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ESPN's Bowden: Hamilton's 'best fit' is with Texas

Free-agent slugger Josh Hamilton is looking for a new contract and possibly a new team.

Ronald Martinez

Texas Rangers' outfielder Josh Hamilton is easily the biggest bat on the market this offseason. With teams starting to put together deals, ESPN's Jim Bowden argues that Hamilton's best bet is to stay with Texas. Speaking about Hamilton's struggles with addiction, Bowden says that the Rangers "are the most familiar with Hamilton and all the issues that come with him. They have a strong support team in place for him."

Hamilton's problems with addiction almost derailed his career before it started. But after getting clean and sober in 2005, his career got back on track. After making the majors in 2007, the center fielder has been an All-Star five times and won the 2010 AL MVP.

Despite the success, Hamilton has had two highly-publicized incidents with alcohol since 2009. He publicly apologized on both occasions, but it is clear this is a burden that Hamilton will carry with him for the rest of his life. The team that signs him will have to take all of this into account, which makes sense for Bowden to argue that Hamilton should stay put.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.