Josh Hamilton out of the lineup again Monday following intestinal virus

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Josh Hamilton will miss his fourth straight game tonight after being hospitalized Friday with an intestinal virus. The good news, at least for the Rangers, is that he appears to be close to returning.

Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Hamilton participated in an early workout this afternoon, which included shagging flyballs and taking batting practice. It shouldn’t be much longer, but Leonys Martin will start in his place in center field this evening against the Padres.

Hamilton, is hitting .330/.390/.674 with 22 home runs, 62 RBI and a 1.064 OPS this season. Adam Dunn passed him for the major league home run lead over the weekend, but the impending free agent still leads the majors in RBI.

Phillies, Jake Arrieta having a “dialogue”

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No, not like a Socratic dialogue, in which each side, in a mostly cooperative, but intellectually confrontational manner interrogate one another as a means of testing assertions and finding truths, though that would be an AMAZING thing for baseball players and teams to do. Rather, low-level talks about possible interest in Jake Arrieta, baseball free agent.

Arrieta is probably the top free agent still available, now that Yu Darvish, J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer have signed. Philly has money — it’s a big market — and could use a pitcher, but Jon Heyman, who, much like Plato did for Socrates, reported the dialogue, says they’re not looking to go long term with anyone.

It may make sense for Arrieta to take a so-called “pillow contract” and come back on the market in a year, but if he’s willing to accept a one-year deal, there are a lot of teams other than Philly who may offer one, and you’d have to figure Arrieta would prefer to pitch for a team more likely to contend.

Dialogues are cool, though. You should go have one over lunch.