Josh Hamilton would help the Seattle Mariners. That is obvious. They need his presence, his star power, his fluid left-handed swing. But if they think he alone is the answer to their offensive woes, they might be headed toward a costly calamity.
The Mariners remained firmly in the Hamilton sweepstakes as the baseball winter meetings adjourned Thursday, discussing three-year deals with the free-agent outfielder in the range of $20 million to $25 million per season, according to my colleague Ken Rosenthal.
It's hard to imagine Hamilton signing with the Mariners -- the American League's worst team during the past three seasons -- for less than four years and $100 million. On a club that opened the 2012 season with a payroll near $85 million, Hamilton would account for roughly one-quarter of the budget and probably surpass Felix Hernandez as the franchise's highest-paid player.
The only way to justify spending that money would be ... to spend more money.
Unless Mariners ownership is...