November 1, 2012
On the Beat
Hot Stove Stories
The offseason is here and the coals of the Hot Stove are already being stoked with trades, decisions on contract options, and potential free agents being re-signed. The furnace will crank up another notch when free agency begins Saturday and the general managers' meetings take place next week in Palm Springs, California. So, let's not waste any time; let’s take a look at five off-season subjects that figure to create some buzz:
Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke
Everyone in baseball is interested to see where the market goes for both players. Will the fact that they have non-baseball issues hold their price tags under $100 million? It's doubtful. Still, many people who know both players believe Hamilton and Greinke would be better-served by taking less money to play in smaller and less-stressful markets.
"Milwaukee or Pittsburgh or somewhere where the fans would embrace him wholeheartedly would be best for Josh," said a former teammate of Hamilton. "Getting booed by the fans in Texas hurt him more than he let on. I don't think Josh is the type of guy who is going to chase every last dollar. I think his decision—whatever it may be—is going to surprise some people."
Said an associate of Greinke's: "All things being equal, he's probably better off staying with the Angels. I know they play in a big market, but Orange County isn't Los Angeles. I don't think Zack would be comfortable being in a city where he would be under constant scrutiny."