The Boston Red Sox already added free agent outfielders Shane Victorino and Jonny Gomes in the offseason, but that isn't stopping them from talking to the highest-profile outfielder remaining on the free agent market.
Josh Hamilton spoke with Red Sox manager John Farrell and general manager Ben Cherington on Wednesday, according to multiple media reports out of the winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn.
With Gomes lined up to play left field and Victorino capable of playing center field or right field, a Hamilton signing could mean the end of center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury's stay in Boston. However, Cherington told MLB.com that Ellsbury isn't on the trading block.
"No, that's not our intent," Cherington said. "We're expecting Jacoby to have a really good year in 2013 and be a huge part of what we're doing."
Victorino landed a three-year, $39 million contract after Gomes received a two-year, $10 million deal.
Hamilton's price tag would be far higher. He was expected to be seeking six or seven years at $20 million to $25 million per season.
Hamilton hit .285 with 43 homers and 128 RBI in 148 games for the Rangers last season, his fifth with Texas. His offense isn't the question mark. The main concern for teams is his history of injuries and his previous battles with drug addiction.
The Seattle Mariners and the Rangers are also believed to be interested in signing Hamilton.