According to a baseball source, reports of the Red Sox' interest in free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton have been "overblown."
While the Red Sox are in the market for a pair of outfielders this offseason, Hamilton -- considered by most as the premier free agent on the market -- doesn't appear to be near the top of the team's list of players it hopes to target. While the Sox have talked to the 31-year-old's agent, Michael Moye, the communication was the same kind of due diligence done for a multitude of free agents.
When asked about the team's potential interest in Hamilton while appearing on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said: "We’ve talked, by this time in the offseason, like most teams, we’ve talked to just about every agent of any prominent free agent. That’s part of our job, to do that due diligence. That doesn’t mean anything other than we’ve met with several agents for all of the higher-profile -- and some lesser-profile -- free agents. It’s really part of due diligence, get more information as to what guys are looking for, how it might fit into what we’re doing. Now is the time when we try to hone in on the guys who make the most sense for us."
As is the case with other organizations throughout baseball, there is a hesitancy within the Red Sox to commit to the kind of years (and, to a certain extent, financial commitment) Hamilton is believed to be seeking.
Seattle, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Baltimore have all reportedly expressed some interest in Hamilton according to multiple reports.
The outfielder finished 2012 hitting 43 home runs along with a .285 batting average and .930 OPS. He is two years removed leading the American League in batten average (.359) and OPS (1.044).
"I respect the talent, certainly," Cherington said. "He’s been one of the more productive players in baseball. Beyond that, we’ve got to look at what alternatives we have. We know we’re going to have an outfield somehow. We’re going to do it in a way that we feel makes the most sense for us, not just in 2013 but moving forward."
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