Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/15/12

The Red Sox have made a habit of making big offseason splashes in the offseason over the last few years. That hasn’t always worked out, though, as evidenced by a mega trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers in August. Now the Sox have a bunch of money to play with, and while they’ve said publicly they’re not necessarily looking to make yet another splash this winter, they may actually be limbering up on the diving board. CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reports that the Red Sox may be getting ready to really enter the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes, getting involved in the pursuit of arguably the best player on the free agent market this offseason. “Boston wants to do something big and it wouldn’t shock me if they became players for Josh Hamilton,” a competing GM reportedly told Heyman. That’s obviously a far cry from reporting that the Red Sox have made a legitimate offer to Hamilton — or are even actually in on the All-Star — but it does seem to jibe with what the Sox have said about the offseason. Unsurprisingly, Red Sox owner John Henry, who is in Chicago for the owners’ meetings, was a lot less succinct when describing the team’s offseason plans. “Improve the team” he told Heyman of what the Sox are looking to do. Hamilton is coming off of another fine year, and when he’s healthy and not dealing with off-field issues, he’s arguably the best player in baseball. Of course, Hamilton’s entire career has been filled with injuries and off-field issues, red flags that have many teams cautious about committing too much money and just as importantly, too many years for the outfielder. It’s been whispered that Hamilton is reportedly looking for a seven-year deal worth $175 million, which is probably just short of insane, given Hamilton’s past.

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