Josh Hamilton in an Astros uniform: It would be a game-changer, season-changer and franchise-changer wrapped into one. It has about as much chance of happening as the Astros capturing the American League West Division during the team's first season playing on the other side of the fence. Hamilton, 31, doesn't appear to fit into any of the Astros' short- or long-term plans. The 2010 AL MVP is a free-agent outfielder reportedly seeking a seven-year, $175 million deal. Even if Astros owner Jim Crane couldn't resist the urge to attempt to steal the slugger from the Rangers — Texas made Hamilton a $13.3 million qualifying offer Friday; the Rangers will receive 2013 draft compensation if he departs — the five-time All-Star would make more money in one season than the combined Astros roster. "He's one of the best players, the best hitters in the big leagues," said Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, whose National League squad downed Hamilton's AL team in the 2012 All-Star Game. "I just wish the best of luck for him, and I know he's going to find a team." Milwaukee was rumored to be in hot pursuit, then temporarily cooled by Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, who joked his small-market team doesn't have a direct line with "U.S. Bank." Atlanta has been mentioned but also shot down.
Hamilton would fit with Astros, but he's out of their budget
Houston Chronicle | Nov 5