According to Dayn Perry (CBSSportsline), the odds-makers over at Bovada.lv have put out odds on where Josh Hamilton will sign this offseason.
Who will sign Josh Hamilton next?
San Francisco Giants: 3-1
Atlanta Braves: 5-1
Texas Rangers: 5-1
Philadelphia Phillies: 7-1
New York Yankees: 9-1
Chicago Cubs: 9-1
Boston Red Sox: 9-1
Pittsburgh Pirates: 10-1
Toronto Blue Jays: 10-1
Los Angeles Dodgers: 15-1
Let me be the first to say that there are a few teams on this list that I think have no shot or no interest in Hamilton
Phillies – No interest and no shot. Unless they can find a way to unload some of the veteran contracts that they currently have in place, I just don’t see GM Ruben Amaro adding another large contract to the mix, especially a player north of 30 years old. Here is a quick look at some of their top salaries for 2013:
- Roy Halladay – $20M
Hamels with Phillies GM Ruben Amaro
- Cole Hamels – $19.5M
- Ryan Howard – $20M
- Cliff Lee – $25M
- Jon Papelbon – $13M
- Jimmy Rollins – $11M
- Chase Utley – $15M
That’s $123.5M for 7 players, most of which are getting a little long in the tooth. This is NOT a team that is going to give a 4-6 year contract to Josh Hamilton. In addition, the fan base in Philly is quick to turn on poor performance and lack of effort – can you imagine the treatment Josh would have gotten from the fans down the stretch in 2012 if he had been playing for Philly?
Cubs – No interest. Theo Epstein is in the process of rebuilding and while the Cubs will soon be at a point where they are ready to supplement a strong base of talent in free agency, they aren’t their yet. Hamilton’s age and the potential for injury and fatigue due to his past and playing style just don’t fit in Theo’s plan. Cubs fan’s would love Josh…but it’s not happening.
Pirates – Are you kidding me? No shot.
Don’t see any odds on the field (everyone else), but would assume they would be somewhere around 30-1, if not larger. I’d bet on the field at 30-1 (heck, even 25-1) before I’d consider the Phillies, Cubs or Pirates.
In fact, the team that I think will sign Josh Hamilton is not even mentioned above.
My official prediction as to who will sign Josh Hamilton….as of right now….always subject to change….
The Houston Astros
Is this crazy? Here is my thinking:
- Money: They have to have money! They don’t have anyone on their current roster that is deserving of a big contract, so they must have the money to make it happen, even considering they’ll have to overpay.
- Ownership: Jim Crane is a crazy ass, looking for attention and desperately seeking any opportunity to make a big splash. So much so, he was considering bringing the Roger Clemens circus to town late in the 2012 season. Signing Josh Hamilton and being the “mystery team” would be a BIG splash.
- Location: Josh and his family are clearly comfortable in the DFW area and while it’s still five hours away…it’s as close as he’s gonna get to staying here.
- AL West: The Astros will be joining the Rangers in the AL West starting in 2013. Josh is familiar with the lay of the land in the AL West, which benefits the Astros and provides a certain level of comfort for Josh.
- Houston Fans: Low expectations…if any. The excitement generated over the signing would follow Josh into the regular season and mask any lack of effort or disinterest – if those issues are still there – which I don’t think they will be.
Nevermind the fact that the Astros are horrible. I think Josh will value the situation and the contract more than any team’s current level of play or postseason hopes.
Prediction #2 - Josh will play like a man possessed in 2013 and win the AL MVP despite:
- Houston’s weak lineup which provides him no protection
- The fact that the Astros will be out of the playoff race by mid-April
This sucks given his poor exit from the Rangers…but you know you agree.
So, what do you think? Have I sold you on Josh in a Astros uniform in 2013? Or do you trust the odds provided by Bovada?
Vote in the poll below and sound off in the comments section.