Just because the Milwaukee Brewers aren't a big market team doesn't mean they couldn't be in the hunt for free agent Josh Hamilton. He could help that team and Johnny Narron is there, which is a big plus in the Brewers' favor. ESPN.com's Buster Olney agrees. He wrote (insider) today about the possibility of the Brewers making a play for Hamilton this offseason. Part of what Olney wrote:
The Milwaukee Brewers are a small-market team with a big-market mentality, backed by a fan base that has turned out in big numbers and inspired owner Mark Attanasio to think big. The Brewers made the bold midseason play four years ago for CC Sabathia, and then two years ago, Milwaukee aggressively traded some really good young players for Zack Greinke.
So keep all that in mind this winter, when it's possible that the offseason dominoes will fall in a way that puts the Brewers in play for Josh Hamilton, who will be the most noteworthy free-agent position player.
Here's the bottom line: If the Texas Rangers or some other team steps up and stuns the baseball world by giving Hamilton a whopper deal of four-plus years for $100-plus million, then the Brewers will almost certainly would be out of contention for the center fielder.
But if the concerns about Hamilton -- about his ability to stay in the lineup, about his off-field history -- constrain the bidding for the All-Star into conservative offers, that would shift Hamilton's potential deal into the financial neighborhood of the Brewers, who really aren't in a position to give a massive contract to anyone.
Olney goes on to note Narron's presence -- Johnny and Jerry are there -- and that if they can't get the starting pitching they want, making a splash with Hamilton could be in the cards. Olney brings up the point that the Narrons would help give the Brewers a better sense than many teams about who Hamilton is and what to expect.
I think Milwaukee makes some sense, but the bidding can't get out of control. Stay tuned. You can read Olney's entire blog here (insider).
Could you see Hamilton in a Brewers' uniform? How would you feel about it?