MLB officials don’t have a clear sense of where Josh Hamilton will sign, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes. Hamilton, who is said to be looking for Prince Fielder money, could end up with the Brewers, Rangers, Red Sox, Mariners or Orioles in the view of Olney’s sources. Here are some details from the ESPN.com column:
- The Brewers could end up signing Hamilton, but probably not if the bidding escalates toward $214MM, the amount Fielder obtained a year ago.
- Some agents think offering four years could help get a deal done. "Nobody is giving him more than four years," one agent told Olney.
- Though some within the Rangers organization grew frustrated with Hamilton this past season, he could return to Texas. They’ll offer him a high annual salary, but probably won’t commit long term, Olney reports. Some speculate Hamilton could cost more than $25MM per season on a relatively short-term deal.
- Rival executives view the Mariners as desperate this winter, Olney writes. Hamilton would be a good fit in Seattle’s lineup, but the Mariners might have to outbid others to complete a deal.
- Olney doubts the Orioles will get seriously involved in the Hamilton sweepstakes and guesses that the outfielder will ultimately return to the Rangers.