the first beer that put me on the path to smoking marijuana because I happen to not like beer but, really, wanted to “fit in” with my friends nonetheless? Then again, it was breathing oxygen that got to the point of having my first beer which convinced me that smoking marijuana was much more enjoyable for my own sense of being.

      I’m now totally confused.

      • Old Gator - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:52 AM

        Smoking marijuana put me on the path to female diversion. Many, many times. Well, that and the long version of “In-a-gadda-da-vida.”

        Am I carbon-dating myself?

      • APBA Guy - Dec 6, 2012 at 12:26 PM

        I believe that OG is 6,000 years old, like the Earth, and he co-existed with dinosaurs, including females, which he diverted using marijuana.

  4. seattlej - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    Yeah, is it a coincidence that this comes out on the day tha WA state legalizes marijuana? I guess the Ms are just offering what no one else can…

  5. ryanrockzzz - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    He can get pot anywhere if he wants it….

    • Alex K - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:07 AM

      This.

  6. illcomm - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    like my friend said. Seattle wecomes you, “home to where careers go to die.”. good Luck hami

  7. dwrek5 - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    You guys are really knocking the low hanging fruit out of the park today! #wegetit

  8. crispybasil - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    I doubt Hamilton’s decision to potentially sign with the Mariners has anything to do with the legalization of marijuana in Washington state. In fact, I’m 100% sure it has more to do with the large amount of money he’ll get for being able to continually play baseball. Also, just to fill in the ignorant: marijuana is very easy to get, regardless of its legal status in your specific state.

  9. pellypell - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    So an aging power hitter plans to go from one of the top 4 hitters parks to the absolute worst hitters park and expects to succeed? Gotcha!

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor

    • mikhelb - Dec 6, 2012 at 10:52 AM

      Seattle and San Diego moved their fences IN, in their respective parks to help hitters in 2013.

  10. skane2005 - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Why does everyone act like this guy is 16 years old? He’s a grown man and can make his own decisions. He had a problem 10 years ago and what just because he went out and had a drink one night he’s lost all control? Give me a break.

    • dwrek5 - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:17 AM

      Same reason why people think Greinke cant pitch in a town with a population over 300,000. #ignorance

    • eshine76 - Dec 6, 2012 at 10:39 AM

      He’s been out more than one night, but I hear you. However, this is also the same guy who really got himself worked up over his tobacco use just a few months ago. Its not a problem from 10 years ago; he’s shown that his addictions are an ongoing battle.

    • seattlej - Dec 6, 2012 at 4:06 PM

      I don’t know that anyone is acting like he’s 16 years old. However, some are acting like he’s a recovering addict, which he is. While we could debate the likelihood of it all day long, there does exist a non-zero chance that a relapse could derail whatever remains of his career. It’s not like we haven’t seen careers negatively impacted by struggles with addiction in the past. So even though it probably isn’t at all likely, I think it’s probably naive to believe that a relapse absolutely couldn’t happen.

  11. randygnyc - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    This is the best possible landing spot for Josh. Seattle is like a third world country compared to big cities like NY, Chicago and LA. And his wife should be happy. There are only a few places that are more dominated by liberal feminists. With their aversion to feminine hygiene, hair dye, shaving and makeup, this move will save his marriage.

    • Matt S - Dec 6, 2012 at 10:02 AM

      You sure you’re from New York City?

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 6, 2012 at 10:42 AM

      Josh, call Cash take 25mil for one year.
      come play CF for and win #28 and reset
      your market value.

    • historiophiliac - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:31 PM

      Ah, yes, no one ever cheated before the advent of hair dye and make-up…and liberal feminists never mess around, which is why Rush Limbaugh is so confused that they want bc.

  12. miketreedy - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    Pretty amazing how soft the Hamilton market has become. I don’t see Seattle as a good fit. On a poor hitting club I see him trying to do too much. He also hasn’t hit well there during his career. He obviously would prefer to stay with Texas or he would just sign with the M’s. So he should just take less and play where he wants to play.

    • paperlions - Dec 6, 2012 at 12:13 PM

      Why is that amazing? The market for Fielder turned out to be one team, no one else offered more than a 5 year deal. The market for Pujols, the best player of the last decade, was 3 teams…and one wasn’t a serious bidder.

  13. saints25 - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    this is not the Place For a recovering addict, to move Seattle..ISMDH

  14. darthicarus - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    It appears winning a championship is not the highest item on Hamilton’s wishlist.

  15. klink6224 - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    It’s still an illegal drug federally where it matters most. I did think about the risks with how rainy and depressing it gets there that it could be a trigger to his drinking. But as said. He is a grown man and will make his own decisions. Alcohol and drugs are available anywhere if he wants it. Just hope if he does in fact go there can stay on the straight and narrow. Addictions are tough

  16. jase44 - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    I don’t think marijuana is a big issue for a former drug addict with a bank roll of 14 Mil/year. If he wants off the wagon I’m sure he’ll find his way no matter where he is

  17. angrycorgi - Dec 6, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    The Rangers seem to be holding all the cards lately.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2012/12/06/mlb-winter-meetings-josh-hamilton-texas-rangers-seattle-mariners/1750577/

  18. miketreedy - Dec 6, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Lets be fair he does travel with a babysitter. Also, I read they don’t even let him carry credit cards or much cash because he can’t be trusted. No other player requires more maintenance. Hats off to the Rangers who built a support system around him to help him be successful.

    • jimbo75025 - Dec 6, 2012 at 2:13 PM

      That’s the point entirely…….the Rangers have let him develop into a player by building this support system around him. Even then, he has had two breakdowns (or escapes from his handlers if you will) in two years. New surroundings, etc can be very uncomfortable for someone with his issues and could trigger some problems. While his few booze benders were tolerated with a bit of a slap on the wrist, one drug incident and he is done in MLB.

  19. fanofevilempire - Dec 6, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    Josh, Call Cash, we will give you one year 25mil.
    come play CF for the greatest sport team of all time…………
    come win #28, we will make you a winner, come hear the roll call from the bleachers……
    the greatest fan to walk the earth, come smell the air where immortals have roamed…..

    • angrycorgi - Dec 6, 2012 at 11:00 AM

      Come be spit on by fans when you strike out….
      Come play with overhyped, overpaid old men….
      Come to the land of self-loving twits and nonstop drama….
      NY is waiting for you!

  20. markofapro - Dec 6, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    Hamilton will stay in Texas

  21. dorbs345 - Dec 6, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    I don’t understand why Hamilton keeps waiting around for Texas? They keep screwing him, keep telling him they don’t want him if they can sign player A or B. Screw the Rangers, go somewhere they want you!

    • brettj666 - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:13 PM

      Yeah, like a meth lab

    • texanadeb - Dec 7, 2012 at 5:27 AM

      He doesn’t care where he plays as long as they pay him big bucks that he is not worth.

  22. denny65 - Dec 6, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Hold on, folks, re-read the article and take serious note of those two words in the second line: “Chuck Armstrong.”

    The man has a 20-foot deep moat–filled with nasty-tempered piranhas, I’m told–around his money. There’s no way Jack Z will be able to access those bucks to land big-money Josh-boy.

    Six-figure dollars/one year for hometown boy Jason Bay? No problem. Multi-millions for a player with issues?

    Time to regather ’round the hot stove and bat another rumor to and fro.

  23. texanadeb - Dec 7, 2012 at 5:25 AM

    Hamilton will do to the Mariners what he did to the Rangers; take a half-a$$ swing when he is at bat, just like he did in the play-offs. It’s not about succeeding to him, it’s about a guaranteed outragous paycheck. Good luck to the Mariners.

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