Seattle Mariners now interested in Josh Hamilton

Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Seattle is the latest team said to have interest in signing Josh Hamilton this winter.

Last week, it was reported that the Milwaukee Brewers have interest in signing Josh Hamilton -- believed by many to be the top free agent in the 2012-'13 free agent class.

On Wednesday, it was reported that the Baltimore Orioles are interested in signing Hamilton to play left field.

Now on Thursday. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman is reporting that the Seattle Mariners have interest in signing the 2010 American League MVP to a contract.

Meanwhile, the Mariners are a new and sensical entry. "If the right bat's available, we're going to have to talk about it," Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said. "We're going to have several discussions with agents."

The Mariners played better than .500 ball over the last 2½ months of the season. But they need offensive help, especially at the corners.

"We have to be flexible," Zduriencik said.

Seattle's offense has been consistently poor in recent years, and could certainly use the boost that Hamilton would provide.

It's unknown, however, how many years Seattle would be willing to give Hamilton, and of course, how much money they'd be willing to shell out for a superstar with a long list of personal problems and health issues.

If the Mariners are looking to make a splash this winter, then Hamilton is certainly their man. Seattle would be able to "steal" Hamilton from the rival Rangers, and boost its own lineup simultaneously.

Still, all teams pursuing Hamilton need to be weary of the baggage that comes with him. If he signs with the Mariners, Seattle could be thinking that they pulled a fast when -- but at the end of the contract, one would have to assume the Rangers will be the ones smiling.

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