Originally posted on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 12/7/12

Just when it seemed clear that the suitors for Josh Hamilton had been narrowed down, a new team has jumped in out of nowhere and completely upset things. The Seattle Mariners have reportedly swooped in and offered the top bat on the free agent market a three-year contract worth somewhere between $20 million to $25 million per season. The 31-year-old Hamilton is said to be intrigued by playing for the Mariners, but his preference would be to return to the Texas Rangers. That said, the Rangers seem more focused on free agent pitcher Zack Greinke and are also attempting to swing a trade that would land them Arizona’s Justin Upton. Texas’ long wait to get serious with Hamilton could cost them the five-time All-Star. We all know the story about Hamilton’s past drug abuse and his struggle to get clean, but he has also had problems staying healthy in his time with the Rangers. He played 156 games in 2008 (his first year in Arlington), but followed that up by playing 89 games in 2009, 133 in 2010 and 121 in 2011. In 2012 he managed to get into 148 games, but some feel he has been breaking down more often lately. Hamilton is coming off a season in which he hit .285 with 43 home runs and 128 RBI. His OPS of .931 was outstanding, but his WAR of 3.3 was average. He also struck out a whopping 162 times against just 60 walks. Hamilton has spent five years with the Rangers, and played in 647 games with the team. In that time he has belted 142 home runs, knocked in 506 RBI, boasts an OPS of .912, and has a .305 batting average. He has averaged 28 home runs, 101 RBI, 31 doubles and 154 hits per season while in Texas. From what we’re hearing – despite those gaudy numbers – it wouldn’t be a surprise if Hamilton is elsewhere next season. Those close to the Rangers believe the team is simply ready to move on. Hamilton is a good guy who has a terrific story of redemption, but some aspects of his game have grated on those with the team. Hamilton attempted to quit smokeless tobacco during the season (instead of in the offseason) and some thought it had an impact on his play. He also struggled with plate discipline, hence the huge number of strikeouts. On top of that, he came down with ocular keratits during the season, reportedly from ingesting too much caffeine. Some believe he has just turned into a bit of a flake, but the Mariners obviously don’t see it that way. Seattle is in a post-Ichiro world and wants to grab a star who will bring fans to Safeco Field. Hamilton has the ability to be that guy. Don’t be surprised if he takes his talents to the Pacific Northwest. The Rangers will likely have the final say in Hamilton’s free agency. I believe he’ll give them a chance to match whatever deal he gets. But don’t be surprised if they pass.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name every NFL regular season MVP

WATCH: Avery Bradley nails buzzer beater to beat Cavs

WATCH: Jimmy Butler taken to locker room in wheel chair

Klay Thompson's first five years in historical context

WATCH: Cubs' Kris Bryant went swimming with sharks

Sports Authority taking steps to file for bankruptcy

Major League Baseball threatens to disassociate from DraftKings

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in the NHL playoff hunt

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker