Olney On Hamilton, Tigers, Posey

MLB executives don’t question Josh Hamilton’s ability on the field, but they’re hesitant to commit long-term to the outfielder, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports. Hamilton figures to ask for $20-25MM per season and executives are wary of guaranteeing that kind of salary to a player with off-field questions, Olney writes. Here’s Olney’s latest on the market for Hamilton, who hits free agency for the first time this offseason:

  • The Rangers have their doubts about how long they want to invest in Hamilton, Olney writes. They’ve done background work on outfielders such as Justin Upton and Jacoby Ellsbury since they realize they could be in the market for an impact outfielder within a few months.
  • The Dodgers had no intention of bidding for Hamilton even before they acquired Carl Crawford. The Angels, Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, Braves, Nationals and Orioles don’t seem like logical destinations for Hamilton, Olney writes.
  • One GM said the Tigers could surprise rival teams and enter the bidding for Hamilton. Owner Mike Ilitch has a history of spending aggressively on free agents such as Prince Fielder and Magglio Ordonez.
  • The Giants could have interest in Hamilton, but Olney suggests it’d probably be conservative. The Giants will make an effort to sign Buster Posey long-term, according to Olney. Mark Polishuk recently previewed a possible extension for the San Francisco catcher.

69 Responses to Olney On Hamilton, Tigers, Posey Leave a Reply

  1. Gothapotamus 3 years ago

    If Hamilton has a slip up with illegal drugs, he’s going to be suspended for quite awhile and whoever signs him wouldn’t have to pay him. I’d be more concerned about his durability.

    • escapingNihilism 3 years ago

      is this necessarily true? illegal drug testing is not done randomly but on the basis of reasonable cause. I’m not sure how Hamilton’s past failed test as a minor leaguer may change do — can someone lend a hand?

      • Gothapotamus 3 years ago

        tested 3x per week.

        • Gstill45 3 years ago

          Illegal drugs aren’t the only issue though. If Hamilton goes off the wagon with alcohol and ends up in rehab, he puts his new team in a tough spot. Heck, he reportedly went into a slump because he was trying to give up tobacco. He’s a gamble. He will probably get $20-$25 million a season, but I don’t see any team willing to go more than 2 or 3 years at that price.

    • He should sign with the Rays for league minimum for a year just as payback for all he wasted for them once he was drafted….I know…crazy talk….

    • kcmark 3 years ago

      The only slip-ups he’s had is with alcohol, and he self-reported each time. Unlike say Miggy Cabrera who is found in-coherant wandering in the road.

  2. StanleyHudson 3 years ago

    Could Sox swing a deal with Ellsbury for Mike Olt and maybe a pitcher?

    • BravesRed 3 years ago

      Olt is one of the most untouchable players you can have. Daniels would laugh, then hangup if he was offered that deal.

      • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

        he is overestimating ellsbury’s value and you are overestimating olt’s

        • dc21892 3 years ago

          Definitely. Had this been last offseason when Ellsbury was coming off his great season then maybe it would work. Not now after he’s been nothing spectacular since coming back.

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago


      • $3513744 3 years ago

        no man, he’s talking about Olt, not Mike Trout.

    • Baseball Lifer 3 years ago

      The Rangers might have interest in Ellsbury…. But i think they will have more interest in free agents. Guys that will only cost cash and possibly draft picks – M. Bourn & BJ Upton.

      • Baseball Lifer 3 years ago

        And they do have two young CF in the minors if they choose to go young and spend that money elsewhere – Gentry & Martin

    • notsureifsrs 3 years ago


  3. Mike Mark Sopp 3 years ago

    i imagine, especially if the Tigers don’t make the playoffs or make it and don’t do well (ie don’t win it all) that Hamilton will end up in Detroit. Did i mention i am an Indians fan?

    • seenable 3 years ago

      I’m sorry, but as a Tigers fan, I can’t see this happening at all. I’m used to Illitch’s ways as much, if not more, than anyone, but Hamilton coming to Detroit just isn’t happening. Not at the money he’ll command.

      • Same post last year only fill in Prince Fielder. Don’t count the Tigers out. A 3-6 of Cabrera, Prince, Hamilton and V Mart would be pretty monstrous.

      • Motor_City_Bombshell 3 years ago

        Not to mention if the Tigers sign Hamilton, you can pretty much kiss the idea of extending and retaining Verlander and/or Cabrera goodbye, and I’d much rather have one or both of those than Hamilton.

        • Ty Potter 3 years ago

          Verlander’s signed thru 2015 and Cabrera thru 2016 with an option for 17 by then V-Mart will be retired and his money will go to JV…. money is not the issue there……

  4. Paul Shailor 3 years ago

    The rangers have enough offense. Heck put me in that park and I could probably hit a homer run or 2. They need to focus on pitching, which is why I think they will pull off a trade with tb for shields, or maybe even go after felix.

    • Me 3 years ago

      If you trade for Felix, say good bye to Feliz, Profar, Olt, and more.

      • NYPOTENCE 3 years ago

        No way that King Felix would cost that much and if he does then any team that does make a trade like that is crazy. Profar, Olt, Perez, and a quality prospect is more than enough.

      • MadmanTX 3 years ago

        Mariners won’t be trading Hernandez.

    • Stookey 3 years ago

      Rangers extended Colby Lewis today (9/17). I don’t see the Rangers trading for starting pitching unless Lewis fails in his recovery.
      link to mlbtraderumors.com

    • MadmanTX 3 years ago

      Kinsler has slumps, Young is getting old, Moreland is inconsistent….your best hitters are Beltre and Hamilton and both are injury prone. The offense has sputtered whenever either Beltre or Hamilton is out if the lineup. If Young can’t hardly hit home runs in that ballpark, you never could.

      • Paul Shailor 3 years ago

        And they still have the best BA in the bigs. Look Endy Chavez looked like an all star there, they got enough hitting they need pitching.

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      The rangers offense has been good, but take Hamilton out of the equation and you got a completely different lineup. Beltre is good, but they don’t have another middle of the order hitter. Neither Cruz, Young, or Murphy are middle of the order hitters. Napoli could be, but he is also a free agent.

  5. He won’t be signing in San Francisco he complained about the during the world series so i doubt he would want to sign in sf

    • rainyperez 3 years ago

      He had a lengthy interview this season with one of the host’s of the Giants’ pre-game show and said he’s not ruling anything out including playing in San Francisco.

      I’m not saying he is going to sign in San Francisco but he does have power to hit it out to right centerfield which is unheard of the last couple of seasons. Giants will probably consider that but I don’t think they go after him as a FA.

      A 4 year deal would be ideal for any NL team deciding to sign him but ultimately I think, like any big free agent bat, the AL has a better shot because of the DH rule.

      • i didnt know that thanks for letting me know.

        It would be nice to have him but i think he goes out of the giants price range i think they sign pagan and scutaro but not hamilton it would be nice to have him though.

        • rainyperez 3 years ago

          No problem : )

          Yeah it would be nice to have him but I think any skepticism about Hamilton is rightly justified given his past history…at least in the eyes of bidding teams looking for a discount. Whether that is right or not that’s another issue.

          I think Pagan gets a 3 year deal and maybe an option for a 4th and Scutaro will get a 2 year deal. The Giants may have had preliminary talks already but the FA market is always an unknown.

          • i agree with you there his off the field issues will cost him as he can slip in a quick minute but lets hope for the good of him he doesnt.

            I also agree with the deals the giants want to sign scutaro to a 2 year deal as they are waiting on panik and he wants to sign with them too.

  6. FS54 3 years ago

    Case for Nationals can be made if ALR walks and Morse is moved to 1b, opening a LF spot and left-handed bat in the lineup.

  7. Me 3 years ago

    I would die if the Tigers got him. It won’t happen but just the thought is awesome. They’d have to let go of Peralta but could trade for Brendan Ryan.

    1. Austin Jackson CF
    2. Andy Dirks RF
    3. Josh Hamilton LF
    4. Miguel Cabrera 3B
    5. Prince Fielder 1B
    6. Victor Martinez DH
    7. Alex Avila C
    8. Brendan Ryan SS
    9. Omar Infante 2B

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

      I just don’t see Hamilton going to an East Coast team really

      • Me 3 years ago

        Detroit is in the Midwest.

        • Lunchbox45 3 years ago


          so can you tell me which coast and cities Detroit is closest to?

          • MetsMagic 3 years ago

            Toronto and Chicago? That’s not really any coast. It’s on the Detroit River.

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            right.. and I’m from Toronto. and we’re considered on the East coast. I’ve never really heard Detroit being called the midwest

          • Me 3 years ago

            It’s not on the coast. It’s 800 miles away.

          • FS54 3 years ago

            Just google midwest US.

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            whats a google

    • No thanks. Hamilton can stay in Texas or go somewhere else. As a tiger’s fan I have no interest in him. Not at the money and years he’s going to want and considering he seems to miss 20+ games a season. Oh and he seems to still have issues with the bottle/needle. Pass.

  8. Robert Brincheck 3 years ago

    There is no way the Tigers express any interest in Hamilton since they do not have ability to carry another major contract. Their salary capacity is about $130-135M and they can’t afford another $20M contract. Fielder was possible because the Tigers had a number of large contracts expiring. That is not the case this year. That said, if they suddenly trade Victor Martinez, that would open up space for a play at Hamilton or another premium hitter.

    • FS54 3 years ago

      besides is JV locked up long term?

      • Robert Brincheck 3 years ago

        JV and VMart are locked up thru 2014 and Miggy thru 2015

        • FS54 3 years ago

          well that is not exactly long term for JV, and Miggy if you think he can keep up this production to his early to mid-30s.

    • MadmanTX 3 years ago

      No such thing as a salary cap if the owner makes the call to offer a huge deal like he did with Fielder.

      • Robert Brincheck 3 years ago

        The Fielder contract increased payroll to a previous level ($133M vs $137M in 2008 & $134M in 2010. A new $20M contract would increase annual payroll around $150M. No reason to believe they would spend that much.

    • vtadave 3 years ago

      Is that what you said about Fielder last off-season? I could see this happening.

      • Robert Brincheck 3 years ago

        Last season was very different from this one. The 2011 payroll was $107M vs a high of $138M in ’08 and $134M the previous year w/Verlander’s contract increasing $7M. There was room last year because $23M was coming off the payroll with Guillen and Ordonez’s contracts ending. Also, only Scherzer and Coke were they only valid Arb candidates. The 2012 commit was $74M plus whatever Scherzer & Coke signed for. There was room, but not really need until Martinez went down. Fielder also had roots in Detroit and has drawn fans and sold merchandise. This year is very different. They start with $87M already committed. The Arb candidates are Scherzer, Porcello, Coke, Avila, Fister, AJax, Raburn, Kelly & Boesch. FA’s are Valverde, Laird, and Young. Peralta and Dotel have options that will likely be picked up. Raburn is likely to be the only non-tender since Kelly & Boesch are cheap and Young is the only FA they certainly won’t pursue. If they don’t resign Valverde they have to replace him so the cost is similar. Scherzer, Fister, & AJax are due big raises so it is likely the Arb candidate raises will consume the expiring contracts and 2013 payroll starts around $130M. While there is no official salary cap in MLB there is a limit to the amount Mr. I will spend and I don’t see him adding a $20M contract and pushing payroll to $150M. JV & VMart are locked in thru 2014 so without pushing the payroll to an unprecedented high, I don’t see any new big name signing.

        • Ty Potter 3 years ago

          Illitch wants a ring so taking a chance with Hamilton on a 3 or 4 year deal isnt that big a deal. He wants to keep the Tigers on a budget so they’re profitable, but he wants that ring badly…..

      • Robert Brincheck 3 years ago

        Last year they had $23M for Guillen & Ordonez expiring. I didn’t think Fielder was a major need last year, until Martinez was injured, but that is a different issue. Hamilton would be a nice addition to the Tigers’ outfield, but they can’t afford his contract. There are fewer contracts expiring and Scherzer, AJax, Fister, Avila, and other Arb candidates that are due raises which will consume most of the expiring contracts. Therefore, any Hamilton contract will be added to today’s $130M payroll and will not simply replace expiring big contracts like Fielder’s did.

  9. Should have done Upton-for-Hamilton at the deadline. Oh well.

  10. MadmanTX 3 years ago

    The Rangers would sign Hamilton to 5 years max, but Josh will want a 7-10 year Pujols/Fielder type deal. We all know somebody is going to offer Josh that. I won’t speculate who, but it will happen.

  11. Michael Ryder 3 years ago

    There is and isnt a salary cap in baseball… Not one set in stone but once a team get’s a high enough total salary the luxury tax kicks in and they have to give an extra dollar for every dollar they spend. No way Hamilton is coming to det. No chance

    • Me 3 years ago

      The Tigers would need a 150-160 payroll. Can they do that? Hard to say.

  12. Ausome7 3 years ago

    For everyone who feels that the Tigers can’t afford Hamilton Fielder Verlander Cabrera. The tigers this year pay a little more then last year we lost the 23 million to ordonez and guillien and who gets paid around that (fielder). However the tigers would have to actually go above and beyond to get Hamilton but that’s not illogical how many posts was there last year about the tigers are not going to get fielder.

    • Robert Brincheck 3 years ago

      Remember that the Tigers were not in the mix for Fielder until VMart got hurt and was out for the season.

  13. Alex 3 years ago

    The Tigers would be better off trading some players to try and get Felix Hernandez. Martinez will be back next year, and we have Castellanos coming up soon. Hamilton would be great, but I don’t see that happening.

  14. LazerTown 3 years ago

    Hamilton, Miggy, and Fielder would be a crazy lineup.

  15. Scott Piper 3 years ago

    don’t forget, the tigers have young, valverde, and sanchez coming off the books. not sure about sanchez, but young makes 6.75 million and valverde 9 million. raburn is going to be gone, probably kelly and i can see them getting rid of boesch. i dont see them making a play for hamilton with garcia looking good in the outfield so far along with jackson and dirks. they also have castellanos that they are grooming for the outfield so there will be no place to put him. maybe they trade peralta and go after someone else for short. maybe they try to get a 3 team deal going somehow and go for andrus from texas? dont think it would happen, but i see them trying that as more likely than trying to get hamilton.

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