General manager Jon Daniels reiterated yesterday that the Rangers are interested in re-signing Josh Hamilton under the right circumstances, but added that the former MVP’s current market is “somewhat status quo.”
So far at least most reports of teams being linked to Hamilton have been followed by reports–and sometimes even direct quotes–denying that interest, and there’s yet to be any speculation about a major offer being made to the 31-year-old free agent.
Daniels told Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas that he’s “maintained dialogue” with Hamilton’s agent, adding: “I think the way that we have chosen to proceed here is that we’re not necessarily driving the timetable. There may come a time when we need to change that, but so far it’s been fine.”
In other words, the Rangers are content to sit back and wait for Hamilton’s true market to fully play out, at which point they can make a decision about whether he’s worth the price. Not jumping into the bidding war can be a dangerous tactic in some situations, but part of what makes Hamilton such an interesting free agent to track is that it’s possible the actual bidding war for him might be somewhat limited.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.