Josh Hamilton is back in the lineup, Beltre out

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after missing the past three games with back stiffness, Josh Hamilton is back in the Rangers’ lineup as they take on the Indians. But …

Adrian Beltre is not playing because of general soreness.

True fact: “General Soreness” was going to be the new COBRA bad guy if the old “G.I.:Joe” cartoon had been renewed for an extra season.

Um, anyway, Beltre did some working out this afternoon and is probably OK. Just needs a bit more rest. He should still play in the Indians series.

Report: Giants in “serious discussions” with Reds to acquire Billy Hamilton

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Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Giants are engaged in “serious discussions” with the Reds to acquire center fielder Billy Hamilton. Talks are apparently advanced enough that a deal could be completed before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.

It’s no secret that the Giants would like to make an upgrade in the outfield this offseason, as the club has also been linked to Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. Currently, the Giants’ outfield consists of Denard Span, Hunter Pence, and Jarrett Parker.

Hamilton, 27, owns a meager .248/.298/.334 batting line across parts of five seasons in the majors with the Reds. However, he has plenty of speed, having stolen at least 56 bases in each of the last four seasons. Hamilton is also well-regarded for his defense, which would be a boon at spacious AT&T Park.

Hamilton is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He’s projected to earn $5 million for this coming season. Buchanan notes that the Rangers are also interested in potentially acquiring Hamilton.