Olney: Where does Josh Hamilton land?

September, 17, 2012
9/17/12
11:20
AM CT
ESPN.com's Buster Olney takes a look at the market for Josh Hamilton in his insider column. Here's part of what he says about the free agent and how the Rangers might approach it:
How many years in a contract would you give Hamilton?

If Major League Baseball's contracts were structured like those in the National Football League, Hamilton would draw some level of interest from almost all teams on a short-term deal. But baseball contracts are fully guaranteed, unlike NFL contracts, so that if Hamilton goes into serious regression or has some sort of lingering off-field issues, his next team could be on the hook for years.

The Texas Rangers clearly have their doubts about how long they want to invest in Hamilton, because they are preparing for Plan Bs: They have done background work on Justin Upton and Jacoby Ellsbury and others, knowing that they may be in the market for an impact outfielder if somebody outbids them for Hamilton.

"I think they already have a very defined set of parameters on what they want to do with him," said an AL official last week. "I don't think they'll budge from those."

What exactly that means, we'll see. Olney says the market may be limited for Hamilton based on moves other clubs have already made. But he goes through a possible list, which includes Boston (but does Hamilton fit in with their long-term plan?), Atlanta (would they increase payroll for Hamilton?), Detroit, San Francisco, Baltimore, Washington and others. You can read all about that here (insider).
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Alex Rios
BA HR RBI R
.321 1 10 9
OTHER LEADERS
HRS. Choo 2
RBIK. Kouzmanoff 10
RE. Andrus 14
OPSS. Choo .932
WM. Perez 3
ERAY. Darvish 1.61
SOY. Darvish 29