The Phillies need outfielders and they need a power bat. Josh Hamilton is an outfielder and Josh Hamilton is a power bat. According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the Phillies have "checked in" on free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton.
Rosenthal describes the Phillies as "1 of 4" teams Hamilton could land with. The teams are the Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, and the Phillies. Here is what he had to say about the Phillies:
They want a center fielder, and their preference is thought to be B.J. Upton. But the Phillies also are pursuing Cody Ross and other outfielders, and GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said, “We’re keeping all of our options open.”
Hamilton would appear to be a stretch, both from a financial and baseball perspective. But two industry sources say the Phillies are quietly checking on him. While their background work might only be due diligence, Amaro loves to make a splash, loves to surprise.
The fit isn’t great; the Phils frankly need a right-handed hitter more than another left-handed one. On the other hand, Hamilton had an .853 OPS against lefties last season. Upton, a right-handed hitter, was at .792.
The final word: Phillies general partner David Montgomery is probably too image-conscious to seriously consider Hamilton, and the team already has $135.6 million committed for next season, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.
If the Phillies have $37.5 million to spend as some have reported, they could sign Hamilton and still have $17 million to add one more bat of the Cody Ross type and a reliever of the Mike Adams type. It would not be impossible.
What does concern me is that the Phillies would be more left-handed than ever, with regulars Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Domonic Brown and Hamilton all lefties. With Ross, a right-handed bat in left field, it might balance some.