Josh Hamilton Rumors: Mariners, Braves, Pirates Eyeing Sluggers?

The Seattle Mariners are one of several teams, including the Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers, that could possibly target outfielder Josh Hamilton this offseason, reports Jon Heyman of

The Mariners look like a possible new entry in the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes, people familiar with their thinking suggest.

The market for Hamilton should be one of the most interested free agent cases in recent memory given the outfielder’s talent and the question marks surrounding him. Also, at this point, there are no big-market, high-spending teams that have been tied to Hamilton.

That leaves clubs such as the Orioles, Brewers, Braves, Mariners and Pirates all looking for a relative bargain. Hamilton is reportedly seeking a deal in the range of seven years and $175 million. While this would likely preclude the five teams listed above from signing the 31-year-old, not everyone is convinced that Hamilton will fetch this type of contract.

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times is one of the skeptics. He believes it’s more likely Hamilton will receive a four- or five-year contract with a high average annual salary, something in the $20 to $25 million range. This would put the total value of the deal in the $80 to $125 million range, one that Stone believes the Mariners and other smaller market clubs could get in on.

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