The rumors surrounding Josh Hamilton are relentless. And for good reason. Hamilton is one of the top prizes of this offseason. The Texas Rangers have allowed him to test the market after not being able to work out a contract extension for him throughout the 2012 season. Now, word is Hamilton may want to return to Texas but needs to feel out the rest of the field first.
Jim Bowden tweeted last night that Hamilton was interested in returning to Texas.
Greinke up-date:Keep hearing Dodgers & Angels are the two most likely landing spots;&Hamilton wants to return to TX but needs establish mrkt
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) December 5, 2012
It makes sense for Hamilton to listen to offers from all the teams who may be interested. This will give him leverage in negotiations with Texas. Of course, that leverage is meaningless if the Rangers are not truly willing to spend the money to bring him back.
The fact that Hamilton is testing the market means he probably will not sign anywhere during the Winter Meetings. There's no pressure to sign a player during these meetings, it is just easier to do so a lot of times. All the GMs, executives, and sometimes players are in the same spot. Negotiations come a little easier during this time. However, if Hamilton is wanting to feel teams out, he may let this thing linger a while.
Hamilton has been labeled as injury-prone, and that may be a fair label. However, despite the minor issues he went through in 2012, Hamilton still appeared in 148 games and hit 43 home runs. There's a lot of value in his productivity even if he may be injury-prone.