Josh Hamilton's signing could affect Orioles

Josh Hamilton's signing could affect Orioles
December 13, 2012, 3:00 pm
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Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols and Mike Trout: All on the Angels?

If you’re an Orioles fan, you’ll probably circle June 10th on your calendar. That’s when the Angels come to Baltimore.

At last year’s Winter Meetings, the Angels made the big splash by signing Pujols to a mammoth 10-year contract. A week after this year’s Winter Meetings, Hamilton agreed to a five-year, $125 million contract.

And, the Angels have the AL’s Rookie of the Year and near Most Valuable Player in Trout.

There was so much talk about Hamilton. Would he return to the Rangers? How about Boston, Milwaukee, Philadelphia or Seattle?

While the Orioles were never serious players for Hamilton, the move could affect them. Texas, which lost Hamilton, missed out on Zack Greinke and with the trade of Michael Young to the Phillies, could be a spender on some of the top remaining free agents.

Adam LaRoche, who’s been seeking a three-year deal, is still out there, and while the Nationals have refused to give him one, Texas might. The Orioles reportedly won’t give him a three-year deal, and didn’t when he was last available in 2010.

If LaRoche signs with the Rangers, Washington would presumably keep Michael Morse and remove another Orioles target. Other big name hitters still available are Michael Bourn, Cody Ross, Nick Swisher and Delmon Young.

Ross and Swisher have been linked to the Orioles. Last week, Dan Duquette said the Orioles have enough outfielders, but if Ross or Swisher’s price came down, perhaps they would.

The Hamilton developments probably validate the thinking that the Orioles won’t be players for Ross or Swisher. With most of the bigger names now accounted for and more probably signing next week, January will be Duquette time, where he can scooping up an undervalued free agent or two. 

This year’s market is so hot that there may not be any true values left then.
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