Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
Jon Heyman says the Red Sox could enter the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes. Don't panic.
Jon Heyman has a quote from a rival GM saying that the Red Sox are out to make a big move, and could end up playing in what appears, at the moment, to be a bit of a depressed market for Josh Hamilton.
The Hot Stove has news, the Hot Stove has rumors, and then the Hot Stove has speculation. It's worth noting that this, of course, is entirely speculation. There is no news that the Red Sox are talking to agents, no rumors about the team putting Hamilton at the top of their priorities. Just the impression that the Red Sox are very active, looking to make a "big move," and have their fingers in just about everything that's happening in free agency market.
As Heyman mentions, the Sox have largely taken themselves out of the contest for Zack Grienke's services, which leaves Hamilton as the one really scary name out there when talking about players who could send the Red Sox right back down the unfortunate path they just escaped from. He's big money, could be big years, and comes with big risk given his personal demons.
Of course, the Red Sox know this. They know who Josh Hamilton is, and why he would concern fans who were so relieved to be given a clean slate in August courtesy of the Dodgers. As a result, it's hard to imagine that, if they do enter the Hamilton market, it will be in a big way.
Still, if the opportunity presents itself, the Sox can outbid almost any team in terms of dollars (probably even the Yankees at this point, maybe not the Dodgers who have to be printing the stuff) even if they hold back on years. So far there's not really been a lot of talk about Hamilton, either, which could suggest that teams just aren't willing to take that risk on a long-term deal with him.
If that's the case the Sox probably should get themselves involved. Yes, it's possible they end up dropping a ton of money in 2012-2014 on a guy who then goes out and manages to make a circus act of himself, but getting a player of his upside on any sort of short term contract would be too good an opportunity to pass up.
For now, though, all we're really getting from Heyman here is that the Sox are active. The most important sentence in the whole article is the bit about "the impression left at the GM meetings was that they were involved in more things than anyone else." And that's what they should be. Come the end of the offseason the Sox should have signed about as many free agents as anyone else. The important part is that they're almost all gone come 2015-16.