Let me preface this with a calming word: Josh Hamilton is not going to move from the outfield to first base, at least not by next season.
But it has been discussed.
Hamilton told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday that he would be open to — but is not requesting — a position change.
The current Rangers left fielder has been out since September 4 due to rib fractures that he suffered while running into an outfield wall and has struggled to stay healthy throughout his professional career. But he is one of the top defensive outfielders in the game and a move to first base would hurt his value to the Rangers in the present and his value as a potential free agent in the future.
“I’m open to playing anywhere,” Hamilton told the Morning News. “I think I’m a pretty good
outfielder and I just always thought I’d play the outfield as long as I
could, and if one day somebody wanted to move me to first or DH, then
I’d do that.”
Rangers GM Jon Daniels echoed that he is in no rush to make a move, even given Hamilton’s injury struggles. The MVP candidate biked for 20 minutes Tuesday and is hoping to play around three or four games before the end of the regular season.
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.