A former NBA player for MLB Commissioner?

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I’d file this under “pipe dream” but Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times has a column up looking at Kevin Johnson — former NBA All-Star and current Sacramento mayor — as a potential successor to Bud Selig.

I say it’s a pipe dream because, as Shaikin seems to agree, baseball owners are not the sort to go for outsiders. Which is partially what made Selig so successful. He’s always had support from the owners, partially because he’s a good politician and consensus builder, but also because he was given the slack to perfect that approach given that he was one of the owners and everyone knew him.

Still: an interesting thought experiment as we approach the Post-Selig Era. And, on its own merits, a good look at Kevin Johnson and all he’s been able to accomplish in Sacramento.

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.