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Boston Red Sox could be a player for Josh Hamilton

Despite trading away Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to escape financial burden in August, the Boston Red Sox could enter the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes this winter.

Elsa

Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington did his best to escape financial burden in August, when he traded Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to the Los Angeles Dodgers for... not a whole lot.

Needless to say, Crawford and Gonzalez' departure has left a major void in Boston's lineup. According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the Red Sox could enter the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes this winter, as Boston looks to bolster its lineup.

"Boston wants to do something big and it wouldn't shock me if they became players for Josh Hamilton,'' one competing GM said.

Speculation began that the Red Sox could enter the Hamilton sweepstakes back in August, as soon as the trade was consummated.

With the Toronto Blue Jays pulling off one of the biggest trades in recent history, acquiring Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and others, the Red Sox could be desperate to make a big move in free agency.

Aside from Zack Greinke, there is no bigger and better free agent than Hamilton.

Unfortunately for whoever Hamilton signs with, Hamilton comes with a lot of baggage, and will need to be handled with kiddie gloves throughout the duration of his contract. Hamilton's body is also injury prone, and as he enters the back nine of his career, there's no reason to believe that he'll suddenly avoid injuries.

On the surface, Hamilton to Boston makes so much sense. The Red Sox need a new face of the franchise, and they need another offensive force in the lineup. The problem with this scenario is that it essentially assumes Boston will repeat past mistakes -- signing a player to a long-term, nine-figure contract.

Whether or not the Red Sox aggressively pursue Hamilton is another thing, but with Larry Lucchino and John Henry at the helm, it certainly can't be ruled out until Hamilton officially signs with another team.

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